Fortress Press

Loving Creation: The Task of the Moral Life

Loving Creation

The Task of the Moral Life

Gary Chartier (Author)

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Is it true that all we need is love? Does love capture the essence of Christian ethics? Does a love-centered ethic need to be impartial in a way that leaves no room at ground-level for relationships and projects? What is the place of well-being in an ethic of love? Loving Creation: The Task of Moral Life seeks to answer these questions by showing how a love-ethic and an ethic of creation are not at odds but rather reinforce each other.

Gary Chartier articulates a love-centered creation ethic--or a creation-centered love-ethic--and applies it to such issues as sex, economic life, love for enemies, and political order. In the book, Chartier offers a powerful alternative both to natural-law theories that seem to lose sight of the welfare of actual people and to the accounts of Christian love that embrace an alienating impartiality. He develops an understanding of Christian love as focused on creation that can contribute effectively to enriching both social practices and personal lives.

Loving Creation is unabashedly theological. But the theological considerations it adduces are ones that will allow Christians to engage in the public sphere with adherents of other religious traditions and of none. It is a contribution not only to theological understanding but also to personal moral reflection, to church practice, and to Christian participation in public life.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506481043
  • eBook ISBN 9781506481050
  • Dimensions 6.25 x 9.25
  • Pages 245
  • Publication Date September 27, 2022


"Loving Creation puts biblical themes together in an entirely original and uniquely insightful way, joining theology and ethics in a new vision for the Christian life. Gary Chartier's 'creational love ethic' overcomes several time-worn and troublesome dichotomies: Old Testament vs. New Testament, sacrificial love vs. human flourishing, Protestant love command vs. Catholic natural law, and the neighbor who needs our care vs. the all-sufficient God. Chartier's comprehensive and fair-minded approach makes this an exceptional introduction to key topics in Scripture, theology, and applied ethics. A wonderful springboard for theological discussion and learning!"

Lisa Sowle Cahill, J. Donald Monan, S.J., Professor of Theology, Boston College

"Chartier offers a tour d'amour in ethics. He employs various conceptual tools in the name of love to address specific moral questions that both ancient and contemporary people ask. Taking creation--not just humans or God--as the focus, Loving Creation offers an appealing exploration of well-being in our time. Highly recommended!"

Thomas Jay Oord, author of Pluriform Love and The Uncontrolling Love of God

"Loving Creation: The Task of the Moral Life successfully argues for a creational ethic of love and well-being. Chartier masterfully weaves together a wide variety of sources to ground Christian ethics in a theological anthropology that is at once compelling and profound."

Andrew Kim, associate professor of theology, Marquette University, and author of An Introduction to Catholic Ethics since Vatican II

"Love matters again. Understanding it as appropriate regard for the well-being of sentient creatures, Chartier calls for renewed attention to this vital topic in Christian ethics by probing issues of significance to everyone--from war and peace to sexuality to property punishment to dispute resolution within the church. Specialists in Christian ethics should read this book because of its contribution to advancing the conversation about love shaped by predecessors like Joseph Fletcher and Paul Ramsey. But engaging with it will also profit many others, including everyone who has sat in classrooms long enough to earn an undergraduate degree. After all, what's not to like about love?"

David R. Larson, professor of religion (retired), Loma Linda University