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The Sources of Christian Ethics, 3rd Edition 3rd ed. Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0813208183
ISBN-10: 0813208181
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Recognized by scholars worldwide as one of the most important books in the field of moral theology, this book returns Christian ethics to its sources: the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 489 pages
  • Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press; 3rd ed. edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813208181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813208183
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Have you ever been to a class on Morality or Ethics at a Church or School, and you were basically told a bunch of "do's and don'ts?" Fr. Pinckaers finally revealed to me why so many leave the Church and why so many are bored with Morality. He traces for us a brief history of Ethics and Morality and shows how people like William of Ockham and Immanuel Kant destroyed morality by focusing on the Commandments of God instead of the Virtues of God. God is now viewed in modern society as a mere law giver, arbitrary and exacting; whereas in ancient and medival times, climaxing with St. Thomas Aquinas, God was viewed as Father and Laws were regarded as Virtue builders loving instructions to His Children. This text is being used at one of the greatest universities in America, Fransican University of Steubenville in Ohio, in several classes. This is just to attest to its truth, beauty and goodness, which i discovered when reading it as a hobby. I'm 19 years old, i was 18 whenever i purchased it, and i can honestly say that this book will open your eyes to the truth, and you will love every minute of it. Do's and Don't melt away and become What More can i do for you Lord? Get this book now for a more Scriptural, more Scholastic, more Thomistic, more Catholic, more real view of Morality and Ethics, centered around the Sermon on the Mount.
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Format: Paperback
Fr. Pinckaers' book is a wonderful overview of Christian ethics, calling for a renewal in the methodology of moral theologians. I've found it to be good, though laborious, spiritual reading. He gives an overview of Christian ethics, followed by a history of the study of moral theology from the age of the Patristics. He also covers Ockham's nominalism and how it destroyed the traditional Christian attitude towards morality. Finally, he studies the virtues, freedom and natural law in the tradition of the Fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas. Not leisure reading, but good foundational reading for those who wish to study theology.
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Format: Paperback
Fr. Pinckaers book presents a lifetime of research into Catholic Moral Theology from the Patristic era to the present, especially focusing on the atmospher after Trent, and the problems posed by the Protestant Reformation, and Modern Philosophy.

Pinckaers shows us that many manuals of moral theology, while presenting orthodox doctrine, present the wrong reasons for that doctrine. Many books while claiming to follow St. Thomas and his brilliant Virtue Theory, actually are closer to Kant imperative: that virtue is following the Law for the Law's own sake, rather than for the sake of virtue.

As a result many books rely soley on the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) rather than look at them as part of a whole, in light of the Sermon on the Mount.

Pinckaers makes a terrific contribution to Catholic Moral Theology, and examines in great detail the works of Scripture, St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the protestant reformers Luther and Calvin. The book is also not filled with overly technical language. It is written in such a way that an athiest who has never heard an iota about Catholic or Protestant Moral Theology could pick up the book and understand it. Pinckaers is the most emminent moral theologian of our day.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful work of Christian ethics. It recovers the classical tradition of virtue ethics, as distinct from the Kantian law-based approach or the rules and legalism of the manuals for confessors. Like classical Aristotelian and medieval- Christian ethics, it understands ethics in terms of true human happiness rather than emphasizing obligations and the resolving of quandaries. But it does not fall into the relativistic tendencies of modern secular virtue ethics. On the contrary, it is firmly within the Thomistic tradition of moral theology and orthodox in its approach to morality.

Servais distinguishes the nominalist concept of freedom, the freedom of indifference, which has dominated ethics and moral theology since shortly after Thomas's death, from a freedom for excellence rooted in the natural law and what constitutes and is required for human flourishing.

Together with the shorter, more accessible Morality: The Catholic View, with a preface by Alasdair MacIntyre, this book makes a profoundly important contribution to moral theology in our time.
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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.
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