Reformed Ethics

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Within the wider field of ethical reflection and moral theology, Reformed ethics is tasked with understanding and orienting human action theologically by formative reference to the fundamental description of moral reality provided by Reformed doctrine. The essential features of this moral reality can helpfully be displayed and coordinated around the themes of belonging, gratitude, law, and holiness. Consideration of these themes helps to bring out what is distinctive in a Reformed theological ethic in the midst of much that is evidently also held in common with the wider Christian tradition. As this chapter looks to demonstrate, the history of Reformed theological ethics testifies to the fundamental and abiding conviction on the part of Reformed believers and theologians that reformatio doctrinae is intrinsically bound with and finds it term in serious and joyful reformatio vitae.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Reformed Theology
EditorsMichael Allen, Scott R. Swain
Place of PublicationOxford, United Kingdom
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-19-103584-5
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-872391-2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • decalogue
  • gratitude
  • law
  • sanctification
  • holiness
  • third use of the law
  • election
  • belonging
  • natural law
  • asceticism


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