The Church and Morality: An Ecumenical and Catholic Approach

The Church and Morality: An Ecumenical and Catholic Approach

The Church and Morality: An Ecumenical and Catholic Approach

The Church and Morality: An Ecumenical and Catholic Approach

Synopsis

How does and how should the church learn and teach its approach to morality today? How much unity should be sought and what degree of diversity can be tolerated in a time when the moral authority of churches seems to be eroding?

Excerpt

This book IS BASED ON THE 1991–92 HEIN/FRY LECTURE Series sponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The governing committee of this endowed lectureship invited Larry L. Rasmussen of Union Theological Seminary in New York and me to present a separate series of lectures hosted by the eight seminaries of the ELCA. I am grateful to the committee for its kind invitation to inaugurate this lecture series and most appreciative of the gracious hospitality and discussion of my lectures provided by four Lutheran seminaries, in Philadelphia, St. Paul, Dubuque, and Columbus.

The general area of the topic —the church and morality — has been a continuing concern for me, and I was most grateful to have the opportunity to address the question. Most mainstream churches in the United States today struggle with the issue of how the church learns and teaches its approach to morality, and their national meetings in the last few years have reflected this. Division over moral issues has affected the unity of many of these churches. Acrimonious debates take place within the churches and leave people confused and angry.

The churches' moral authority also seems to be eroding in . . .

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