Christian ethics  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The first meeting on the topic of Christian ethics, after the Sermon on the Mount and Great Commission (circa 30), was the Council of Jerusalem (circa 50), which decreed the Apostolic Decree forbidding idolatry, fornication, and blood and things strangled as the minimum requirements for new converts — which is seen by many, beginning with Augustine as derived from Noahide Law while some modern scholars reject the connection to Noahide Law and instead see as the basis. See also Old Testament Law directed at non-Jews and Leviticus 18.

Christian ethics developed further while Early Christians were subjects of the Roman Empire. From the time Nero blamed Christians for setting Rome ablaze (64 AD) until Galarius (311 AD), persecutions against Christians erupted periodically. Consequently, Early Christian ethics included discussions of how believers should relate to Roman authority and to the empire, see also Render unto Caesar....

Under the Emperor Constantine I (312-337), Christianity became a legal religion. While some scholars debate whether Constantine's conversion to Christianity was authentic or simply matter of political expediency, Constantine's decree made the empire safe for Christian practice and belief. Consequently, issues of Christian doctrine, ethics and church practice were debated openly, see for example the First Council of Nicaea and the First seven Ecumenical Councils. By the time of Theodosius I (379-395), Christianity had become the state religion of the empire. With Christianity now in power, ethical concerns broaden and included discussions of the proper role of the state, see also Christendom.

Broadly speaking, Saint Augustine adapted the philosophy of Plato to Christian principles. His synthesis is called Augustinianism. In the 13th century, after the recovery of the works of Aristotle, Saint Aquinas reworked the philosophy of Aristotle into a Christian framework known as Thomism.

Christian ethics in general has tended to stress the need for grace, mercy, and forgiveness because of human weakness. With divine assistance, the Christian is called to become increasingly virtuous in both thought and deed, see also the Evangelical counsels. Conversely, the Christian is also called to abstain from vice. There are several different schema of vice and virtue. Aquinas adopted the four cardinal virtues of Plato, (justice, courage, temperance, prudence) and added to them the Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity (from St. Paul, Template:Bibleverse). Other schema include the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven virtues. For more see Christian philosophy and Biblical law in Christianity.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Christian ethics" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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