Many of the tensions between and among churches—and Christians themselves—can be traced to the different, even conflicting, positions they take on important ethical issues that face the churches and society.
Yet, as history demonstrates, the traditions themselves grow, develop, and even reverse their convictions and authoritative teaching about matters of ethics. In this volume, that historical dynamism is opened and probed for clues about the occasions for and criteria of changes within traditions. Here expert historians, theologians, and ethicists insightfully examine, for example, usury, slavery, marriage, suicide, as well as freedom of religion, apartheid, and involvement in war and peace. They show how, over the centuries, individual traditions have deepened, developed, and occasionally overturned their teaching in pursuit of a more authentic moral discipleship.
Myriam Wijlens, a Dutch Roman Catholic theologian and canon lawyer, is a full professor and former vice-president of the University of Erfurt (Germany). Her research focuses on necessary reforms of canonical structures in light of ecumenically relevant ecclesiological developments. On behalf of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, she serves on several ecumenical dialogues.
Vladimir Shmaliy is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy of Religion at the Russian Orthodox Church Postgraduate School and at the MEPhi University (Moscow). An archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Church, he has served his church in many ecumenical dialogues and as a secretary of the Theological Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate. His research has ranged widely, including in theological anthropology and religion and science.
Simone Sinn is Programme Executive with the WCC Faith and Order Commission and Professor of Ecumenical Theology at the Ecumenical Institute, Bossey, Switzerland. She holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Münster, Germany, and is ordained in the Evangelische Landeskirche in Württemberg. Her research and publications have centred on ecumenism and interreligious relations.