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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.31 n.1 Pretoria  2010 



Prejudice as moral action in Christian ethical decision-making



Stephanus J. Myburgh

Methodist Church of southern Africa, Mokopane, South Africa





Given the many approaches regarding the use of the Bible, the ethical work in biblical interpretation and the work of being concerned with an ethical issue affecting the Christian as a moral agent cannot be separated from one another. This article deals with that affinity between the approach of the interpreter as moral agent, using the Bible in his or her ethical decision-making and aspects that constitute fundamental starting points for him or her in this ethical decision-making, with regard to the liberation of prejudices as that which makes understanding for moral action possible. It is maintained in the article that prejudices that are conformable to the ways in which responsibility should qualify Christian ethics in general make for responsible use of the Bible in Christian ethical decision-making. Prejudices (pre-understanding) that are grounded in an ethics of responsibility allow for the interpreter to adhere to the truth claim of a text, which can only be had from hermeneutical work that promotes prejudices in an intentional and critical way as the link between past text and current interpreter.

Keywords: Christian ethics; ethics of conviction; hermeneutics; objective thinking; prejudices responsibility



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Stephanus Myburgh
Methodist Church of southern Africa
PO Box 355
Mokopane 0600
South Africa

Received: 14 Sept. 2009
Accepted: 20 Feb. 2010
Published: 06 May 2010



Note: This article is based on research done for a MA (Theol.) dissertation; Undoing Closure: Responsible use of the Bible in Christian Ethical Decision Making, in the department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics in the faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria.

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