Religious Ethics, History, and the Rise of Modern Moral Philosophy: Focus Introduction
Article first published online: 17 DEC 2002
2000 Journal of Religious Ethics, Inc.
Journal of Religious Ethics
Volume 28, Issue 2, pages 167–188, Summer 2000
How to Cite
Herdt, J. A. (2000), Religious Ethics, History, and the Rise of Modern Moral Philosophy: Focus Introduction. Journal of Religious Ethics, 28: 167–188. doi: 10.1111/0384-9694.00043
- Issue published online: 17 DEC 2002
- Article first published online: 17 DEC 2002
- moral philosophy;
In this introduction to a cluster of three articles on eighteenth-century ethics written by Mark Larrimore, John Bowlin, and Mark Cladis, the author maintains that although the broad narrative tracing the emergence of a religiously neutral or naturalistic moral language in the eighteenth century is a familiar one, many central questions concerning this development remain unanswered and require further historical study. Against those who contend that historical study is antecedent to, but not part of, the proper substance of religious ethics, the author argues that historical and normative studies are interdependent, each helping to define the questions central to the other. The introduction concludes with an overview of the three articles and suggests ways in which religious ethicists can, in the future, make a distinctive contribution to the history of ethics.