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Christian Ethics: Lessons from a 2,000-Year Tradition

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Christian Ethics: Lessons from a 2,000-Year Tradition

  • President Emeritus of Notre Dame University
12 Lectures (4 CDs)

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How can we fight terrorists without killing “the quality of mercy” in our own souls? What is torture? What ethical considerations should govern the use of force, even in the name of a good cause? Can there ever be such a thing as a “just” war?

These timely questions are not new.

Building on Jewish foundations, Christians have a 2,000-year-old ethical tradition of wrestling with vital questions of right and wrong, means and ends, and how to engage people or nations who wish us harm. Drawing on this rich tradition, we can better understand vital current issues while avoiding past mistakes.

To help you explore some of the great ethical questions of our day, former President of the University of Notre Dame Edward (Monk) Malloy, C.S.C., Ph.D. (Christian Ethics), created this extraordinary series. In it, he plumbs the resources of Christian thought and history. He explores traditions of pacifism and just-war theory while considering the lessons that can be learned from the Crusades and the Inquisition.

Fr. Malloy brings a lifetime of research, reflection, and writing on Christian ethics to his presentations, and it shows. He weighs the oldest Christian tradition of “pacifism” sympathetically, and credits its prophetic value, while finding it less than adequate as a guide to the relationship between force and justice. To fill that role, he turns to the tradition of just war.

The idea of “just” war is not without its own problems, of course. Yet just war appears as the best-available option when contrasted not only with pacifism, but also with the misbegotten attitudes that led to the Crusades, and thence to the Inquisition, in medieval and early-modern Christendom.

Through this well-taught course, you explore some of the most pressing ethic issues of our day in light of a powerful 2,000 ethical tradition.

About Your Presenter

Father Edward "Monk" Malloy is President Emeritus of Notre Dame University. Father Malloy served for 18 years as the University's 16th president, and 5 years as Vice President. He is a full Professor in the Theology Department.

Fr. Malloy is the author of six books and more than 50 articles and book chapters. An ethicist by training, he is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Society of Christian Ethics. He serves on several boards of four universities.

Father Malloy earned his doctorate in Christian ethics from Vanderbilt University in 1975, and has been awarded 24 honorary degrees. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English from Notre Dame in 1963 and 1967, and a second master's degree, in theology, in 1969 while studying for the priesthood. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1970 and became a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Topic Titles

  • The Experience of 9/11 and Its Aftermath
  • Christian Perspectives on War and Peace
  • Christian Pacifism: Historical
  • Christian Pacifism: Assessment
  • Just War: Historical
  • Just War: Assessment
  • The Crusades and the Inquisition
  • Terrorism
  • Religious Terrorism
  • Suicide Attacks as a Form of Terrorism
  • Torture
  • The Christian Tradition on War and Peace in an Age of Terrorism

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