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The Fundamental Questions of Our Lives

Wolfgang Huber

Book published by Georgetown University Press

In the twenty-first century the basic questions of ethics are no longer the abstract terms of ethical theory, but the concrete and burning issues related to the influence of life sciences, the impact of a globalized economy, and the consequences of present decisions for the future of humankind. Ethics: The Fundamental Questions of Our Lives analyzes twenty ethical issues that address education and culture, labor and economy, the environment and sustainability, democracy and cosmopolitanism, peace and war, and life and death. Each chapter describes a concrete example showing the relevance of the fundamental ethical question, then provides an explanation of how one can think through possible responses and reactions. Huber emphasizes the connections between personal, professional, and institutional ethics and demonstrates how human relationships lie at the center of our ethical lives. His aim is to articulate a theology of what he calls "responsible freedom" that transcends individualistic self-realization and includes communal obligations.

Wolfgang Huber is a German theologian and ethicist who was professor of systematic theology at the University of Heidelberg and, later, bishop of the Evangelical Church in Germany. He retired in 2009 and is an Honorary Professor at Stellenbosch University. Huber is the author and editor of numerous books, including Violence: The Unrelenting Assault on Human Dignity and Christian Belief.


“Far from being a rehash of the old questions with a moralistic tone, the author offers fresh comments along with just enough background for the average reader to feel comfortable.... This remarkable volume reflects the wisdom and experience of an elder who is steeped in social justice with much of value to offer this generation.”

Catholic Books Review

“Wolfgang Huber is a leading churchman and a brilliant public intellectual—a rare combination indeed. In his book on ethics he bridges the gap between abstract reasoning on fundamental questions and the mere expression of normative convictions. Laymen and professional ethicists alike will learn from his sensitive analyses and creative solutions of contemporary ethical problems.”

—Hans Joas, professor of sociology, Humboldt University, Berlin, and University of Chicago

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University Press Audiobooks