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The viewpoint of virtue and the implication of character education in the New Testament based on the teachings of Jesus
Abstract This thesis topic is on the research of Jesus’ teachings about character, analyzing and interpreting the viewpoint of virtue in the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the central belief in the New Testament, and this thesis will discuss in terms of Jesus’ teachings from the Sermon on the Mount, the parables, and the examples of Jesus’ own life and character, so as to present Jesus’ viewpoint on virtue. A comparison study on the viewpoints of Confucius, Mencius, Aristotle, MacIntyre, and the other great philosophers is conducted to conclude the features of Jesus’ viewpoint on virtue, so as to explore how Christianity can be applied to character education. Through the interpretation of Jesus’ teachings about character, this thesis examines the weaknesses and strengths of character education in Taiwan, in order to inspire and to offer different perspectives, and also suggestions for character education in Taiwan. In a conclusion, this thesis will conclude with essences of Jesus’ viewpoint of virtue, and its inspiration as applied to education in the statements below: I. Virtue is the representation of love to both God and man. Love is the source of character. The response to God’s love reflects on accepting God’s love, looking at the environment and people with God’s perspective, and the loving acts in relationship with others. II. “Love”, “humility”, “faithfulness”, “righteousness” and “holiness” are central concept of Jesus’ viewpoint of virtue. Virtue is the combination of interior motivation and exterior behavior. Human beings can never live up to God’s standard, but by realizing the weakness and limitations of human beings, and humbling oneself to accept God’s grace, we may be more like God in His attributes, that is, righteousness and holiness. III. Virtue is for shaping and molding one’s own life and for the glory of God. It paves the way for the eternal kingdom of God. Therefore, one cannot expect to be rewarded by his good virtue immediately, as meritocracy. Instead, one should keep his faith and hope in God, be firm in doing the right thing, and not be affected by worldly values. In a word, one should live according to God’s values and commands. IV. The concept of respecting authorities should be built up among students in character education. Teachers should help students value things from the perspective of love and care of life, guide them to have a purposeful life, and help them consider character development a life long learning goal. V. Teachers should put character education into practice in daily lives. Relate relevant issues, and integrate character education into formal and informal curriculums, and conduct character guidance through various teaching approaches. Meanwhile, teachers should have a correct attitude toward character education, and consider it a project that is needed to be worked together with students. And teachers should also grow with students, and have a positive influence on them. VI. The possibilities of developing the teachings of Jesus into projects or curriculums, and integrating the central concept of Jesus’ viewpoint of virtue into informal curriculums, so as to provide practical application in character education. For teachers, religion, if once a hindrance, could now be a help in character education teaching. And family can also enter into partnership with school in character education teaching through parenting education and the corporation of parents and teachers.
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