Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

Daniel Chetti is Director of Programmes at the South Asia Theological Research Institute (SATHRI), Bangalore, India. M. P. Joseph teaches Ethics at the United Theological College, Bangalore, India.

Published by The Christava Sahitya Samiti, Cross Junction, Tiruvalla 689 101, Kerala, in collaboration with The Board of Theological Text books Programe in South Asia, Copyright 1998. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.


(ENTIRE BOOK) Essays in honor Rev. Dr. K. C. Abraham on his sixtieth birthday. An eminent theologian and ecumenical leader and teacher, Abraham made significant contributions to both theological and social thinking in India and abroad. The purpose of this volume is to explore theological thinking especially in these areas: 1) Re-definition of mission, 2) Theological and ethical articulation of ecological concerns, 3) Faith response to caste and, communalism, and 4) Ethics and economics with special attention to the question of poverty and development.


  • Introduction, by M. P. Joseph
  • Chapter 1: Common Life in the Religiously Pluralistic India, by M. M. Thomas

    Many visions of perfection are more or less the same or at least analogical, and therefore if each faith keeps its ethics of law dynamic within the framework of, and in tension with, its own transcendent vision of perfection, the different religious and secular faiths can have fruitful dialogue. This is needed in the depth of the nature of human alienation which makes love impossible.

  • Chapter 2: Interfaith Dialogue: Towards Building New Communities, by Hans Ucko

    There is a tendency towards monocultures threatening the mosaic of religious plurality and an open human community. It is in such an unmerciful environment that destructive and violent forces, hatred and lust for power, emerge and take over. To enter into dialogue across this monoculturism requires an opening of the mind and heart to others. It is in a culture of dialogue that we are enabled to build the new communities that the world requires.

  • Chapter 3; Popular Religion & Cultural Identity: Mexican-American Experience in the USA, by Virgil Elzondo

    From a Mexican perspective, the author is convinced that one can only understand his religious symbols correctly from within and not by mere observation — even the best and most critical — from the outside. In seeking to understand religious symbols correctly, the so-called “objective distance” of Western scholars is a sure guarantee of falsification and objective error, especially if it is not in dialogue with the believers themselves.

  • Chapter 4: Ecumenical Social Ethics Today, by Charles C. West

    There are paradigms that compete with each other: 1. On the order of being. 2. In absolute law. 3. In enlightenment humanism. 4. Especially in our relationship with God.

  • Chapter 5: Christian Love for Justice and Peace, by Ronald Stone

    As followers of Jesus, we are called to build a community that embodies the new relationships of God’s Kingdom based on freedom, justice, dignity of every human person, love and fellowship. The love commandment assumes these dimensions. It became the dharma of the Kingdom, the dharma of Jesus.

  • Chapter 6: Feminist Ethics: A Search for Meaning and Hope from the Margins, by Aruna Gnanadason

    Most Indian cultures are inherently patriarchal and have viewed women as the property of men and therefore she has very little control over what happens to her body. Cultures in India have permitted the most outrageous traditional practices, with no regard for what this does to the innermost psyche of individual women and to their communities. It is now time for the Church and the ecumenical movement to stop and listen to the voices of the women.

  • Chapter 7: Theology and Politics: A South African Perspective, by Simon S Maimela

    There is an increasing awareness that creation in the world we live is not a completed act in some remote past but continues here and now and must be carried forward to its completion through political action. It is thus incumbent on theologians to develop a theology of cultural and social transformation because such a theology can be the only one which truly is political theology.

  • Chapter 8: Theology and Earth, by Larry L. Rasmussen

    The all determining fact of our need is to understand the earth as an organism, for it is presently endangered. There is a need to understand that earth-nature and society together is a community itself, and one without an exit. There is the need to understand faith now as fidelity to earth in accord with creation’s integrity as God-given.

  • Chapter 9: Responsible Citizenship in a Christian Perspective, by Milan Opocensky

    The Word of God is concrete, personal and political, and speaks to a solid situation. In a given situation we should ask ourselves whether we are sufficiently informed and whether we faithfully listen to God’s commandment.

  • Chapter 10: The Contours of Third World Contextual Theologies, by Felix Wilfred

    In each context of our pluralism the truth of God’s self-communication acquires new light, new accent and emphasis. The basic pattern of God’s self-revelation as life and grace, on the one hand, and the response in human freedom through faith and deeds to the same revelation on the other, is such a complex and multifaceted reality that it can never be imprisoned in any one single mould.

  • Chapter 11: Martin, Malcolm and Black Theology, by James H. Cone

    Theology can never be true to itself in America without engaging blackness, encountering its complex, multi-layered meaning. Theology, as with American society as a whole, can never be true to itself unless it comes to terms with Martin and Malcolm together. Both spoke two different but complementary truths about blackness which white theologians do not want to hear but must hear if we are to create theologies that are liberating and a society that is humane and just for all of its citizens.

  • Chapter 12: What Does God Ask of Us? by Mercy Amba Oduyoye

    As Christians the struggle for the integrity of creation, for justice and peace in the human community, for compassion towards the neighbor and concrete expressions of our love of God, all flow out of our affirmation that God first loved us and gave us Jesus Christ.

  • Chapter 13: The Struggle for Justice and Peace, by Jose Miguez Bonino

    A look at: 1. Some of the basic points of departure for a Christian consideration of issues of justice and peace. 2. A brief review of the issues from the specific consideration of the situation of the poor as a test for Christian commitment. 3. Some ways in which the Christian community and churches can participate in these struggles.

  • Chapter 14: The Future of Liberation Theology in Latin America, by Sergio Torres G.

    We are at the beginning of a new theological development, that of Liberation Theology. This theology is recognizing and assuming the rich indigenous cultures present in the continent before the arrival of the conquerors. There are already some indigenous theologians who are developing this new perspective. They are thinking from inside their traditional cultures and religions. They do not accept any more the presence of outsiders, especially white people, who pretend to speak on behalf of traditional persons.

  • Chapter 15: Globalization and its Cultural Consequences by S. J. Samartha

    With the removal of socialism as an alternative, the whole world is thrown open to the claim of market economy, liberal democracy and the powerful march of Western cultural values all over the globe. This claim, in theory and practice, is as exclusive as any made by certain religions in history, and has the same tragic consequences on the life of other people who refuse to accept such claims.

  • Chapter 16: Self-interest and Justice in Development, by C.T. Kurien

    With the apparent triumph of capitalism over its rival economic arrangements the view is gaining ground that whatever may be the content of development, there is only one route to it and that is growth. Increasingly, the writings of Adam Smith are being evoked to rehabilitate what may be called a "growth first" approach to development. It is also held that according to Adam Smith, it is the self-interest of the individual that results in growth and wealth, and not any organized national effort to achieve them.

  • Chapter 17: Two Interviews with K. C. Abraham, by Bhargavi Nagaraja & P. N. Benjamin

    Two journalists interview, on his sixtieth birthday, Rev. Dr. K. C. Abraham, a Marxist scholar and propounder of the theory of “liberative solidarity” sharing some of his thoughts on faith and politics.

  • Writings of K.C. Abraham

    A list of writings by K.C. Abraham.