Happiness and the Christian Moral Life introduces students to Christian ethics through the lens of happiness. The book suggests that the heart of ethics is not rules and obligations but our deep desire for happiness and fulfillment. We achieve that happiness when we become people who love the good and seek it in everything we do.
The third edition of this reader-friendly text has been revised and updated throughout. It introduces Christian ethics with sensitivity towards readers who may not be Christian themselves. After an overview of basic concepts and key thinkers such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, subsequent chapters explore the importance of narrative in Christian ethics, the place of friendship and community in Christian moral life, the role of virtues in our quest for fulfillment, a Christian understanding of the person, a Christian theology of freedom, and false steps on the path to happiness. Final chapters discuss the role of conscience and prudence, love, and justice.
The third edition has been re-structured to better meet teaching needs by moving the discussion of narrative earlier in the book. This edition features fresh, global examples; revised introductions to key thinkers; discussions of tough, contemporary topics such as hook-up culture; careful consideration of the words of Pope Francis on themes ranging from consumerism and freedom to love and the environment; and more.
About the author
Paul J. Wadell is professor of theology and religious studies at St. Norbert College. He specializes in Christian ethics and has taught in this field for more than twenty years.
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