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Do the prophetic and reformist approaches in Christian ethics exclude one another? A responsibility ethics attempt at reconciliation

D. Etienne de Villiers
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 46, No 1 | a38 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v46i1.38 | © 2012 D. Etienne de Villiers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 July 2012 | Published: 05 October 2012

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D. Etienne de Villiers, Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

In the article the view that was expressed in, inter alia, the Kairos Document, that the prophetic and reformist approaches in Christian Ethics exclude one another, was challenged. A case was argued against this view by drawing on Reinhard Kratz’s book on the latest research findings on prophecy in the Old Testament, James Gustafson’s distinction of four modes of moral discourse and Walter Brueggemann’s view that prophetic texts are acts of imagination that offer and purpose ‘alternative worlds’. The conclusion was that the prophetic and reformist approaches rather complement, overlap and interpenetrate one another. In the last part of the article an argument was presented that both of the two approaches can be accommodated and integrated in a Christian ethics of responsibility.

 

Sluit die profetiese en hervormingsbenaderings in die Christelike etiek mekaar uit? ‘n Verantwoordelikheidsetiese poging tot versoening. In die artikel is standpunt ingeneem teen die beskouing wat onder andere in die Kairos Dokument uitdrukking vind, dat die profetiese en hervormingsbenaderings in die Christelike Etiek mekaar uitsluit. ‘n Saak is beredeneer teen hierdie beskouing met ‘n beroep op Reinhard Kratz se boek oor die nuutste bevindings oor Ou Testamentiese profesie, James Gustafson se onderskeiding van vier modi van morele diskoers en Walter Brueggemann se beskouing dat profetiese tekste verbeeldingryk aan ons die moontlikheid van ‘n alternatiewe wêreld voorhou. Die gevolgtrekking was dat die profetiese en hervormingsbenaderings mekaar eerder aanvul, oorvleuel en bevrug. In die laaste gedeelte van die artikel was geredeneer dat beide hierdie benaderings geakkommodeer en geïntegreer kan word in ‘n Christelike etiek van verantwoordelikheid.


Keywords

Christian ethics; prophetic approach; reformist approach; varieties of moral discourse; ethics of responsibility

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Crossref Citations

1. In search of an appropriate contemporary approach in Christian ethics: Max Weber’s ethic of responsibility as resource
D. Etienne De Villiers
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 71  issue: 1  year: 2015  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v71i1.2948