The creative imperative: Religious ethics and the formation of life in common

Journal of Religious Ethics 33 (1):45-64 (2005)


Challenging a long-standing assumption of the separation of ethical from poetic activity, this essay develops the basis for a theory of moral life as inherently and radically creative. A range of contemporary post-Kantian ethicists--including Ricoeur, Nussbaum, Kearney, and Gutiérrez--are employed to make the argument that moral practice requires a fundamental capability for creative transformation, imagination, and social renewal. In addition, this poetic moral capability can finally be understood only from the primordial religious point of view of the mystery of Creation as such. Humanity as an image of its Creator is called to the endless impossible possibility of the re-creation of its own complex, plural, and fallen social world. Such a perspective is opposed to views of moral life as the application of law-like principles or the recovery of past moral histories. Without a better understanding of moral life's radically creative imperative, we miss a vital element of social relations' distinctive humanity

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References found in this work

Critique of Practical Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1788 - Hackett Publishing Company.
Totality and Infinity.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961/1969 - Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.
Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961 - Distribution for the U.S. And Canada, Kluwer Boston.
Critique of the Power of Judgment.Immanuel Kant - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Oneself as Another.Paul Ricoeur - 1992 - University of Chicago Press.

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