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Christian Character: Jeremy Taylor and Christian Ethics Today

Christian Character: Jeremy Taylor and Christian Ethics Today

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What possible use could evangelical Anglicans have for the writings of Jeremy Taylor? In this study of Christian moral formation I argue that Taylor, despite questionable statements about repentance, offers reasonable theological insights into moral formation. Although Taylor lived in the 17th Century and was a Laudian, he can be helpful in orienting contemporary evangelical Anglican reflection on Christian moral formation.


This study identifies the controlling themes and strengths of the ethics of character, that strand of contemporary ethics so promising for Christians thinking about moral formation. It then identifies at least three deficiencies in that ethic which undercut the capacity of character or story ethics to illuminate Christian moral formation. Looking at Taylor's theology as a basis for understanding Christian moral formation today, we find in him a regard for the Holy Scripture, a concern for a personal, loving relation to God who reconciles through Jesus Christ, a concern for living to God's honour and glory by a holy life, and a concern to view the world and the Christian life in a radically theocentric and non human-centred way. Jeremy Taylor was preeminent among the 17th Century Anglican moralists, and, like every true classic, he can be studied with profit today

  • Author

    Rev. David A. Scott, was born and raised in New England and studied at The Episcopal Theological School (M. Th.) and at Princeton University (Ph.D.). Dr. Scott also studied for one year at Tuebingen University, in Germany. He is ordained in the Episcopal Church.

  • Info

    ISBN: 978 0 946307 36 4

    62 pages