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Morality, Religious and Secular

Basil Mitchell (Oxford University Press: March 1986), 176 pages.

In Morality, Religious and Secular: The Dilemma of the Traditional Conscience, Basil Mitchell wrestles with the relationship between morality and theism. Through a critical examination of three wholly secular moral theories — rational/scientific humanism, romantic humanism and liberal humanism — he concludes that non-religious moralities, though simpler in some ways, fail to meet the demands of the ‘traditional conscience’. He argues that morals are essentially a matter of necessity, a product of human needs, undergirded by accepted conceptions of personhood and relationality. As the Western moral tradition has been most profoundly shaped by the teachings of Christianity, Mitchell questions whether or not this morality can be maintained in a wholly secular climate. ~ Brannon Hancock

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