Ethical Issues in Six Religious Traditions

Ethical Issues in Six Religious Traditions

Ethical Issues in Six Religious Traditions

Ethical Issues in Six Religious Traditions

Synopsis

The need for a parallel study of the values held by different religious communities in the western world has never been stronger, and this book draws together authors respected in six significant traditions to explore the ethical foundations of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism and Christianity. Each section introduces a different religion and sets the wider context within which more specific questions can be asked.

Excerpt

This book has grown out of the conviction that crossing the frontiers of faiths, languages and races can enable people to deepen their understanding of issues that are important to us all. We live in an age when many different groups, particularly in Europe and North America, are expressing serious concern about human values -- about how we should live, how we should treat each other and how we should treat our world. This concern is being articulated by politicians, members of the caring professions, in education and in discussions between members of different faiths. Often the most rigorous and challenging answers come from religious traditions. They challenge us with their different language worlds and starting points, but also startle us with answers that express values which are often shared. The central aim of this book is to make available the basic tenets of six world religions -- their beliefs, experiences and convictions -- in which these shared values are grounded. We acknowledge that many other religious traditions and world views have important contributions to make to this debate and their omission is not one of principle but of space.

Any context has its strengths and weaknesses. It is sometimes suggested that the treatment of values and ethical issues in the Western world, even when faiths come together, is dominated by a Christian or post-Christian agenda, and that this is a weakness. From this standpoint any list of common topics such as those to be addressed in this book may be seen to reflect the concerns of the majority culture rather than minority faiths; the concerns of the West and not of other parts of the world, for example in any distinctions made between public and private lives and the inclusion of issues such as homosexuality or euthanasia. It might well be suggested that each faith should set out its own . . .

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