Environmental Modesty

Journal of Religious Ethics 43 (3):475-492 (2015)

Despite this virtue's history as an instrument of women's oppression, modesty, at its most basic, means voluntary restraint of one's power, undertaken for the sake of others. It is a mechanism that modifies unequal power relationships and encourages greater compassion and fairness. I use a Christian perspective with influences from Jewish and Muslim sources to examine modesty. The modest person, I argue, must be in relationship with others, must be honestly aware of her impacts on others, must be sensitive to those impacts, compassionate toward others, and willing to hold back for others' sakes. Moreover, modesty is not only a virtue that pertains to sexuality and clothing, but it also can promote virtuous environmental behavior, particularly as it leads to awareness of, and sensitivity to, the effects of everyday behaviors on vulnerable others
Keywords virtue  modesty  ecological footprint  environmental ethics  power  permaculture
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DOI 10.1111/jore.12106
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Summa Theologica.Thomas Aquinas - 1274 - Hayes Barton Press.

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