David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Religious Ethics 8 (1):27 - 53 (1980)
This essay explores the imaginative foundations of ethics, not by presenting a theory about the moral imagination, but by reconstructing the hermeneutic strategy underlying Reinhold Niebuhr's proposal for "an independent Christian ethic." The thesis is that Niebuhr's ethic cannot adequately be evaluated without careful attention to his hermeneutics, what he described as "the mythical method of interpretation." This point is argued first, by reconstructing Niebuhr's hermeneutics; second, by showing how his hermeneutics determines the strategy of his ethics; and third, by using this focus to clarify certain issues separating Niebuhr and some of his recent critics, specifically, William Frankena's criticism of his metaethics, Gene Outka's objections to his normative ethic of love as self-sacrifice; and John Howard Yoder's rejection of the strategy of his Christian realism as a whole. The essay is presented in the hope that Niebuhr's example will encourage American religious ethicists to explore the relationship between hermeneutics and ethics with greater intellectual sympathy and theoretical sophistication. The example of Niebuhr's "independent Christian ethic" is commended as one attempt to map the formal and substantive ways in which religious visions help shape our dispositions and moral choices.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Daniel James Malotky (2003). Reinhold Niebuhr's Paradox: Groundwork for Social Responsibility. Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (1):121-123.
Robin Lovin (2003). Review: Reinhold Niebuhr in Contemporary Scholarship: A Review Essay. [REVIEW] Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (3):487 - 505.
Brent W. Sockness (1992). Luther's Two Kingdoms Revisited: A Response to Reinhold Niebuhr's Criticism of Luther. Journal of Religious Ethics 20 (1):93 - 110.
Geoffrey Rees (2003). The Anxiety of Inheritance: Reinhold Niebuhr and the Literal Truth of Original Sin. Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (1):75 - 99.
David Novak (2012). Defending Niebuhr From Hauerwas. Journal of Religious Ethics 40 (2):281-295.
Khurram Hussain (2010). Tragedy and History in Reinhold Niebuhr's Thought. American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 31 (2):147-159.
Charles S. McCoy (1997). Keiser's Post-Critical Niebuhr. Tradition and Discovery 24 (1):6-14.
Linda Holler (1989). Is There a Thou "Within" Nature? A Dialogue with H. Richard Niebuhr. Journal of Religious Ethics 17 (1):81 - 102.
R. Melvin Keiser (1997). McCoy on Keiser's Niebuhr. Tradition and Discovery 24 (1):15-19.
Linda D. Holler (1984). In Search of a Whole-System Ethic. Journal of Religious Ethics 12 (2):219 - 239.
D. M. Yeager (1982). On Making the Tree Good: An Apology for a Dispositional Ethics. Journal of Religious Ethics 10 (1):103 - 120.
I. Ahn (2009). Decolonization of the Lifeworld by Reconstructing the System: A Critical Dialogue Between Jurgen Habermas and Reinhold Niebuhr. Studies in Christian Ethics 22 (3):290-313.
Christopher Lasch (1990). Religious Contributions to Social Movements: Walter Rauschenbusch, the Social Gospel, and Its Critics. Journal of Religious Ethics 18 (1):7 - 25.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads2 ( #254,472 of 1,008,729 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,702 of 1,008,729 )
How can I increase my downloads?