The question of the formation of Christian character is an important contemporary issue. Our society is undergoing radical change at the personal and social level. There are forces at work that deconstruct the traditional patterns of human life – the family, the understanding of masculinity and femininity, our view on the nature and use of our sexuality. These forces are rebuilding human society in such a way that it is free from the influence of a religious perspective on life and free from the constraints of a moral approach to human living. The modern attitude is to reject traditional models of the virtuous life in favour of a self-realisation freely pursued outside the constraints of moral codes.
There is a certain “morality” which is fashioned by society. Certain things are determined to be “politically correct”. Certain stances become fashionable like ecological sensitivity or the perceived threat from sexism, but these are fluid positions and change with fashions of thought. They do not impinge particularly on the inner quality of character but rather reflect certain acceptable attitudes. They are superficial and do not promote serious inner growth. This book seeks to explore the nature of the human person. Then, by drawing on our Christian tradition, consider the ways in which we can build a healthy and happy life fulfilling what God has intended us to become as a faithful imitation of his Son. This is a book about identifying the nature of Christian character. It offers a path which will lead to mature Christian character.
Most Rev Julian Porteous BTheol DD VG was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Sydney in 1974. He served in a number of parishes in the Archdiocese. He has been actively involved in evangelisation, particularly among young people. He has been an advocate of the New Evangelisation called for by Pope John Paul. He has had an association with a number of ecclesial movements. Bishop Porteous was appointed Rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Sydney, in January 2002 and served in this role until the end of 2008. Pope John Paul II named him Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney in July 2003. He has published a number of books including, A New Wine & Fresh Skins: Ecclesial Movements in the Church (2010) and Streams of Grace, Spiritual movements that shaped the Church (2011).