Christian ethics is rooted in Christian worship, community, and identity, yet must cooperate across traditions to alleviate global injustices that violate love of God and neighbor. Although practical ethical commitment may be contingent on an experience of ultimacy that is ‘outside ethics’, this experience is not limited to confessing Christians.
Several discourses about theology, church, and politics are occurring among Christian theologians in the United States. One influential strand centers on the communitarian theology of Stanley Hauerwas, who calls on Christians to witness faithfully against liberalism in general and war in particular. Jeffrey Stout, in his widely discussed "Democracy and Tradition" (2004), responds that religious people ought precisely to endorse those democratic and liberal American traditions that join religious and secular counterparts to battle injustice. Hauerwas, Stout, and many of their (...) interlocutors envision liberal U.S. culture as the context of Christian social ethics. The ensuing debate rarely incorporates Catholic scholars, feminist scholars, scholars of color, or international and liberationist voices. Their inclusion could enhance an understanding of the role of the church in society, and support a common morality in the face of global pluralism. More importantly, it could broaden the scope of discourse on religion and politics to envision global Christian social ethics. (shrink)
Recent years have witnessed a concern among theological bioethicists that secular debate has grown increasingly "thin," and that "thick" religious traditions and their spokespersons have been correspondingly excluded. This essay disputes that analysis. First, religious and theological voices compete for public attention and effectiveness with the equally "thick" cultural traditions of modern science and market capitalism. The distinctive contribution of religion should be to emphasize social justice in access to the benefits of health care, challenging the for-profit global marketing of (...) research and biotechnology to wealthy consumers. Second, religion and theology have been and are still socially effective in sponsoring activism for practical change, both locally and globally. This claim will be supported with specific examples; with familiar concepts like subsidiarity and "mid- dle axioms"; and with recent analyses of "participatory democracy" and of emerging, decentralized forms of global governance. (shrink)
: he commercialization of biotechnology, especially research and development by transnational pharmaceutical companies, is already excessive and is increasingly dangerous to distributive justice, human rights, and access of marginal populations to basic human goods. Focusing on gene patenting, this article employs the work of Margaret Jane Radin and others to argue that gene patenting ought to be more highly regulated and that it ought to be regulated with international participation and in view of concerns about solidarity and the common good. (...) The mode of argument called for on this issue is more pragmatic than logical, emphasizing persuasion based on evidence about the reality and effects of control of genetic research by profit-driven biotech companies. (shrink)
This study tested the hypothesis that overt rehearsal is sufficient to explain enhanced memory associated with emotion by experimentally manipulating rehearsal of emotional material. Participants viewed two sets of film clips, one set of emotional films and one set of relatively neutral films. One set of films was viewed in each of two sessions, with approximately 1 week between the sessions. Participants were given a free recall test of all of films viewed approximately 1 week after the second session. Rehearsal (...) was manipulated by instructing one group of participants not to discuss the films with anyone (no talkgroup) and instructing a second group to discuss both sets of films with at least three people (forced talkgroup). A third group consisted of participants instructed not to discuss the films with anyone, but who did not comply with these instructions (talkersgroup). All groups recalled significantly more of the emotional films than the neutral films. Furthermore, the relative number of emotional and neutral films recalled did not differ significantly among the three groups. The results indicate that overt rehearsal is insufficient to explain the enhancing effects of emotion on memory. (shrink)
The Bible guides Christian ethics by showing how Jesus and early Christianity transformed the moral conventions of first-century Greco-Roman society by making them more inclusive and compassionate. This is the one side of the coin. The other side, however, is that the Bible also attests to the problem of the existence of evil and suffering in human life. In Paul's theology of cross and resurrection, Christian ethicists confront the ineradicable nature of this problem and the need to identify with those (...) who must suffer. (shrink)
There is a broad recognition that moral norms are most usefully justified not as mere transcriptions of biblical rules, or even as sophisticated references to key narrative themes, but rather as coherent social embodiments of a community formed by Scripture.
on reproductive technologies and the OTA report, Infertility , both use "rights" language to advance quite different views of the same subject matter. The former focuses on the rights and welfare of the embryo, and the protection of the family, while the latter stresses the freedom and rights of couples. This essay uses the work of Alasdair Maclntyre and Jeffrey Stout to consider the different traditions grounding these definitions of rights. It is proposed that a potentially effective mediating language could (...) be that of "human nature", and argued that donor methods raise more serious moral objections than homologous ones. Keywords: Infertility, Vatican, dualism, nature, Stout CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
A central point at issue in Christian reflection on war and peace is the extent to which the quality of God's Kingdom can characterize Christian existence in history and the extent to which it must be supplemented by a perceived obligation to seek justice, even if by coercion.