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Winter 2014/Fuller Live!

Houston, Menlo Park, and Pasadena



ET501: ETICA CRISTIANA [Christian Ethics]. Tommy Givens.

DESCRIPTION: The course presents Christian ethics as a discourse of the collective and personal formation of Jesus’ disciples by the guiding light of Scripture (with emphasis on peacemaking, truth-telling, economic faithfulness, sexual integrity, and prayer). Special attention will be paid to the colonial shape of the modern world and its import for Christian ethics, especially in the Latino context. The course will specifically address matters such as the place and function of Scripture, Christian understandings of social responsibility, the development of Christian virtue, the church’s relation to other Abrahamic communities as well as to the rest of the world, and casuistry of various kinds.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: Without some training in Christian ethics, Christians may find themselves too readily assuming the terms of what counts as “ethics” in current public discourse and then accommodating Christian living and reasoning to those terms. This course equips servants of the church to approach and teach ethics as primarily a matter of Christian discipleship and formation in the discipline of the Christian community and to understand the peculiar situation of the church’s current ethical challenges, particularly in/from the Latino context. Students should emerge from the course better able to embody with their fellow Christians the power of the gospel and to meet the ethical challenges presented by our time and place.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: As a result of completing this course, students should be able to articulate several predominant approaches to ethical reasoning and understanding among Christian communities past and present and describe the impact of those approaches on their own predispositions and patterns of reasoning and behavior. Students should also be able to express clearly how Christian ethics is related to Jesus, the people of God as a whole, and their local Christian community. Expressing this complex relation should include a nuanced understanding of the way that Scripture governs Christian ethics. As they relate Christian ethics to their local Christian communities, students should exhibit a theologically sensitive understanding of the modern developments that have shaped the fault lines of current ethical debate. They should be able to address intelligently the issues of that debate discussed in class (e.g., immigration) and begin to develop fruitful ways of approaching issues not directly discussed in class.

COURSE FORMAT: The course will meet for five Saturdays in the quarter for seven-hour sessions for discussion and lecture.


Berry, Wendell. Sexo, economía, libertad y comunidad. Nuevo Inicio, 2012. ISBN: 978-8493899769, Pub. Price 16,00 €, ($20.00) [208 pp.].

Boff, Leonardo. Ética y moral. Sal Terrae, 2004. ISBN: 978-8429315462, Pub. Price 7,00 € ($9.00) [136 pp.].

Cavanaugh, William. Ser consumidos: Economía y deseo en clave cristiana. Nuevo Inicio, 2011. ISBN: 978-8493748876, Pub. Price 16,00 € ($20.00) [145 pp.].

Yoder, John Howard. Jesús y la Realidad Política. Ediciones Certeza, 1985. ISBN: 978-0830850570, Free to registered students by publisher permission [220 pp.].

Course Packet. Includes articles/chapters by Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, Étienne Balibar, Karl Barth, José-Román Flecha, Stuart Hall, Alasdair MacIntyre, Elsa Tamez, and others.


  1. Weekly papers critically analyzing assigned readings with help from lectures (ca. 1000 words each, the first due the first day of class, together worth 50% of final grade).

  2. Book Review of Jesús y la Realidad Política by John Howard Yoder (ca. 1500 words, 20% of final grade).

  3. Final paper on one of several suggested topics (3500-4500 words, 30% of final grade).


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in Christian Ethics (ETH); meets MAT program requirement; and meets Seminary Core Requirement (SCR) for other MA degrees.


NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.