Theological Reflections on Moral Theories

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Humanities/Philosophies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2024 | Viewed by 136

Special Issue Editor

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY 40390, USA
Interests: philosophy of religion; moral philosophy; value theory; justice and desert

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The editors of this Special Issue invite contributions that explore the theological merits and/or shortcomings of normative theories proposed by moral philosophers.

The project of modern moral philosophy has largely been to identify principles that explain why we ought to act in certain ways. Sometimes an overarching principle is offered as the central framework for ethics (e.g., versions of utilitarianism or egalitarianism). Sometimes multiple principles are offered as guides for our decision making (e.g., autonomy; respect; nonmaleficence; beneficence). Sometimes new considerations are offered in thinking through how we should apply existing, accepted principles (e.g., Longtermism).

How should the theist respond to the various proposals of modern moral philosophy? The aim of this Special Issue is to explore the theological concerns one might have with the moral principles and, more generally, the ethical theories put forth by moral philosophers. Perhaps, in some cases, theists should count the moral philosopher as an ally in the work of identifying norms toward which we should all strive in improving lives. Perhaps, in other cases, theists will view some ideal identified by the moral philosopher as partly obscuring, or even working against, the vision they understand God to have for our life together in community.

For this Special Issue, we invite theological reflections on moral theories. Original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • To what extent do proposals of moral principles—e.g. Utilitarianism, Egalitarianism, theories of rights—overlap with the teachings of a particular religion like Christianity?
  • Are there theological concerns to raise about the way in which the “moral ought” has been derived in modern moral philosophy?
  • Must theists reject Constructivist accounts of morality?
  • What advantages or difficulties does “a community seeking to follow God’s commands as best it can discern them” have in comparison to “a community accountable to one another at it seeks to do what is best by its own lights”?
  • Are there theological reasons to be wary of the recent “Longtermism” movement?
  • Do religious institutions hold more promise for advancing human flourishing than appeals to moral codes tied to no historical setting?
  • How optimistic should we be that secular accounts of human well-being informed by empirical studies might approximate a theological anthropology offered by a particular religion like Christianity?

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 200–300 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the Guest Editor ( or to the Editorial Office of Religions ( Abstracts will be reviewed by the Guest Editor for the purpose of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer review. We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Kevin Kinghorn
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • moral principles
  • normativity
  • theistic ethics
  • moral theology
  • value theory
  • well-being
  • rights
  • divine commands

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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