The Disconsolation of Theology: Irony, Cruelty, and Putting Charity First

Journal of Religious Ethics 20 (1):1 - 35 (1992)
In this essay I reply to Richard Rorty's and Judith Shklar's influential accounts of liberalism, preferring what I call "strong agapism" to Rorty's ironism and Shklar's emphasis on avoidance of cruelty. Strong agapism treats love as a "metavalue," an indispensable source of moral insight and power, yet it admits the genuineness and fragility of goods other than love (for example, health, happiness). The detaching of charity from moral self-sufficiency-as well as from certainty about personal immortality-amounts to a disconsoling doctrine in many respects. I conclude, however, that accent on agape betokens a profound philosophical and theological optimism. This optimism stems from the conviction that putting charity first is its own reward, a joyful affirmation of life (and its Creator) that is the basis of all other virtues.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,664
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Roy Sorensen (2004). Charity Implies Meta-Charity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):290 - 315.
Kathrin Glüer (2006). The Status of Charity I: Conceptual Truth or a Posteriori Necessity? International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (3):337 – 359.
Rachel Haliburton (1997). Richard Rorty and the Problem of Cruelty. Philosophy and Social Criticism 23 (1):49-69.
G. Randolph Mayes (2009). Naturalizing Cruelty. Biology and Philosophy 24 (1):21–34.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

5 ( #572,752 of 1,903,038 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #446,009 of 1,903,038 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.