Original Research

The contribution of deontological Christian ethics to the contemporary human rights discourse

J. M. Vorster
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 43, No 3 | a234 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v43i3.234 | © 2009 J. M. Vorster | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 July 2009 | Published: 26 July 2009

About the author(s)

J. M. Vorster, School for Ecclesiastical Sciences, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

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This article examines the possible role of a Christian deonto- logical ethics in the contemporary human rights debate. It concludes that a Christian deontological ethics in the Reformed tradition can be positively engaged in the human rights debate when Biblical theological topics are transposed into moral directives applicable to the current human rights concerns, such as religious extremism, femicide, ideologies of intolerance and ecocide. As an example of the applicability of a Christian deon- tological ethics from a reformed perspective, the following Bibli- cal topics are investigated: human dignity on the basis of the “imago dei”, creation and creational integrity, the kingdom of God and forgiveness. Furthermore, the article proposes that other concepts can be added to this list such as the Biblical idea of life, eschatology, covenant and holiness.


Creation; Deontological Ethics; Ecocide; Femicide; Imago Dei


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