Christian Morality, Natural, Developing, Final: Being the Gifford Lectures, 1935-1936

Christian Morality, Natural, Developing, Final: Being the Gifford Lectures, 1935-1936

Christian Morality, Natural, Developing, Final: Being the Gifford Lectures, 1935-1936

Christian Morality, Natural, Developing, Final: Being the Gifford Lectures, 1935-1936

Excerpt

When I received the distinguished and unexpected honour of an invitation to deliver a course of Gifford Lectures, I had to consider very carefully whether I could discover a subject which would not only be fairly brought within the large limits of the Gifford Trust, but also would not lie too patently outside the narrow limits of my own capacity. I examined very closely the language of Lord Gifford's Will, and noted the plainly expressed design that the general subject, Natural Theology, should be liberally understood, and then I sought to discover how in fact the long succession of Gifford Lecturers had actually understood it. I found that the courses of Gifford Lectures had been remarkably diverse in type, treatment, and temper, that they had covered a wide range, and that, taken in their totality, they constituted an examination from many points of view of the entire subject of religion, its philosophical presuppositions, its primitive expressions, its historical development, its ethical consequences. I concluded, therefore, that I had a fairly free hand, and I decided to limit myself to a single aspect of the vast theme, and that an aspect which had long exercised my mind, and which, for many cogent reasons, has within recent years acquired a notable and even menacing prominence. The subject of my Lectures is Christian Morality, which I shall maintain to be natural, developing, and properly final.

In this preliminary Lecture I propose to take a general . . .

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