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First published in 1985 as Les sources de la morale chr�tienne by University Press Fribourg, this work has been recognized by scholars worldwide as one of the most important books in the field of moral theology. Already its acclaim has warranted translations into Spanish, Italian, and Polish. Now it is available for the first time in an English translation, which includes First published in 1985 as Les sources de la morale chr�tienne by University Press Fribourg, this work has been recognized by scholars worldwide as one of the most important books in the field of moral theology. Already its acclaim has warranted translations into Spanish, Italian, and Polish. Now it is available for the first time in an English translation, which includes a new preface. Writing in a tone that is reconciliatory rather than polemical, Servais Pinckaers returns Christian ethics to its sources, the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. After discussing the complementary domains of morality and the behavioral and natural sciences, he traces the scriptural themes--particularly in the Sermon on the Mount and the writings of St. Paul--that most influence moral instruction. He then examines in depth the history of moral theology from the patristic period to the present day. This history includes a discussion of the relation of Protestant and Catholic views of Christian ethics. The unique feature of Pinckaers's contemporary Thomistic view is its emphasis on the virtues, gifts, and evangelical Beatitudes as the heart of the Christian moral life. His approach to morality results in what he calls the freedom for excellence, a notion of freedom that he contrasts with the nominalist concept of the freedom of indifference, which has dominated moral theology since the fourteenth century. As a complete handbook of moral theology, this book will serve the needs of both beginning and advanced students in seminary and university courses in moral theology and ethics. For Catholic readers in particular, it will provide the background and perspective needed to achieve a fuller understanding of the moral teaching of the Catechism and of the encyclical Veritatis splendor. Servais Pinckaers, O.P., is professor of moral theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. His most recent books include L'Evangile et la Morale (1989) and La Morale Catholique (1991). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Pinckaers' wonderful book is characterized by a return to the centrality of the virtues for how one thinks about the moral life. . . ."--First Things" "This work provides a succinct overview of the history of moral theology, written with a sureness of touch developed by long years of research. . . . There is no comparable single work in English which explains what moral theology is and what it is about."--Brian V. Johnstone, C.Ss.R., Alphonsian Academy, Rome "A very readable translation of Pinckaers's award-winning work in foundational ethics...."--Religious Studies Review"


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First published in 1985 as Les sources de la morale chr�tienne by University Press Fribourg, this work has been recognized by scholars worldwide as one of the most important books in the field of moral theology. Already its acclaim has warranted translations into Spanish, Italian, and Polish. Now it is available for the first time in an English translation, which includes First published in 1985 as Les sources de la morale chr�tienne by University Press Fribourg, this work has been recognized by scholars worldwide as one of the most important books in the field of moral theology. Already its acclaim has warranted translations into Spanish, Italian, and Polish. Now it is available for the first time in an English translation, which includes a new preface. Writing in a tone that is reconciliatory rather than polemical, Servais Pinckaers returns Christian ethics to its sources, the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. After discussing the complementary domains of morality and the behavioral and natural sciences, he traces the scriptural themes--particularly in the Sermon on the Mount and the writings of St. Paul--that most influence moral instruction. He then examines in depth the history of moral theology from the patristic period to the present day. This history includes a discussion of the relation of Protestant and Catholic views of Christian ethics. The unique feature of Pinckaers's contemporary Thomistic view is its emphasis on the virtues, gifts, and evangelical Beatitudes as the heart of the Christian moral life. His approach to morality results in what he calls the freedom for excellence, a notion of freedom that he contrasts with the nominalist concept of the freedom of indifference, which has dominated moral theology since the fourteenth century. As a complete handbook of moral theology, this book will serve the needs of both beginning and advanced students in seminary and university courses in moral theology and ethics. For Catholic readers in particular, it will provide the background and perspective needed to achieve a fuller understanding of the moral teaching of the Catechism and of the encyclical Veritatis splendor. Servais Pinckaers, O.P., is professor of moral theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. His most recent books include L'Evangile et la Morale (1989) and La Morale Catholique (1991). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Pinckaers' wonderful book is characterized by a return to the centrality of the virtues for how one thinks about the moral life. . . ."--First Things" "This work provides a succinct overview of the history of moral theology, written with a sureness of touch developed by long years of research. . . . There is no comparable single work in English which explains what moral theology is and what it is about."--Brian V. Johnstone, C.Ss.R., Alphonsian Academy, Rome "A very readable translation of Pinckaers's award-winning work in foundational ethics...."--Religious Studies Review"

30 review for The Sources of Christian Ethics

  1. 5 out of 5

    John

    A very important book - but not an easy read. This is a critical overview of Christian ethics, contrasting the modern ethics that emphasizes obligation and commandments to the ethical approach found in the Fathers of the Church and St. Thomas that started from the natural inclination to happiness, the importance of the Beatitudes, and the virtues. This book is a very good - though a little repetitive at times - analysis that opens up the way toward an ethics based first of all on the Sermon on th A very important book - but not an easy read. This is a critical overview of Christian ethics, contrasting the modern ethics that emphasizes obligation and commandments to the ethical approach found in the Fathers of the Church and St. Thomas that started from the natural inclination to happiness, the importance of the Beatitudes, and the virtues. This book is a very good - though a little repetitive at times - analysis that opens up the way toward an ethics based first of all on the Sermon on the Mount and which is based in and fulfills our natural inclinations. The author is highly indebted to the work of St. Thomas Aquinas which is central to his understanding of ethics. This book demands effort and concentration but it is well worth it. I finished this book a day after finishing Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia. Pinckaers helped me understand what is happening in the pope's apostolic exhortation. Most fascinating is the positive approach to sexuality that both Pickaers adn Pope Francis exhibit - based, I'm guessing, on a positive reading of Thomas Aquinas on sexuality.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Conor

    It has been 10 years since I read this book, but I remember being blown away by Fr. Pinckaer's approach. I was reading this in juxtaposition to some very legalistic approaches to ethics and Fr. Pinckaer's writing was fresh, free, and liberating. As someone else put in a review, Pinckaer's approach is one of freedom for excellence. The Beatitudes are the place he starts his reflection on the moral life of the Christian. This book is beautiful and an indispensable read for those who want to be fam It has been 10 years since I read this book, but I remember being blown away by Fr. Pinckaer's approach. I was reading this in juxtaposition to some very legalistic approaches to ethics and Fr. Pinckaer's writing was fresh, free, and liberating. As someone else put in a review, Pinckaer's approach is one of freedom for excellence. The Beatitudes are the place he starts his reflection on the moral life of the Christian. This book is beautiful and an indispensable read for those who want to be familiar with the renewal of Christian moral theology.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Luke Daghir

    Pinckaers knocked this book out of the ball park. A wonderful read. Here are my thoughts: 1. I read this book for class and the class helped me much to understand the themes in the book better. However, Pinckaers is such a clear writer that he teaches very well in this book. 2. A thought I have is the history that the author is able to present with clarity. In reading this book one is introduced to an historical understanding of the differing viewpoints of saints, other thinkers, and that of differ Pinckaers knocked this book out of the ball park. A wonderful read. Here are my thoughts: 1. I read this book for class and the class helped me much to understand the themes in the book better. However, Pinckaers is such a clear writer that he teaches very well in this book. 2. A thought I have is the history that the author is able to present with clarity. In reading this book one is introduced to an historical understanding of the differing viewpoints of saints, other thinkers, and that of differing cultures and religions. 4. The biggest take-away for me in this book is that of natural law. The concept that things act according to their nature. This was a key theme in the book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Lehner

    I read this book as part of Deacon Study program. It is packed full of information and history. I really liked the depth of knowledge provided here regarding ethics. It is based on Scriptures and recognizes the shortcomings of the current approach while proposing a new way forward. The author goes through the development of morals and ethics through Church history, and mixes in philosophical approaches as well. It's a hefty book and will take some time to read through but it provides a lot of kn I read this book as part of Deacon Study program. It is packed full of information and history. I really liked the depth of knowledge provided here regarding ethics. It is based on Scriptures and recognizes the shortcomings of the current approach while proposing a new way forward. The author goes through the development of morals and ethics through Church history, and mixes in philosophical approaches as well. It's a hefty book and will take some time to read through but it provides a lot of knowledge food for thought.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Agustin Estrada

    ¡De lo mejor que hay para entender todo el edificio de la moral cristiana! /AE

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jon Wisnieski

    One of the best and most influential books I have ever read. Completely changed my understanding of ethics and human freedom.

  7. 5 out of 5

    FranzLorenzon

    A must-read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jan Petrozzi

    This book contains a wealth of information, but it was a bit repetitious.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cornelius Pulung

    The best introduction (in fact it is more than an introduction) to moral theology based on insightful teaching of Sts. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Father Pinckaers puts the question of happiness as the last end of humanity and integrates and synthesize other things such as virtues, freedom, natural inclination, grace in relation to universal desire to happiness. A must read for students of theology.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Br. Justin Marie Brophy, O.P.

    Wonderful text. Very readable and quick-moving. Very compelling arguments for a return to a telos-based moral theology. While the author is a great champion of St. Thomas, he also provides very good arguments for a return to the sources of moral theology. A very balanced text that anyone can read with great benefit.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Jaap van Peperstraten

    Why christian moral theology shows that the moral life does not have much to do with 'rule-following', and freedom is not what most people think it is. Why christian moral theology shows that the moral life does not have much to do with 'rule-following', and freedom is not what most people think it is.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    There's nothing quite like getting back to the sources and remembering that the moral life is all about love and happiness. There's nothing quite like getting back to the sources and remembering that the moral life is all about love and happiness.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    An important work by one of the most preeminent Roman Catholic moral philosophers of the 20th century.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Tsakanikas

    A must read to understand the point of moral theology and the shifts since Saint Thomas...effects of nominalism etc...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    a true Dominican; true to my heart.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Fahrig

    A superb moral theology text by Servais Pinckaers, OP.

  17. 5 out of 5

    R.b. O'gorman

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paula Manchester

  19. 4 out of 5

    Esperance A Mulonda

  20. 5 out of 5

    Francesco

  21. 5 out of 5

    Seth Lemaire

  22. 5 out of 5

    Paweł Skubis

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anna Berkeley

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aren

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Langr

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Ahimsa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Richard Graham

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Torbeck

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily Jeffries

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