Religion Past and Present

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(337 words)

[German Version]

In everyday speech, moralism denotes morally rigorous thinking which, firstly, tends to reduce moral judgments (Morals, Ethics) to the principles of abstract formal legalism, thus failing to do justice to the multiplicity of moral life, and/or, secondly, subordinates all parts of life without distinction to moral evaluation, thus falsely absolutizing the moral dimension. In view of its complex conceptual development, this connotation is pejorative. Originally, the middle Latin verb moralizare denoted the moral exposition of biblical texts in patris…

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Schlenke, Dorothee, “Moralism”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 28 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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