John Wesley's Moral Theology

The Quest for God and Goodness

Book - Paperback
John Wesley's Moral Theology
Paperback ISBN: 9780687343546
$39.99 Show Buy

Published April 2005

The public theology of the Wesleyan tradition is best understood as moral theology rather than as philosophical and applied ethics. Long asserts that the ethical nature of the Wesleyan tradition can be best understood using the frame of moral theology stemming from the virtue tradition, particularly the work of Thomas Aquinas. This recognizes that the gathering of the faithful for the purpose of seeking holiness is the public voice of the church. Because we squeezed the Wesleyan tradition in the academic discipline of philosophical and applied ethics, we distorted our tradition. This distortion led us into our current ethical impasse, particularly with money, war and peace, homosexuality, and technology.

An excerpt from the Circuit Rider review: "In John Wesley’s Moral Theology, D. Stephen Long offers a radical proposal: By letting Wesley be Wesley in his context and thus being out of step with ours, Wesley actually has more to say to us in our postmodern context. Here, our problem with making him relevant for today is implied in the difference between “ethics” and “moral theology.” As a “moral theologian,” Wesley believed that doing and knowing what is good can only be achieved by being united with Christ. In other words, the Good and the True cannot be known outside of God. Thus, there is no separation between ethics and theology since the former is only intelligible in the light of the latter." (Click here to read the entire review.)

About the Author

D. Stephen Long

D. Stephen (Steve) Long is currently Professor of Systematic Theology, Dept. of Theology, Marquette University, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881.

Prior to the Fall of 2007, he was  Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where he also directed the Stead Center’s Church and Academy program.

His principal interests are in the areas of dogmatics, public theology, and radical orthodoxy. Recent publications include The Divine Economy: Theology and the Market and The Goodness of God. He also initially coordinated the booklet series in The Ekklesia Project, which published a variety of short essays focusing on a range of topics in church and society, and he is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Brazos imprint