Review Of "Do Morals Matter?: A Guide To Contemporary Religious Ethics" By I. S. Markham

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Although Markham (Hartford Seminary) ends by affirming that ethics needs a religious grounding, for the most part he carefully describes various options rather than deciding between them. Designed as a textbook for an upper-level undergraduate course in ethics, the presentation is both balanced and challenging. Chapters begin with either a thought exercise or a case study. Part 1 discusses the chief philosophical positions by contrasting major perspectives--objectivist v. subjectivist, teleological v. deontological--and by exploring subjects like natural law ethics; virtue ethics; and ethics and the Bible. Part 2 lays out a series of ethical dilemmas encountered in daily life: hard choices in sexual matters, in business, in medicine, in government, in wartime, and in the environment. It concludes with a section on decision making. Among Markham's other books are A Theology of Engagement (CH, Apr'04, 41-4601); the edited volume, with I. M. Abu-Rabi', September 11: Religious Perspectives on the Causes and Consequences (CH, Mar'03, 40-3967); and Truth and the Reality of God (1998). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.


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