Christian Ethics, Public Debate, and Pluralistic Society

Article by Jeppe Bach Nikolajsen in International Journal of Public Theology.

In all its diversity, Lutheran ethics places a pronounced emphasis on the universal aspects of theological ethics. This article argues that due to the increasing pluralization of many societies in recent decades, however, it is becoming more and more relevant to develop the particular aspects of theological ethics in the Lutheran tradition. Holding together both the universal and particular aspects of theological ethics constitutes a position of relevance for a pluralistic societal situation. Such a position enables the Christian church to maintain its distinctiveness and, at the same time, to be engaged in dialogue with other positions. In this way, the church will at once stand for a tradition-determined distinctiveness and be engaged in a tradition-transcending dialogue. Consequently, this position is characterized by both distinctiveness and openness.