Lesson 1 of 0
In Progress



course number:BTH4D8103
Course name:Ethics
Creator:Dr. Sebastian Moll/Haase
Date of creation:Nov. 25th .2020


Course description

What should I do? This is a question every person asks himself countless times during his entire life. And every time he does so, every time he reflects on his actions, he is doing what we call ethics. The ability to reflect on oneself and one’s own actions and to weigh up the consequences of these actions is one of the most fascinating abilities of mankind.

For the Christian, who does not see himself as the measure of all things, there is another “What does God expect of me? The connection between these two questions forms the specificity of theological ethics.

The course aims to give students an overview of the rich ethical tradition of our culture, both Christian and secular. At the same time, the students should also develop and expand their own ethical judgement skills.


Course objectives

The students should

  • learn about the history of the ethical development of our culture
  • understand the specific characteristics of Christian ethics
  • recognize and question different ethical principles
  • internalize the connection of ethics to other theological disciplines


Acquired skills

The students should be able to:

  • to make and justify their own ethical judgements
    • to use the Bible as the basis of Christian ethics
    • apply different ethical justifications 
    • to show understanding for divergent ethical positions
  • actively participate in current ethical discourses


Preparatory tasks for the student (20 hours)


Reading of the compulsory literature

  • content of the course (40 lessons)
  • Introduction and basic terms
  • Development of ethics
  • Ethics of creation
  • Ethics of the Decalogue
  • Ethics of the New Covenant


Compulsory reading

  • Reiner Anselm/Ulrich Körtner (eds.), Evangelische Ethik Kompakt. Basiswissen in Grundbegriffen, Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2015.

Further reading


Primary literature: 

  • Aristotle, The Nicomachian Ethics, ed. by Olof Gigon, Munich 1972
  • Biblia Hebraica ed. Rudolf Kittel, Stuttgart 1962
  • The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 6th ed. Göttingen 1967
  • The Bible after Martin Luther’s translation, Stuttgart 2017
  • Kant, Immanuel, Foundation of the Metaphysics of Morals, Reclam 1963
  • Novum Testamentum Graece, ed. Eberhard Nestle, 24th ed. Stuttgart 1960
  • Plato, Politeia, ed. by Walter F. Otto, Sämtliche Werke Bd. 3, Hamburg 1958
  • Texts of the Church Fathers, ed. by Alfons Heilmann and Heinrich Kraft, 6 vol., Munich 1963ff
  • Instruction of the fathers. Apophthegmata Patrum, ed. by Miller, Bonifaz, Trier, 2003, 


Secondary literature: 

  • Barclay, William, you may rejoice. The Beatitudes met anew. Berlin o.J.
  • Bauer, Walter, Dictionary of the New Testament, Berlin 1963
  • Berger, Klaus, Commentary on the New Testament, Gütersloh 2nd ed. 2012
  • Birnbacher, Dieter and Norbert Hoerster, texts on ethics, 7th ed. Munich 1989
  • Gfeller, Nicolas, A Brief History of Ethics, Zurich 1991
  • Jonas, Hans, The Principle of Responsibility, Berlin 1998
  • Kittel, Joachim, Blessed be yours – Retreat on the Beatitudes, Freiburg n.J.
  • Neumann, Daniel, Two tablets, one Torah, pdf
  • Noth, Martin, The 2nd book of Moses. Exodus, ATD 5, 5th ed. Göttingen1973
  • Wheel, Gerhard von, Theology of the AT, vol. I Munich 1966
  • Störig, Hans Joachim, Small World History of Philosophy, Frankfurt 1969
  • Thielicke, Helmut, Theological Ethics, 4 vol., 4th ed. Tübingen 1972ff
  • Tillich, Paul, The Religious Foundation of Moral Action, GW Vol. II, Stuttgart 1965
  • Trillhaas, Wolfgang, Ethics, 2nd ed. Berlin 1965
  • Wahrig, Gerhard, German Dictionary, Gütersloh 1975
  • Wendland, Heinz-Dietrich, Ethics of the New Testament, Göttingen 1978




Further literature:

  • Afflerbach, Horst. Handbuch christliche Ethik, 2nd edition 2003, Wuppertal: R. Brockhaus, 2003.
  • Bockmühl, Klaus. Christian way of life. An ethics of the Ten Commandments. Pouring: Fountain 1993.
  • Bockmühl, Klaus. Life according to the will of God. Writings on material ethics. Casting: Fountain, 2006.
  • Burkhardt, Helmut. Introduction to Ethics, Part I: Reason and Norm of Moral Action. Casting: fountain.
  • Burkhardt, Helmut. Ethics. Part II: The good action. Casting: Fountain, 2003.
  • Burkhardt, Helmut. Economy without ethics? Casting: Fountain.
  • Crüsemann, Frank. Preservation and freedom. Gütersloh, 1993
  • Crüsemann, Frank. Scale: Torah. Israel’s directive for Christian ethics. Gütersloh, 2003
  • Happier, Markus. Gift and Bribery: Corruption in the African context. 2000.
  • Hellmut Flashar, Hellmut, Aristotle. Teacher of the Occident 
  • Gassmann, Lothar / Kuberski / Janzen. Divorced and yet hope: Divorce and remarriage from a Christian perspective.
  • Geddert ,Timothy J. Living Responsibly – When Christians have to make a choice. Neufeld, 2004.
  • Count, Hans-Wolff. Corruption. Fouqué Literary Publishing House, 2000.
  • Grewel, Hans. Burning questions of Christian ethics. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1988.
  • Manual of Christian Ethics. Freiburg/Breisgau: Herder, 1976.
  • Härle, Wilfried, ethics. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2011.
  • Home, Karl. Christian ethics. Tübingen: Katzmann, 1955.
  • Honecker, Martin, Introduction to Theological Ethics: Fundamentals and Basic Concepts
  • Jonas, Hans. The Principle of Responsibility – An Attempt at an Ethics for Technological Civilization. Suhrkamp Paperback 1085, 1984.
  • Jonas, Hans. Technology, Medicine and Ethics – Practice of the Principle of Responsibility. Suhrkamp paperback 1514, 1987.
  • Lapides, pinchas. The Sermon on the Mount: Utopia or Program? Mainz: Matthias Grunewald Publishing House, 1992.
  • Lohse, Eduard. The ethics of the Sermon on the Mount and what it has to tell us today. Hanover: Lutherhaus publishing house 1984.
  • Körtner, Ulrich /Günter Virt / Dietrich von Engelhart / Franz Haslinger (eds.) Beginning and end of life in the world religions. Contributions to an intercultural medical ethics. Neukirchener Verlg, 2006.
  • Wreath, Walther, Greek philosophy. At the same time an introduction to philosophy in general
  • Lange, Dietz, Ethics in a Protestant perspective. Basic questions of Christian life practice
  • Mayer, Rainer. Morals and Christian ethics. Stuttgart: Calwer publishing house, 1976
  • Maxwell, John C. The Decision Formula. How ethical action leads to success. Fountains.
  • Mieth, Dietmar. What do we want to be able? Ethics in the age of biotechnology. Freiburg, Basel, Vienna: Herder, 2002.
  • Opaschowski, Horst W. The Moses Principle – The 10 Commandments of the 21st century. Güterloher, 2006.
  • Oweneel / Medema. Separation, divorce, remarriage. Christl. publishing company.
  • Peschke, Karl-Heinz. Christian ethics: Special moral theology. Trier: Paulinus, 1995
  • Pöhlmann, Horst Georg / Marc Stern: The Ten Commandments in Jewish-Christian Dialogue: Their meaning and significance today. A little ethics. Frankfurt: Lembeck, 2000.
  • Black, Guido. Intercultural ethics. BAND I: Ethics and forms of rationality in cultural comparison. A Critique of Post-Conventionalism, 2004.
    BAND II: PART 1 Ethical Anthropology I. The Body as the Foundation of Ethics, 2005; PART 2 Ethical Anthropology II. Personal Ethics, 2006;
    Volume III: Deontological Ethics of Virtue. The theory of ancient self-cultivation.
    BAND IV: Ethics as an Art of Living: The Practice of Ancient Ethical Techniques.
  • Racing engraving, Karl Wilhelm. Corruption and Religion. Hampp publishing house, 2005.
  • Romans, Joseph. Manual of Moral Theology: Freedom that is more than arbitrariness. Christian ethics in interpersonal relationships, life organization, illness and death. Volume 2 Regensburg: Pustet, 1997
  • Saar, Stefan. Marriage, divorce, remarriage.
  • Crockery maker Thomas. Ethics. 6 volumes plus course book, 2002.
  • Schlatter, Adolf. Christian ethics. 5th edition unchanged reprint of the 3rd edition, 1992
  • Schrage, Wolfgang. Ethics of the New Testament. Ground plans of the New Testament. NTD Supplementary Series Bd 4, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1989.
  • White, Helmut / Karl Federschmidt / Klaus Temme. Ethics and practice of helping in different religions. Neukirchener publishing house, 2005
  • Carpenters, Thomas. Outline of Political Ethics: A Representation from a Biblical-Reformational Perspective. 1997. 2nd strongly extended edition 2004.


Business Ethics:

    • Fleßa, Steffen. Spiritual thinking – rational acting – building blocks of a Christian business administration, Lembeck 2003.
    • Hill Craig and Earl Pitts. Mice, Moths and Mercedes: Biblical Principles for Handling Money, Campus for Christ 2002.
    • Jähnichen, Traugott. Business ethics. Approaches – levels of responsibility – fields of action. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2007. 
    • Meckenstock, Günter. Business Ethics. Berlin / New York: De Gruyter, 1997. 
    • Suter, Heinz and Marco Gmür. Business power for God’s purposes, Neuhausen-Stuttgart: Hänssler, 1997.
    • Silvoso Ed, Anointed for Business, Regal, 2002.
    • Weber, Max, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
    • Zoche, Hermann Josef. Does success make sense. A new ethic for entrepreneurs and managers.
  • Zoche, Hermann Josef. Jesus and the market economy.
  • Zoche, Hermann Josef. The Ten Commandments for Managers. The practical handbook for creating a corporate ethic.
  • Zoche, Hermann Josef. Bible breviary for managers. The Spiritual Manager’s Handbook. Gütersloh: Gütersloh Publishing House, 2006.


Political ethics:

  • Hermann, Christian. God and politics. An introduction to political ethics. R. Brockhaus, 2010 (330 p., ca. 18 €)



  • Adeney, Bernard T. Strange Virtues: Ethics in a Multicultural World. Downers Grove: IVP, 1995 (ISBN: 0830818553, 286 pages).
  • Balswick, Jack O. & Balswick, Judith. The Family A Christian Perspective on the contemporary home. 3. Ed., Baker, 2007 (398 S.; ca. 20,- €)
  • Carson, D. A. Love in Hard Places. Paternoster, 2002 (207 p.; 12,50 €; here the claims of God’s love are especially related to the question of racism and love of enemies. In addition to detailed biblical theological explanations, he gives instructions for everyday life, in which one cannot “love one’s enemies so easily”). 
  • Cornes. Andrew. Divorce and Remarriage – Biblical Principle and Pastoral Practice. CFP, 2002 (557 p., ca 22,00 €; John Stott comments: ” … a comprehensive Christian study on the status of single people, marriage, divorce and remarriage. The special … is the balanced presentation between practical experience, prophetic witness, pastoral wisdom, courage, compassion, truth and love. It is clear, faithful, realistic and challenging …”)
  • Crook, Roger H. An Introduction to Christian Ethics. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2002 (ISBN: 0130341495, 305 pages).
  • InstoneBrewer-, David: Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible – The Social and Literary Context. Erdmann, 2002 (355 p., 29.90 €; while the biblical and historical part takes up 300 pages, the conclusions for practice are found on 14 pages; also on the Internet at -http://www.instonebrewer.com)
  • Trull, Joe E. / James E. Carter. Ministerial Ethics – Moral Formation for church leaders. Baker, 2004 (288 S. 13,50 €; Leitlinien für Leiter.)

Composition of the final grades

Final Paper (8-10 pages)- (40%)

Reading Assignments- (30%)

Class Participation- (30%)


Late Work Policy

Unless otherwise specified in class, work will be due on the date given on the course web-page, on the assignment itself, or in the attached calendar. Late work will be accepted by the instructor at the instructor’s discretion. A late penalty of 5% per week will be applied for work turned in late. Late work must be turned in within 4 calendar weeks of the original due date, with the final cut off one week before the beginning of the next trimester. After this, late work will not be accepted. Additional points may be deducted for errors. Any late assignments over 4 weeks over-do will not be accepted. Any exceptions to this will be solely at the instructor’s discretion.


48 hlectures
10 hHomework assignment given by professor during lectures
30 hFinal paper
32 hRequired reading