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The virtue of Bonhoeffer's ethics: a study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ethics in relation to virtue ethics

By LYNNE JENNIFER MOBERLY

Abstract

Jennifer Moberly, 'The Virtue of Bonhoeffer's Ethics: A Study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ethics in Relation to Virtue Ethics' (PhD, 2009)\ud \ud This study first explores the prima facie reasons for rejecting the possibility of seeing a close relationship between Bonhoeffer's Ethics and virtue ethics. However, a closer reading of his texts, and the examination of formulations of virtue ethics by Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Alasdair MacIntyre, lead to the conclusin that those grounds are insufficient for dismissing the possibility of such a relationship. Instead there is compelling evidence for the presence of virtue-ethical aspects in his treatment of justification and sanctification, his implicit anthropology and holistic conecption of human life, and especially in the theme of 'conformation' and the notion of 'simplicity'. Given the fact that there are some ways in which Bonhoeffer's Ethics appears to be positively related to virtue ethics, the study then examines how these aspects are related to elements of Barthian divine command ethics which are also present in Bonhoeffer's conception. The suggested conclusion is that the two forms of ethical thought were used throughout the writing periods in a dialectical integration within an overall vision of the agent participating (by grace) in the reality that Christ has reconciled all reality to God. Finally, the thesis considers how this understanding of Bonhoeffer's Ethics may be of use within contemporary debates, and advocates seeing it as a distinctive example of how virtue ethics may be articulated without compromising the role of grace

Topics: "Dietrich Bonhoeffer", "virtue ethics", "ethics", "divine command ethics"
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.dur.ac.uk:89
Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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