Religious Studies Faculty Publications



Document Type

Encyclopedia Entry

Publication Date


Publication Source

Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics


Character denotes the particular set of qualities, both natural and acquired, that serves to identify a person or community. These qualities are relatively stable and will be manifest as a consistency of act~ on that can be termed "integrity." Accordingly, in the context of Christian ethics, character names an established disposition (or set of dispositions) with respect to the particular conception of the . human good exemplified by Christ. Such character ts developed over time and, as such, can be formed either toward or away from virtues, understood as those intellectual and affective habits that enable the pursuit of excellence. Conceptually, then, attention to the notion of character accents the dynamic and intentional process of formation that shapes the predispositions of an individual's moral and intellectual terrain.

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Published Version


Cox, Michael D., and Kallenberg, Brad J. "Character." Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics, ed. Joel Green, Jacqueline Lapsley, Rebekah Miles and Allen Verhey. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2011. Entry is made available in the repository with the publisher's permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without written permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing

Place of Publication

Grand Rapids, MI