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  1.  1
    Putting Confucian Ethics to the Test: The Role of Empirical Inquiry in Comparative Ethics.Erin M. Cline - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (4):666-686.
    This essay presents a case study of how normative and descriptive approaches to comparative religious ethics, as well as textual and empirical approaches, can be mutually enriching. Taking early Confucian ethical views on the centrality of parent-child relationships in childhood moral development as an example, I examine how empirical evidence can be brought to bear on certain dimensions of traditional ethical views in order to deepen our appreciation for them and help us to see how their insights might be applied (...)
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  2. Ethnography and Subjectivity in Comparative Religious Ethics.Shannon Dunn - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (4):623-641.
    The ethnographic turn in religious studies has responded to important developments, such as the rejection of value neutrality and the need to better address the lived experience of individuals and communities. In this essay, I affirm the value of ethnography as a method in comparative religious ethics, but distinguish between two ways of framing ethnography in relation to ethics. The first way insists on the hard limits of translating values across cultures, and tends to marginalize or dismiss normative inquiry. The (...)
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  3. Normativity in Comparative Religious Ethics.Kevin Jung - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (4):642-665.
    This essay seeks to clarify the meaning and nature of normativity in metaethics and offers reasons why comparative religious ethics must properly address questions about normativity. Though many comparative religious ethicists take CRE to be a normative discipline, what they say about normativity is often unclear and confusing. I argue that the third-wave scholars face serious questions with respect to not only the justification of moral belief but also the rationality of moral belief and action. These scholars tend to view (...)
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  4.  1
    The Queer Art of Biblical Reading: Matthew 25:31-46 Through Caritas Romana.Luis Menéndez-Antuña - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (4):732-759.
    The place of eros in Christian theology has always been a contested one, not least because it is positioned as being at odds with agape, the kind of love that embodies gospel ethics. Matthew 25:31–46 calls us to “feed the hungry,” “quench the thirsty,” “shelter the homeless,” “clothe the naked,” and “visit the imprisoned” as emblematic examples of agapic love. This essay shows how a queer act, specifically that of a woman breastfeeding a starving man as depicted in the tradition (...)
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  5.  1
    Introduction: Ethnography, Moral Theory, and Comparative Religious Ethics.Bharat Ranganathan & David A. Clairmont - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (4):613-622.
    Representing a spectrum of intellectual concerns and methodological commitments in religious ethics, the contributors to this focus issue consider and assess the advantages and disadvantages of the shift in recent comparative religious ethics away from a rootedness in moral theory toward a model that privileges the ethnography of moral worlds. In their own way, all of the contributors think through and emphasize the meaning, importance, and place of normativity in recent comparative religious ethics.
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  6.  5
    Discussing Racial Justice in Light of 2016: Black Lives Matter, a Trump Presidency, and the Continued Struggle for Justice.María Teresa Dávila - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (4):761-792.
    The broad fields of ethical reflection on racialization, racial justice, black liberation theology, and queer theology of color must come to terms with the year 2016, which can be framed on one side with the Black Lives Matter movement, and on the other side with a presidential election cycle in which racism and racial justice played particularly salient roles. Against this backdrop, this book discussion looks at recent literature on racial justice asking three questions. How does historical consciousness shape contemporary (...)
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  7. An Ancient Virtue and Its Heirs: The Reception of Greatness of Soul in the Arabic Tradition.Sophia Vasalou - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (4):688-731.
    This essay examines the reception of the ancient virtue of greatness of soul in the Arabic tradition, touching on a range of figures but focusing especially on Miskawayh and even more concertedly on al-Ghazālī. Influenced by a number of Greek ethical texts available in Arabic translation, both of these thinkers incorporate greatness of soul into their classifications of the virtues and the vices. Yet a closer scrutiny raises questions about this amicable inclusion, and suggests that this virtue stands in an (...)
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  8.  5
    The Virtue of Emerson's Imitation of Christ: From William Ellery Channing to John Brown.Emily J. Dumler‐Winckler - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (3):510-538.
    Christians have traditionally conceived of the moral life as an imitation of Christ, whereby followers enter into fellowship with God. The American Transcendentalists can be understood as extending rather than dispensing with this legacy. For Emerson, a person cultivates virtues by imitating those she loves and admires. Ultimately, however, the virtues enable her to innovate on received models, to excel by pressing beyond exemplars. Emerson's famous line, “imitation is suicide,” is not a contradiction but a fulfillment of the imitation of (...)
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  9.  3
    Which Teacher Should I Choose?: A Xunzian Approach to Distinguishing Moral Experts From Fanatics.Eirik Lang Harris - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (3):463-480.
    This essay examines whether an invocation of an epistemological privilege on the part of supposed moral experts prevents potential students from being able to evaluate among potential candidates for the role of plausible moral teacher. Throughout, it works to demonstrate that it is possible for even the untutored student to distinguish between a fanatic and a moral expert. In particular, this essay focuses on the version of virtue ethics espoused by the early Chinese philosopher Xunzi. It argues that by reflecting (...)
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  10. A Loss of Judgment: The Dismissal of the Judicial Conscience in Recent Christian Ethics.Morgan Jeffrey - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (3):539-561.
    Christian ethicists have neglected conscience, understood as an individual's moral self-awareness before a locus of accountability and judgment, over the last few decades. The aim of this essay is to suggest how this neglect came about. I draw on the work of Paul Lehmann and Oliver O'Donovan to illustrate how ethicists in the twentieth century became suspicious of conscience because of its association with the alleged ahistorical individualism of Immanuel Kant's work. I argue that a social-historicist conception of conscience, such (...)
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  11.  3
    Just War Moralities.Gabriel Palmer‐Fernández - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (3):580-605.
    This essay discusses four recent books on the Western, and one book on the classical Chinese, traditions of just war. It concentrates on the jus ad bellum moral criteria, giving attention to the centrality of the state in just war morality, to some challenges in reconceptualizing the jus ad bellum in the context of non-state agents, and to controversies over a “presumption against war.”.
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  12.  6
    Beyond Eschatology: Environmental Pessimism and the Future of Human Hoping.Willa Swenson‐Lengyel - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (3):413-436.
    In much environmentally concerned literature, there is a burgeoning concern for the status and sustainability of human hope. Within Christian circles, this attention has often taken the form of eschatological reflection. While there is important warrant for attention to eschatology in Christian examinations of hope, I claim that to move so quickly from hope to eschatology is to confuse a species of Christian hope for a definition of hope itself; as such, it is important for theological ethicists to examine hope (...)
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  13. Islamic Bioethics and Animal Research: The Case of Iran.Robert Tappan - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (3):562-578.
    Despite growing interest in Islamic bioethics, little work has been done on research ethics in Islam, and even less on animal research ethics. This essay explores religious and scientific insights into the lives of animals used as research subjects, particularly in Iran. The inner lives of animals and their relationship to their Creator as relayed by the Qur'an, ethological research on animal minds, and neuroethical reflection on painience are brought together to question the current, relatively unrestricted use of research animals (...)
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  14.  3
    Kierkegaard's Critique of Eudaimonism: A Reassessment.Carson Webb - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (3):437-462.
    Interpreters are less univocal than one might think in assessing Søren Kierkegaard's attitude toward eudaimonism. Through an analysis of several key texts from across Kierkegaard's authorship, I argue that existing interpretations do not convincingly address the relationship between Kierkegaard's critique of eudaimonism and his mid-nineteenth-century context, which was dominated by post-Kantian idealists. While I am sympathetic to aspects of deontological and aretaic interpretations, a contextual reading shows that his critique centers on what he diagnoses as the enclosure of the modern (...)
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  15.  2
    Aquinas's Opposition to Killing the Innocent and its Distinctiveness Within the Christian Just War Tradition.H. Weiss Daniel - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (3):481-509.
    This essay argues that Aquinas's position regarding the killing of innocent people differs significantly from other representatives of the Christian just war tradition. While his predecessors, notably Augustine, as well as his successors, from Cajetan and Vitoria onward, affirm the legitimacy of causing the death of innocents in a just war in cases of necessity, Aquinas holds that causing the death of innocents in a foreseeable manner, whether intentionally or indirectly, is never justified. Even an otherwise legitimate act of just (...)
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  16. Advocating Worker Justice.Gerald J. Beyer - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):230-254.
    Catholic moral theology possesses a number of tools that can be employed to promote worker justice. Some of these tools, such as Catholic social teaching on solidarity and workers’ rights, have been used to this end before. However, advocates of workers’ rights have seldom utilized other concepts, such as cooperation in evil, scandal, and evangelization. This essay provides a theoretical introduction to several tools in the “toolkit” of Catholic ethicists, engaging contemporary scholarship on them. It then applies the concepts to (...)
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  17.  1
    The Religious Ethics of Labor.Fred Glennon & Vincent Lloyd - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):217-229.
    While unionization rates have steadily declined in the United States, there has been a renewal of grassroots labor organizing—in many cases connected in some way with religious communities. Attending to such organizing efforts holds the potential to deepen religious-ethical reflection on questions of labor, and these religious-ethical reflections hold the potential to enrich on-the-ground organizing efforts. These opportunities have largely been overlooked. On the one hand, while scholars have recently explored connections between religious ideas and economic ideas, they have often (...)
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  18. Charles Reynolds.Stanley Hauerwas - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):213-215.
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  19.  5
    Henry David Thoreau's Anti‐Work Spirituality and a New Theological Ethic of Work.Malesic Jonathan - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):309-329.
    Although Henry David Thoreau stands outside the Christian canon, his outlook on the relations among spirituality, ecology, and economy highlights how Christian theologians can develop a theological work ethic in our era of economic and ecological precarity. He can furthermore help theologians counter the pro-work bias in much Christian thought. In Walden, Thoreau shows that the best work is an ascetic practice that reveals and reaps the abundance of nature and connects the person to the immanent divine and thereby glimpsing (...)
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  20.  1
    The Refusal of Work in Christian Ethics and Theology.Jeremy Posadas - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):330-361.
    Reviewing major accounts in Christian ethics and theology concerning work reveals a set of assumptions that together form the field's current “common sense” regarding this central human activity: work is part of what it fundamentally means to be a human; there is an aspect of work that is intrinsically good, because it reflects God's work; and work that is degrading can be transformed into this intrinsic good. An emerging body of social thought, however, interrogates work from an anti-work perspective, rejecting (...)
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  21.  1
    Simone Weil on Labor and Spirit.Inese Radzins - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):291-308.
    This essay argues that Simone Weil appropriates Marx's notion of labor as life activity in order to reposition work as the site of spirituality. Rather than locating spirituality in a religious tradition, doctrine, profession of faith, or in personal piety, Weil places it in the capacity to work. Spirit arises in the activity of living, and more specifically in laboring—in one's engagement with materiality. Utilizing Marx's distinction between living and dead labor, I show how Weil develops a critique of capital (...)
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  22.  5
    Two Rival Interpretations of Xunzi's Views on the Basis of Morality.Michael R. Slater - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):363-379.
    This essay examines the textual evidence and arguments for two rival ways of interpreting Xunzi's accounts of the origins and normative bases of ritual and the Way: a human-centered line of interpretation which maintains that the moral order constituted by the Confucian Way and its ritual tradition was the artificial creation of a group of ancient sages, and a Heaven-centered line of interpretation which maintains, in contrast, that those same sages based the Confucian Way and its ritual tradition on a (...)
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  23. Elaborating Faith.C. Melissa Snarr - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):255-277.
    Emerging from participant observation fieldwork in varied interfaith organizations, this essay argues that intentional interfaith engagement in the United States is a decidedly classed phenomenon that too rarely includes the presence and concerns of persons who are working poor. This dynamic is particularly problematic given religious entanglements with free-market capitalism and the specific political economic vulnerability and religious diversity of recent immigrants and refugees. Interfaith organizing models, especially with their inclusion of labor unions, offer an important balance in the ecology (...)
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  24. Holiness in the Making.Stephan van Erp - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):278-290.
    In this essay, I will argue that a political theology of human work can provide the sacramental principle underlying the theology of labor. This principle could complement the foundations of Catholic social teaching, since the sacramental aspects of work have not been made very explicit in the ethical framework of the Church's theology of work. The view of labor as the active participation in God's future is an important aspect of such a theology. In order to serve as a foundation (...)
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  25.  1
    Racing From Death.Joseph Winters - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):380-405.
    In response to recent events that demonstrate the persistence of racial trauma, this essay revisits James Baldwin's claim that racism is a symptom of fundamental human tendencies and constraints. For Baldwin, we cannot understand the legacy of racism if we do not take seriously all too human attempts to evade, and deflect, death and its intimations. To flesh out this component of Baldwin's thought, I engage with the thought of Georges Bataille, an author who thinks generally about the fraught relationship (...)
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  26.  2
    One Good Turn Deserves Another.William A. Barbieri - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (1):194-205.
    Elizabeth Bucar has provided a service to the guild with her introduction to the emergent field of visual ethics. In this comment I undertake to expand the picture she presents. I argue that the visual dimension of ethics includes a “dark side” not addressed in her piece, and go on to consider a number of current avenues of inquiry in which religious ethics intersects with visual studies. After briefly considering some of the distinctive methodological challenges attending the visual turn in (...)
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  27.  2
    Can Isaac Forgive Abraham?Mitchell J. Gauvin - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (1):83-103.
    Forgiveness is an expression that befits agents who are at heart morally frail and imperfect. There is strong disagreement regarding its structure, conditions, and permissibility. Søren Kierkegaard's pseudonymously authored Fear and Trembling—already well understood as a challenge to our understanding of faith, religion, and the moral law through its focus on the biblical tale of Abraham's binding of Isaac—offers an indirect challenge to our understanding of forgiveness. Isaac is too often overlooked as characterless and philosophically uninteresting. What such a reading (...)
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  28.  1
    The Compassionate Treatment of Animals.Holly Gayley - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (1):29-57.
    The compassionate treatment of animals has been the focal point of speeches and writings by one of the most influential Buddhist cleric-scholars on the Tibetan plateau today, Khenpo Tsultrim Lodrö of Larung Buddhist Academy. This essay surveys the Khenpo's broad-based advocacy for animal welfare and details his discrete appeals to nomads in eastern Tibet to forgo selling livestock for slaughter, to eat a vegetarian diet on religious holidays, to relinquish wearing animal fur, to protect wildlife habitat, and to liberate the (...)
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  29.  7
    Hope as Grounds for Forgiveness.Heidi Chamberlin Giannini - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (1):58-82.
    It is widely assumed that Christianity enjoins its followers to practice universal, unconditional forgiveness. But universal, unconditional forgiveness is regarded by many as morally problematic. Some Christian scholars have denied that Christianity in fact requires universal, unconditional forgiveness, but I believe they are mistaken. In this essay, I show two things: that Christianity does enjoin universal, unconditional forgiveness of a certain sort, and that Christians, and perhaps other theists, are always justified in exercising unconditional forgiveness. Though most philosophers treat forgiveness (...)
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  30.  2
    Christian Supersessionism, Zionism, and the Contemporary Scene.Shaul Magid - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (1):104-141.
    Postliberal theology has been a topic of considerable theological debate over the past few decades. In his 2011 book Another Reformation, Peter Ochs deploys a postliberal theological model for the purpose of developing a sophisticated understanding of the future of interreligious relations. Ochs argues that postliberal theology is a reparative theology focusing on alleviating human suffering. He argues that the Christian idea of supersessionism may be the most challenging for Christians to confront as they explore avenues for making interreligious dialogue (...)
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  31.  8
    Grief, Death, and Longing in Stoic and Christian Ethics.Paul Scherz - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (1):7-28.
    The Stoic rejection of the passion of grief strikes many ethicists writing on dying as inhuman, selfish, or lacking appreciation for the world. This essay argues that Stoics rejected grief and the fear of death because these passions alienated one from the present through sorrow or anxiety for the future, disrupting one's ability to fulfill obligations of care for others and to feel gratitude for the gift of loved ones. Early Christian writers on death, such as Ambrose, maintained much of (...)
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  32.  3
    The Ethics of Price Gouging.Shira Weiss - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (1):142-163.
    An analysis of the contemporary moral debate over price gouging can advance multiple readings of the challenging biblical episode which depicts Jacob's purchase of the birthright. Ethical considerations, such as the maximization of welfare, preservation of choice, and promotion of virtue are evaluated and then applied to the biblical text recounting the sale of Esau's birthright. Did Jacob act ethically in his purchase of ravenous Esau's birthright, or did he seize a propitious opportunity to exploit Esau's predicament? Is Esau responsible (...)
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  33.  2
    A Hermeneutics of Intimacy.Wesselhoeft Kirsten - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (1):165-192.
    All four of the volumes discussed here integrate erudite historical and textual scholarship in Islamic studies with clearly articulated ethical and theological projects of gender justice, which are in turn rooted in the authors’ engagements in Muslim communities worldwide. This combination is a hallmark of recent work on gender and sexuality in Islamic contexts, where scholars foreground the complex intersection of their own ethical standpoints, their historically and linguistically grounded exegesis of classical sources, and their hopes for gender justice in (...)
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