Over the past decade I have periodically taught an undergraduate course entitled “Studies in Religious Ethics: Taking Human Life.” Three traditions are studied: Judaism, Catholicism and Protestantism. “Studies in Religious Ethics” has precedence in the title in order to convey the intention that the readings would be in the ethics of religious traditions, and that the principal purpose of the course is to come to a better knowledge and understanding of ethics in the context of religious thought and communal life. I intend, thereby, to deflect the interest of persons who are interested only in the moral questions of taking human life. “Taking Human Life” was chosen for two reasons. First, the moral teachings on these questions and the ethical and theological justifications for them provide specific points of reference around which particular comparisons between Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism can be made. One can, for example, look at the questions of capital punishment, and by following the arguments of a standard Catholic source, an article that assesses the classic Jewish tradition, and a Protestant theologian like Karl Barth, begin to indicate both the methods and the contents of each tradition. The practical moral questions become avenues which one can take into the history of each tradition, into the ethical theories of each tradition, and into the patterns of moral authority of each tradition. A second reason for “Taking Human Life” is that the questions used are those to which contemporary students frequently have affective responses of considerable depth, and also opinions which have not been thoroughly considered. While it is not a major purpose of the course to bring students’ opinions under critical scrutiny, their interest in the questions motivates their participation in the class, and a latent consequence of their reading and the discussions is a critical examination of the reasons they hold their frequently outspoken opinions.