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The distinctiveness of Christian morality – Reflections after 30 years

D. Etienne de Villiers

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 33, No 2 (2012), 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v33i2.758

Submitted: 27 June 2012
Published:  06 December 2012


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.

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Author affiliations

D. Etienne de Villiers, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Christian morality; Christian ethics; Distinctiveness; Moral virtues; Moral norms


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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