The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics

Volume 18, 1998

John Crossley
Pages 93-117

Schleiermacher's Christian Ethics in Relation to His Philosophical Ethics

The paper argues that while Schleiermacher intends to base Christian ethics on the Christian principle of a supra-rational knowledge of God's will communicated solely through Christ, and not available to human reason, Schleiermacher nevertheless borrows for his Christian ethics from his philosophical ethics. He is able to do this because his philosophical ethics, as distinct from Kant's, incorporates insights from religious feeling. Schleiermacher's Christian ethics, therefore, is more a theory of Christian, reformative action in the church and the state than a full-blown religious ethics.