Christian Ethics - Lesson 10

Christianity and Marxism

Definition of Marxism and description of different types of Marxism and liberation theology.

Ronald Nash
Christian Ethics
Lesson 10
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Christianity and Marxism

Social Ethics

Part 5

V. Christianity and Marxism

A. Liberation Theology

1. Jose Miguez-Bonino

2. Andrew Kirk

B. Three Kinds of Marxism

1. Social-Democratic Marxism

a. British Fabians

b. The Socialist Party in the US

c. Definition

d. Argument against

2. Marxism-Leninism

a. Bolshevik movement

b. Definition

3. Neo-Marxism

a. Advocated by liberation theologians

b. Alienation of the worker

i. From his product

ii. From his job

iii. From others

iv. From himself

c. Criticism of alienation theory

i. Not exclusive to capitalism

ii. Borrowed ideas

iii. Early manuscripts, published posthumously

iv. Contradicted by later arguments of Marx

v. Omits alienation from God

d. Herbert Marcuse

e. Tony Campolo

C. Neo-Marxism and Liberation Theology

1. Cooperation in Latin America

2. Two kinds of liberation theology

a. True liberation

b. False liberation

3. Three tests

a. Political liberation

b. Economic liberation

c. Spiritual liberation

D. True Liberation Theology

1. Pope John Paul II

2. Michael Novak

3. Tenets

a. Salvation through Christ

b. Based upon democratic capitalism

c. Pushes toward democracy

All Lessons
  • Overview of the class and definition of key terms.

  • Discussion of consequentialism, hedonism and utilitarianism.

  • The deontological ethic judges morality by examining the nature of actions and the will of agents rather than goals achieved.

  • Plato and Aristotle emphasize moral virtues. Agapism teaches that love should be the sole ultimate value and that all other values are derived from it.

  • C.S. Lewis compares morality to a fleet of ships. In order for them to have a successful voyage, they must run properly, be headed for the right destination, and the relations between the ships must be in proper order.

  • The role of individuals and government in meeting the needs of people in society.

  • Definition of justice and the role of individuals and the state in accomplishing justice.

  • Economics is a way of thinking about accumulating, distributing and determining value of resources.

  • Two major economic systems are capitalism and socialism.

  • Definition of Marxism and description of different types of Marxism and liberation theology.

  • Interventionism is the government stepping in to regulate a capitalistic economy.

  • Public education is facing challenges related to ethical relativism, values clarification, and functional, cultural, moral and spiritual illiteracy.

  • Some possible solutions for the problems in public education would include increased role of the family, increased motivation of students, local control of the education system, separation of the school and state, and educational choice.

  • Scripture is the starting point for a system of biblical ethics, but there are not ready-made answers for every situation.

  • The issues surrounding abortion center on when life begins, the rights of the mother, and the morality of ending a pregnancy by terminating a preborn child.

  • Many of the leaders in the feminist movement promote arguments in favor of legalized abortion.

  • Many people who promote infanticide also support euthanasia.

  • The bible teaches that homosexuality is not moral. Some studies indicate that people that practice a homosexual lifestyle have a high statistical chance of contracting AIDS.

  • Discussion of biblical, practical and legal issues surrounding the issues of capital punishment and civil disobedience.

  • Some people think the bible teaches that there are situations when a war is justified, and others think that the bible teaches pacifism.

  • God's ideal plan is that when people marry, they remain married for life. People have different opinions on what the Bible teaches about the morality of divorce and remarriage.

  • The Bible does not give a clear endorsement regarding whether or not it is moral to use birth control.

Theoretical and theological basis for Christians  living an ethical life.