Religion Past and Present

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Situation Ethics
(1,048 words)

[German Version]

I. History

The term situation ethics was probably coined by T. Steinbüchel, a Roman Catholic moral theologian, who used the term Situationsethik in 1938 to criticize the ethics of E. Grisebach, focused solely on the “present,” and more generally any existential ethics following in the footsteps of S. Kierkegaard. The term was used in a positive sense a few years later by the philosopher of religion and psychotherapist Ernst Michel (1889–1964): “From th…

Cite this page
Lohmann, Friedrich, “Situation Ethics”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 09 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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