SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.33 issue2The neglected context: The growing impact of modernity on the South African population and its spiritual, economic and ecological consequences author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Verbum et Ecclesia

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

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.33 n.2 Pretoria  2012 



The distinctiveness of Christian morality - Reflections after 30 years



D. Etienne de Villiers

Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa





I completed my doctoral dissertation on The distinctiveness of Christian morality in 1978. In this article, now more than 30 years later, I critically examined the extent to which the view that I developed in my doctoral dissertation is still valid today and to what extent it stands to be corrected in the light of developments in Christian ethics in the meantime. Firstly, I provided a brief summary of the view developed in the dissertation. Secondly, I discussed the influential alternative view of Stanley Hauerwas and attempted to identify ways in which his view necessitates corrections to my own view in the dissertation. Thirdly, I criticised the one-sidedness of Hauerwas's view on the distinctiveness of Christian morality and discussed ways in which we need to go beyond Hauerwas's view in order to develop a more satisfactory and also more inclusive approach.



“Full text available only in PDF format”




Bayertz, K., 2004, Warum überhaupt moralisch sein?, Beck, Munich.         [ Links ]

Biggar, N., 2011, Behaving in public: How to do Christian ethics, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI.         [ Links ]

Brümmer, V., 2008, Wat doen ons as ons bid? Oor die aard van gebed en geloof, Bybel-Media, Wellington.         [ Links ]

De Villiers, D.E., 1978, Die eiesoortigheid van die Christelike moraal, Rodopi, Amsterdam.         [ Links ]

Hauerwas, S., 1974, Vision and virtue: Essays in Christian ethical reflection, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN.         [ Links ]

Hauerwas, S., 1977, Truthfulness and tragedy: Further explorations in Christian ethics, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN.         [ Links ]

Hauerwas, S., 1981, A community of character: Toward a constructive Christian social ethic, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN.         [ Links ]

Hauerwas, S., 1983, The peacable kingdom: A primer in Christian ethics, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN.         [ Links ]

Hauerwas, S., [1983] 2001, 'On keeping theological ethics theological', in J. Berkman & M. Cartwright (eds.), The Hauerwas Reader, pp. 51-74, Duke University Press, Durham.

Hauerwas, S., 1991, After Christendom: How the church is to behave if freedom, justice, and a Christian nation are bad ideas, Abingdon, Nashville, TN.         [ Links ]

Hays, R., 1996, The moral vision of the New Testament, T & T Clarke, Edinburgh.         [ Links ]

Mealey, A.M., 2009, The identity of Christian morality, Ashgate, Farnham.         [ Links ]

Warnock, C.J., 1967, Contemporary moral philosophy, Macmillan, London.         [ Links ]



Etienne de Villiers
PO Box 294
Pringle Bay 7196
South Africa

Received: 27 June 2012
Accepted: 28 Aug. 2012
Published: 06 Dec. 2012

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License