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By Robin Gill

Robin Gill's Textbook of Christian Ethics has been a popular&...course book&...with scholars and academics for over 20 years.&...Now in its 3rd variation this&...classic&...textbook has been thoroughly revised to b

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Extra resources for A Textbook of Christian Ethics, 3rd Edition

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The thirteenth centur y witnessed th e climax of the close relationshi p betwee n the Stat e and th e Catholi c Church , an d Aquina s never appeare d t o regar d th e overal l relationship a s problematic. Th e boundaries betwee n th e two were boundaries o f power and authority , no t o f opposin g aims , value s an d socia l orders , an d eve n Luther' s challenge wa s concerne d primaril y wit h th e forme r rathe r tha n th e latter . Neithe r Aquinas no r Luthe r conceive d o f anythin g resemblin g th e nineteenth - an d twentiet h century notions of the 'secula r State'.

I n part s o f the Ol d Testament , polygamy i s clearl y accepted , s o Augustine coul d no t brin g himsel f t o sa y that i t was ethically wrong an d eve n Luther , a t on e point , conclude d tha t i t woul d b e bette r fo r Philip o f Hesse to tak e a second wife , lik e the Ol d Testament patriarchs , rather than g o against Matthew' s prohibitio n o f divorce . I n thi s respec t Augustine' s argument s ar e particularly interesting. I n seeking to defen d th e Bibl e against Faustus' attacks he wrote: 23 A TEXTBOO K OF CHRISTIA N ETHICS Jacob the so n o f Isaac is charged with having committed a great crime because he ha d four wives .

However, a s th e 'perennia l philosopher ' o f hi s church , hi s wor k ha s had , unti l ver y recently, a position o f primacy afforded t o fe w in othe r churches . (7) Al l three were voluminous writer s and eve n present-da y collections o f their work require multi-volume editions. Fo r Augustine alone there are extant 11 3 books an d over 200 letter s an d 50 0 sermons . Amon g present-da y theologian s onl y Kar l Eart h i s comparable. But, perhaps inevitably , volum e fits uneasily with consistency .

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