David P. Gushee, Ph.D.


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Christian Ethics is the academic discipline which serves the Christian churches by reflecting on the moral dimensions of our life together in Christ. The Society of Christian Ethics, for which I am a board member, is the premier professional association for the study of Christian Ethics. This page includes a number of links related to the discipline of Christian Ethics, beginning with a defense of the field in Dr. Gushee’s essay, "Can Christian Ethics Be Saved?"

A Beginner's Reading List in Christian Ethics

I am often asked questions like:

"What should I read if I want a general exposure to comtemporary Christian Ethics?" Here is a list of books that is terribly incomplete but might at least be a starting point for books that have been important to me.

Birch, Bruce C., and Larry L. Rasmussen. Bible & Ethics in the Christian Life. Rev. and expanded ed. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1989.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship. New York: Touchstone, 1995.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, and Eberhard Bethge. Ethics. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Cahill, Lisa Sowle, and James F. Childress. Christian Ethics: Problems and Prospects. Cleveland, Ohio: Pilgrim Press, 1996.

Curran, Charles E.. The Catholic Moral Tradition Today. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1999.

De La Torre, Miguel A.. Latina/o Social Ethics: Moving Beyond Eurocentric Moral Thinking. Waco, Tex.: Baylor University Press, 2010.

Dorrien, Gary J.. Soul in Society: The Making and Renewal of Social Christianity. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995.

Fowl, Stephen E., and L. Gregory Jones. Reading in Communion: Scripture and Ethics in Christian Life. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1998.

Gustafson, James M.. Christ and the Moral Life. Library of theological ethics ed. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.

Harrison, Beverly Wildung. Making the Connections: Essays in Feminist Social Ethics. Boston: Beacon Pr., 1985.

Hauerwas, Stanley. The Peaceable Kingdom: a Primer in Christian Ethics. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983.

Hauerwas, Stanley, and William H. Willimon. Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1989.

Hays, Richard B.. The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation : A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996.

Hollinger, Dennis P.. Head, Heart, and Hands: Bringing Together Christian Thought, Passion, and Action. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2005.

King, Martin Luther, and Coretta Scott King. Strength to Love. Fortress Press gift ed. Minneapolis, Minn.: Fortress, 2010.

Lebacqz, Karen. Justice in an Unjust World: Foundations for a Christian Approach to Justice. Minneapolis: Augsburg Pub. House, 1987.

McClendon, James William. Ethics. 2nd ed. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002.

Miles, Rebekah. The Pastor as Moral Guide. Minneapolis, Minn.: Fortress Press, 1999.

Mott, Stephen Charles. Biblical Ethics and Social Change. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Mouw, Richard J.. The God Who Commands. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1990.

Niebuhr, H. Richard. The Responsible Self: an Essay in Christian Moral Philosophy. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 19991963.

Niebuhr, Reinhold. Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.

O'Donovan, Oliver. Resurrection and Moral Order: An Outline for Evangelical Ethics. 2nd ed. Leicester, England: Apollos ;, 1994.

Paul, John II. The Gospel of life: Evangelium Vitae : Encyclical Letter. Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 1995.

Pohl, Christine D.. Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 1999.

Rae, Scott B.. Moral Choices: an Introduction to Ethics. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House, 2000.

Rasmussen, Larry L.. Earth Community, Earth Ethics. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1996.

Shriver, Donald W.. An Ethic for Enemies: Forgiveness in Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 19971995.

Sider, Ronald J.. Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving From Affluence to Generosity. [New ed., 5th ed. Nashville, Tenn.: W Publishing Group, 1997.

Smedes, Lewis B.. Mere Morality: What God Expects From Ordinary People. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 19951983.

Stassen, Glen Harold. Just Peacemaking: The New Paradigm for the Ethics of Peace and War. New ed. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2008.

Thurman, Howard. Jesus and the Disinherited. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1996.

Tutu, Desmond. No Future Without Forgiveness. New York, N.Y.: Doubleday, 2000.

Verhey, Allen. The Great Reversal: Ethics and the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1984.

Verhey, Allen. Remembering Jesus: Christian Community, Scripture, and the Moral Life. Pbk. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2005.

Volf, Miroslav. Exclusion and Embrace: a Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996.

Wogaman, J. Philip. Christian Ethics: a Historical Introduction. 2nd ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011.

Yoder, John Howard. The Politics of Jesus: Vicit Agnus Noster. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, 1994.