Original Research

The distinctiveness of Christian morality – Reflections after 30 years

D. Etienne de Villiers
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 33, No 2 | a758 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v33i2.758 | © 2012 D. Etienne de Villiers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 June 2012 | Published: 06 December 2012

About the author(s)

D. Etienne de Villiers, 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.


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


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