Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Christian Social Teachings: A Reader in Christian Social Ethics from the Bible to the Present

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Christian Social Teachings: A Reader in Christian Social Ethics from the Bible to the Present

Article excerpt

Christian Social Teachings: A Reader in Christian Social Ethics from the Bible to the Present. Edited by George W. Forell. Revised and updated by James M. Childs. Second edition. Minneapolis, Minn.: Fortress Press, 2013. 183 pp. $39.00 (paper).

This is a fine collection of many important texts in Christian social ethics with helpful features like competent introductions and suggestions for further reading. Much like J. Philip Wogamans Christian Ethics: A Historical Introduction (1993), the material is organized historically, beginning with the Bible and ending with contemporary readings, though this volume focuses much more on current areas like biomedical ethics, environmental ethics, and war. In general, the editors devote considerably more space to recent works than to earlier ones. The divisions also become more topically specific as time goes on. Early figures like Chrysostom and Augustine have their own chapters, as do themes like mysticism and the medieval papacy. About the last half of the book is entirely organized around topics like womanism, feminism, justice and liberation, human sexuality, and the kinds of ethics I mentioned above. Because of this, different parts of the book seem best suited to different purposes, probably reflecting the fact that the first edition, published in 1966, mostly followed people and movements rather than topics.

It is hard to envision a class designed to handle all that is going on in this text both historically and thematically. I can imagine constructive inquiries into how Christian thinking on, say, the churchAvorld relation has changed over time, which many of the readings such as those by Luther and Anabaptist writers address, as do later selections by Yoder and Hauerwas. But orchestrating this kind of inquiry will require a lot of effort given the book's structure. Likewise with war, to which the editors devote a chapter with readings from three recent and contemporary authors (John Paul II, David Hoekema, and Jean Bethke Elshtain) while some earlier material deals with war under other headings (for example, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Suárez, and the Quaker Rules of Discipline). The material is here for a teacher or student to trace war historically but, again, it will require some organization that differs from the book's overall structure. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.