Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theology (MTh)




Martin Luther University College

First Advisor

Robert Kelly

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Robertson Davies is, by his own definition and admission, both a religious novelist and a moralist. His writings evince a consistent theology that, aside from one or two departures, is quite within the liberal protestant tradition, despite his own claims to unorthodoxy. His theology is a moral theology, and the ethical theory or method most in keeping with Davies‘ approach is the "virtue" or "character" model. His claims of dualism and unorthodoxy have been seen to exhibit a "contemporary gnostic spirit," but it is my assertion that they do not; the teachings of the ancient Stoics, however, are much in evidence in Davies, and Stoic philosophy itself is primarily a moral philosophy rooted in the development of virtue and character. This thesis describes the current state of the theological discussion of "virtue" ethics; abstracts a systematic theology from the novels and writings of Robertson Davies (excluding his plays), with special emphasis on his ethics; and integrates these with a discussion of the tenets of classical Stoicism.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season