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Introduction to Christian Ethics


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About the Author

Ellen Ott Marshall is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Conflict Transformation at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. She is the author of Though the Fig Tree Does Not Blossom: Toward a Responsible Theology of Christian Hope; Choosing Peace through Daily Practices; Christians in the Public Square: Faith that Transforms Politics and editor of Conflict Transformation and Religion: Essays on Faith, Power, and Relationship.


"Ellen Ott Marshall's new Introduction to Christian Ethics is grounded in the novel and timely claim that `to study Christian ethics is to study conflict.' Deploying a methodology which is contextual, feminist, and Wesleyan, she masterfully explores major theological affirmations and methodological claims of Christian ethics through examples and case studies, all of which return again and again to conflict. This is an introductory text pitched as overview and demonstration, as illustrative, humble, and self-revealing rather than comprehensive, proud, and distant. Marshall claims that `one cannot pursue the Kingdom of God without entering into conflict.' She is absolutely right, and this introductory textbook, helps us understand why. Highly recommended." -David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director, Center for Theology & Public Life, Mercer University; author of Still Christian: Following Jesus Out of American Evangelicalism

If you have been looking for an innovative text to teach introductory Christian ethics, then Ellen Ott Marshall's new book is it. "How do we live the good life in the midst of ongoing conflict?" Marshalluses conflict as an interpretive lens to explicate and rethink theological concepts, such as imago Dei, sin, and reconciliation and ethical theories, such as teleology, deontology and responsibility. Her keen scholarly insights are also practical insights drawn from experiences of conflict in church and society. With this book, Professor Marshall provides a means to teach our students how to think ethically about and be moral agents who respond faithfully to the ongoing conflict of twenty-first century life in church and society. -- Marcia Y. Riggs, J. Erskine Love Professor of Christian Ethics, Columbia Theological Seminary

"By acknowledging that conflict is at the heart of the human experience, Marshall offers a radically new and innovative approach to the task of Christian ethics, one that offers creative possibilities for deepening moral reflection. Imaginative, impassioned, practical, and imminently accessible, this book is an essential read." - Rebecca Todd Peters, Professor of Religious Studies and Director, Poverty and Social Justice Program, Elon University

"In a moment when the public meaning of Christianity and Christian moral responsibility couldn't be more contested comes this excellent text by Ellen Ott Marshall. Introduction to Christian Ethicsbrings us on a journey of careful critical thinking rooted in clear methodology so we may engage the urgent collective question "how do we live the good life in the midst of conflict?" Marshall doesn't merely ensure her readers take seriously tradition, reason, texts and contexts; she also demonstrates that our engagement of such must include critique and reconstruction for the sake of justice and social transformation. She ably demonstrates how these are part of the social-ethical mission at the heart of the Christian tradition. I am eager to use this work with my own students and excited about what it will enable them to go forth and be and do in the world." -Jennifer Harvey, Professor of Religion, Drake University

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