Is religious ethics, religious enough? Even more on the RS A Level consultation!

November 24, 2014 · Posted in Blog 

What about the argument that the current study of ethics does not help develop and understanding of religion? This seems to be behind some of the thinking of the consultation. It is striking that the proposal of a systematic study of religion includes moral principles of that religion, apart from the section on philosophy, ethics and social sciences. It is almost as if a notion of the secular and sacred underpin the proposed changes. I am not sure if this was concious but it is clearly there.

One answer to this would be to strengthen the position of religious ethics inviting specifications to include religious understandings of dignity, religious rules and principles, social justice, duty and conscience, virtue and compassion, freedom and divine determinism for instance. These could be studied from the perspective of one (or two) religious traditions along with ideas of acts, ends, absolute and relative truth, ends and means etc, although it would require substantive curriculum time.

I think it could resolve the question of whether ethics addresses and explores religious life as well as the pursuit of the good life.


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