The link between human nature and human flourishing is undeniable. "A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit" (Matt. 7:18). The ontology of the human person will, therefore, ground the nature of human flourishing and thereby sanctification. Spiritual formation is the area of Christian theology that studies sanctification, the Spirit-guided process whereby disciples of Jesus are formed into the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:28-29; 2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Peter 3:18). Until the nineteenth (...) century, there was an overwhelming consensus among Christian thinkers that some form of mind-body (or soul-body) dualism is true of human beings. Recently, that consensus has eroded, and with it the availability of a shared body of knowledge about spiritual formation. Some Christian physicalists argue that dualism is incompatible with central elements of spiritual formation. Neuroscientist Warren Brown and psychologist Brad Strawn offer the only substantive account of spiritual formation from the view of Christian physicalism and its accompanying objections to dualism. It is on their arguments that this chapter focuses. We argue that Brown and Strawn fail to support their incompatibility thesis. Additionally, we argue that Christian physicalism stands in tension with important philosophical and theological foundations of Christian spiritual formation. In doing so we offer a specific form of dualism, the bodily soul view, and explain how this view illuminates the importance of embodiment, our neurological and social development, and hence the important physical aspects of Christian spiritual formation. (shrink)
The 2013 FOIM (Fellowship of Indian Missiologists) Conference was hosted at Punalur, Kerala. 12 papers from this conference were compiled and published in Christian Mission in the Midst of Violence under the editorship of Dr. Joy Thomas SVD, director of Ishvani Kendra of Pune and Secretary of FOIM and Dr. Siga Arles, director of the Centre for Contemporary Christianity of Bangalore.
The ostensible arguments advanced by Oliver O’Donovan for a confessionally Christian constitutional order are not persuasive, even in the terms of his own scheme, because they presuppose that such a confession may be required as a representative act. Within his theory lies, however, the assumption that confessing Christ is fundamental to all right decision-making, including the political. This renders the confession of Christ not merely a possibility for legitimate governments but rather essential to just political judgments. If O’Donovan’s ostensible (...) arguments prove too little, the underlying logic of his position claims too much. O’Donovan is mistaken in his assumption that political judgments must be placed within the same comprehensive moral vision as personal decisions. Because political judgments bear only an indirect relationship to absolute right they may be rightly made without the express confession of Christ in the constitutional order. (shrink)
The Common Good and Christian Ethics rethinks the ancient tradition of the common good in a way that addresses contemporary social divisions, both urban and global. David Hollenbach draws on social analysis, moral philosophy, and theological ethics to chart new directions in both urban life and global society. He argues that the division between the middle class and the poor in major cities and the challenges of globalisation require a new commitment to the common good and that both believers (...) and secular people must move towards new forms of solidarity if they are to live good lives together. Hollenbach proposes a positive vision of how a reconstructed understanding of the common good can lead to better lives for all today, both in cities and globally. This interdisciplinary study makes both practical and theoretical contributions to the developing shape of social, cultural, and religious life today. (shrink)
What does it mean to forgive? The answer is widely assumed to be self-evident but critical analysis quickly reveals the complexities of the subject. Forgiveness has traditionally been the preserve of Christian theology, though in the last half century - and at an accelerating pace - psychologists, lawyers, politicians and moral philosophers have all been making an important contribution to questions about and our understanding of the subject. Anthony Bash offers a vigorous restatement of the Christian view of (...) forgiveness in critical dialogue with those both within and without the Christian tradition. Forgiveness is a much more complicated subject than many theologians recognize. Bash explores the relevance of the theoretical discussion of the topic to recent events such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, post-Holocaust trials, the aftermath of 9/11 and July 7 and various high-profile criminal cases. (shrink)
Foucault’s later writings continue his analyses of subject-formation but now with a view to foregrounding an active subject capable of self-transformation via ascetical and other self-imposed disciplinary practices. In my essay, I engage Foucault’s studies of ancient Greco-Roman and Christian technologies of the self with a two-fold purpose in view. First, I bring to the fore additional continuities either downplayed or overlooked by Foucault’s analysis between Greco-Roman transformative practices including self-writing, correspondence, and the hupomnemata and Christian ascetical and (...) epistolary practices. Second, I add exegetical support to recent arguments denying Foucault’s advocacy for the death of the subject per se. In fact, my analyses show that Foucault’s ethico-aesthetic turn and its corresponding concern with self-transformation and self-(re)constitution via ascetical practices assumes a subject with rational and volitional capacities. Without these capacities, the art of living Foucault describes is not possible. (shrink)
Does Christian faith matter in business? If so, how does it affect the way executives handle managerial issues, especially the ones that are ethically controversial? This paper reports a study of Chinese Christian executives in Hong Kong. The researchers followed an approach known as the Critical Incident Technique and conducted in-depth interviews with 119 Chinese Christian executives over a two year period from 1999 to 2001. Each interview covered four broad areas consisting of the interviewee''s description of (...) his or her Christian faith, business experience, reported critical incidents and general remarks on faith and work. For each reported critical incident, the interviewee deliberated on the incident and its background, his or her response, the rationale behind the response and its consequences. Each interview was tape recorded for transcription and analysis. The major contribution of this study is to propose and document a typology of the executives'' responses to ethical challenges in business. The typology is based on earlier work on Christ and culture and styles of negotiation. Preliminary research findings indicate that the proposed typology is an effective paradigm. It has the promise of enabling Christian executives to reflect critically on their ethical behavior and to guide their thought towards more effective responses to ethical challenges. (shrink)
This chapter discusses the relation between Christian Wolff's philosophy and the methodological views of early modern experimental philosophers. The chapter argues for three claims. First, Wolff's system relies on experience at every step and his views on experiments, observations, hypotheses, and the a priori are in line with those of experimental philosophers. Second, the study of Wolff's views demonstrates the influence of experimental philosophy in early eighteenth-century Germany. Third, references to Wolff's empiricism and rationalism are best identified or replaced (...) with references to his endorsement of the tenets of experimental philosophers and of a mathematical demonstrative method. (shrink)
Panentheism is an often-discussed alternative to Classical theism, and almost any discussion of panentheism starts by way of acknowledging Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781–1832) as the person who coined the term.1 However, apart from this tribute, Krause's own panentheism is almost completely unknown. In what follows, I first present a brief overview of Krause's life and correct some misconceptions of his work before I turn to the core ideas of Krause's own panentheistic system of philosophy. In brief, Krause elaborates (...) a scientific holism that is anchored in intellectual intuition of the Absolute as the one principle of being and recognition. The task of philosophical speculation consequently is twofold: the analytic-ascending part of philosophy proceeds by way of transcendental reflection and according to Krause enables us to obtain intellectual intuition. The synthetic-descending part of philosophy starts by way of showing that science as a whole is an explication of the original union of the Absolute as apprehended in intellectual intuition. Once this is achieved, Krause argues that the emerging philosophy of science is most adequately referred to as “panentheism” since everything is what it is “in and through” the Absolute, while the Absolute itself is not reducible to anything in particular. I end by showing how to relate Krause's panentheism to recent philosophical discussion. (shrink)
The purpose of this book is to formulate a way of thinking about issues of power, moral identity, and ethical norms by developing a theory of responsibility from a specifically theological viewpoint; the author thereby makes clear the significance for Christian commitment of current reflection on moral responsibility. The concept of responsibility is relatively new in ethics, but the drastic extension of human power through various technological developments has lately thrown into question the way human beings conceive of themselves (...) as morally accountable agents. It is this radical extension of power in our time which poses the need for a new paradigm of responsibility in ethics. Schweiker engages in an informed way with what is therefore a highly topical discussion. By developing a coherent theory of responsibility, and inquiring as to its source, the author demonstrates the unique contribution of Christian faith to ethics in our time. (shrink)
This essay aims to clarify the debate over same-sex unions by comparing it to the fourth-century conflict concerning the nature of Jesus Christ. Although some suppose that the council of Nicaea reiterated what Christians had always believed, the Nicene theology championed by Athanasius was a dramatic innovation that only won out through protracted struggle. Similarly, despite the widespread assumption that Christian tradition univocally condemns homosexuality, the concept of sexuality is a nineteenth-century invention with no exact analogue in the ancient (...) world. Neither heterosexuality nor homosexuality is addressed directly in Christian tradition; for this reason, the significance of older authorities for the modern debate is necessarily indirect. The dichotomy between progressive and conservative positions is therefore misguided: it is necessary neither to abandon tradition for the sake of progress nor to oppose innovation for the sake of fidelity. (shrink)
One of the important assets that Gutenberg’s printing press gifted to modern political economies is the ability to print paper money. The common man usually thinks that paper money is the real money, while in fact it is only a promissory note promising the bearer of the note the payment of the same amount (in coins, if not in gold) by the Reserve Bank. In the past, however, governments did deny such payment in exchange of the notes and one government (...) even made the holding of gold by the citizens as illegal. (shrink)
Persons and actions in Christian ethics -- Disruption of proper relation with God and others : sin and sins -- Intimacy with God and self-relation -- Fidelity to God and moral acting -- Truthfulness before God and naming moral actions -- Reconciliation in God and Christian life.
Electoral manifestos represent tools of political communication which do not only inform the electorate upon the fundamental values of a party, but which also legitimize future actions that the party might undertake once in power. The electoral manifesto of the European People’s Party, drafted before the 2009 European elections brings together the main elements which define the action plan of the party. Religious values lie at the core of the Christian-democratic ideology. But given the dynamic of politics and the (...) sometimes sudden shifts in the preferences of the electorate, manifestos can rapidly become out of touch with the needs of the voters. The current paper will analyze how much of what the EPP Manifesto contains on issues related to religiosity is truly in line with the general opinion of the Christian-democratic electorate in four European countries:Austria,Bulgaria, The Netherlands andPortugal. Moreover, using data collected through the Vote Advice Application data, the paper will also tap into the differences which still persist (or which are fading away) in the attitude of the right-wing versus the left-wing electorate on the issues related to religion. Communicating with the electorate is the main key in attracting those who share the ideas and values of a party. But what if the core ideas of a party are slowly becoming unappealing for its own electorate? (shrink)
Many of the doctrines central to Christianity have important philosophical implications or presuppositions. In this article, we begin with a brief general discussion of the relationship between philosophy and Christian dogma, and then we turn our attention to three of the most philosophically challenging Christian doctrines: the trinity, the incarnation, and the atonement. We take these three as our focus because, unlike (for example) doctrines about providence or the attributes of God, these are distinctive to Christian theology (...) and, unlike (for example) the doctrine of original sin or the Real Presence of Christ in the eucharist, these have been the subject of a great deal of discussion over the past couple of decades. (shrink)
Religion is an important cultural and individual difference variable. Yet, despite its obvious importance in consumers’ lives, religion in the United States has been under-researched. This study addresses that gap in the literature and investigates the influence of consumer religion in the buyer–seller dyad. Specifically, this study examines the influence of consumer religious commitment and a Christian consumer’s conservative beliefs in the United States on store loyalty when retailers make business decisions which are potentially reli- gious objectionable. This study (...) uses structural equation modeling and applies Anderson and Gerbing’s :411–423, 1988 ) two-step approach to exam- ine data obtained from a national sample of 531 consumers. The results from this study suggest that consumers evaluate seller’s actions and form ethical judgments. These judgments are a major explanatory variable in consumer store loyalty intentions. (shrink)
Contemporary Christian ethics encounters the challenge to communicate genuinely Christian normative orientations within the scientific debate in such a way as to render these orientations comprehensible, and to maintain or enhance their plausibility even for non-Christians. This essay, therefore, proceeds from a biblical motif, takes up certain themes from the Christian tradition (in particular the idea of social justice), and connects both with a compelling contemporary approach to ethics by secular moral philosophy, i.e. with Axel Honneth's reception (...) of Hegel, as based on Hegel's theory of recognition. As a first step, elements of an ethics of recognition are developed on the basis of an anthropological recourse to the conditions of intersubjective encounters. These conditions are then brought to bear on the idea of social justice, as developed in the social-Catholic tradition, and as systematically explored in the Pastoral Letter of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Economic Justice For All (1986). Proceeding from this basis, aspects of a Christian ethics of community service with regard to long-term care can be defined. (shrink)
In this chapter, we examine a few potential problems when inquiring into the ethics of medieval Christian and Islamic mystical traditions: First, there are terminological and methodological worries about defining mysticism and doing comparative philosophy in general. Second, assuming that the Divine represents the highest Good in such traditions, and given the apophaticism on the part of many mystics in both religions, there is a question of whether or not such traditions can provide a coherent theory of value. Finally, (...) the antinomian tendencies and emphasis on passivity of some mystics might lead one to wonder whether their prescriptive exhortations can constitute a coherent theory of right action. We tackle each of these concerns in turn and discuss how they might be addressed, in an attempt to show how medieval mysticism, as a fundamentally practical enterprise, deserves more attention from practical and moral philosophy than it has thus far received. (shrink)
“In describing Hauerwas’ work as Christian ethics, one can allow that phrase its full scope of meaning. It is the work of an ethician who is thoroughly conversant with that branch of philosophy and comes to grips with its major issues. He is also firmly committed to the view that, in modifying the substantive ‘ethics’ with the adjective ‘Christian,’ one is designating a distinct reality.... Hauerwas invites us to share an understanding of ethics in general and of (...) class='Hi'>Christian ethics in particular that is a great deal subtler and more complicated than most currently popular versions of those subjects. For contemporary Christian ethics to accept his invitation will mean letting itself in for some very rigorous and versatile thinking.” —_America_. (shrink)
This book addresses such key ethical issues as euthanasia, the environment, biotechnology, abortion, the family, sexual ethics, and the distribution of health care resources. Michael Banner argues that the task of Christian ethics is to understand the world and humankind in the light of the credal affirmations of the Christian faith, and to explicate this understanding in its significance for human action through a critical engagement with the concerns, claims and problems of other ethics. He illustrates both the (...) distinctiveness of Christian convictions in relation to the above issues and also the critical dialogue with practices based on other convictions which this sense of distinctiveness motivates but does not prevent. The book's importance lies in its attempt to show the crucial difference which Christian belief makes to an understanding of these issues, whilst at the same time demonstrating some of the weaknesses and confusions of certain popular approaches to them. (shrink)
. Recent years have witnessed the proliferation of “Christian” companies in the U.S. These firms declare their belief in, and active pursuit of, the successful merging of biblical principles with business activities. Economic success, hard work, and biblical values are seen as capable of existing together in harmony. While the number of such businesses appears to be growing, there has been a dearth of any scientific study of these companies. No empirical research has been conducted to determine whether these (...) religious values and behaviors have any significant impact on a company’s performance. The present study is designed to partially fill this gap. Specifically, it seeks to determine whether there are differences in long-term performance between self-proclaimed “Christian-based” businesses and their secular counterparts. Data were collected from 312 companies. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), followed by univariate ANOVAs, found significant differences between these two groups of firms on three of the four performance variables that were analyzed. Some explanations as well as limited generalizations and implications are developed. (shrink)
The concept and definition of personhood is central to current debates over ethics. Should 'personhood', for example, determine the allocation of scarce medical resources, and its perceived absence allow the termination of life? In a wide-ranging discussion notable for its clarity, Stanley Rudman's 1997 book traces the development of modern ideas about personhood. He argues that concepts of person are socially constructed, and that the relational understanding of persons in a number of theological discussions can act as an important corrective (...) to the individualistic notions of person which have been popular in secular philosophy since the Enlightenment. Early Christian views of divine speech, communication and relations between the Trinity can help to define an ethic which understands personhood in relation to other people, to the environment, and to God. (shrink)
Self love is an inescapable problem for ethics, yet much of contemporary ethics is reluctant to offer any normative moral anthropologies. Instead, secular ethics and contemporary culture promote a norm of self-realization which is subjective and uncritical. Christian ethics also fails to address this problem directly, because it tends to investigate self love within the context of conflicts between the self's interests and those of her neighbors. Self Love and Christian Ethics argues for right self love as the (...) solution of proper self-relation that intersects with love for God and love for neighbor. Darlene Fozard Weaver explains that right self love entails a true self-understanding that is embodied in the person's concrete acts and relations. In making this argument, she calls upon ethicists to revisit ontological accounts of the self and to devote more attention to particular moral acts. (shrink)
Although church-related universities in England gradually became more secular throughout the twentieth century, a group of nine teacher education colleges with church foundations have recently developed into full fledged universities. This article draws upon documentary and site-based research to evaluate the relevance of the Christian identity for these institutions in light of recent scholarship on the subject.
It is a widely held viewpoint in Christian apologetics that in addition to defending Christian theism against objections (negative apologetics), apologists should also present arguments in support of the truth of theism and Christianity (positive apologetics). In contemporary philosophy of religion, the Reformed epistemology movement has often been criticized on the grounds that it falls considerably short of satisfying the positive side of this two-tiered approach to Christian apologetics. Reformed epistemology is said to constitute or entail an (...) inadequate apologetic methodology since it rejects positive apologetics or at least favours negative over positive apologetics. In this paper I argue that this common objection fails on two grounds. First, while the arguments of Reformed epistemology are relevant and useful to apologetics, neither Reformed epistemology nor its epistemological project should be identified with a distinct school or method of apologetics. Secondly, while certain claims of Reformed epistemology seem to imply a rejection of positive apologetics, or at least a preference for negative or positive apologetics, I argue that no such conclusion follows. In fact, although unimpressed by particular versions of natural theology and positive apologetics, Reformed epistemologists have provided criticisms of each that can constructively shape future approaches to the apologetic employment of natural theology and Christian evidences. (shrink)
Halakhah and ethics in the Jesus tradition -- Matthew's divorce texts in the light of pre-rabbinic Jewish law -- Let the dead bury their dead : Jesus and the law revisited -- James, Israel, and Antioch -- Natural law in Second Temple Judaism -- Natural law in the New Testament? -- The Noachide commandments and New Testament ethics -- The beginning of Christian public ethics : from Luke to Aristides and Diognetus -- Jewish and Christian public ethics in (...) the early Roman Empire. (shrink)
In dialogue with Jürgen Habermas's communicative ethics, Covenant and Communication constructively explores a covenantal-communicative model of Christian ethics. Author Hak Joon Lee analyzes themes of freedom, equality, and reciprocity in Habermas's theory of communication from the perspective of the Reformed Christian doctrines of covenant and the Trinity.
Karl Christian Friedrich Krause war ein bemerkenswerter Denker des Deutschen Idealismus. Seine Schriften können ohne Zweifel mit denen Hegels, Schellings und Fichtes konkurrieren. Gerade im Bereich der theoretischen Philosophie bietet das Krausesche Œuvre eine Fundgrube an Einsichten und Argumenten, die der heutigen, oftmals betont postmodernen oder atheistischen Philosophie eine dringend benötigte Kontrastfolie sein können. Sinn und Zweck der Arbeit ist es, den Panentheismus Krauses zeitgemäß darzustellen und Brückenschläge zur heutigen religionsphilosophischen Debatte aufzuzeigen.
A central theme in the Christian contemplative tradition is that knowing God is much more like ‘unknowing’ than it is like possessing rationally acceptable beliefs. Knowledge of God is expressed, in this tradition, in metaphors of woundedness, darkness, silence, suffering, and desire. Philosophers of religion, on the other hand, tend to explore the possibilities of knowing God in terms of rational acceptability, epistemic rights, cognitive responsibility, and propositional belief. These languages seem to point to very different accounts of how (...) it is that we come to know God, and a very different range of critical concepts by which the truth of such knowledge can be assessed. In this paper, I begin to explore what might be at stake in these different languages of knowing God, drawing particularly on Alvin Plantinga’s epistemology of Christian belief. I will argue that his is a distorted account of the epistemology of Christian belief, and that this has implications for his project of demonstrating the rational acceptability of Christian faith for the 21st century. (shrink)
Mainstream currents within Christianity havelong insisted that humans, among all creatures, areneither fully identified with their physical bodiesnor fully at home on earth. This essay outlines theparticular characteristics of Christian notions ofhuman nature and the implications of this separationfor environmental ethics. It then examines recentefforts to correct some damaging aspects oftraditional Christian understandings of humanity''splace in nature, especially the notions of physicalembodiment and human embeddedment in earth. Theprimary goal of the essay is not to offer acomprehensive evaluation of (...)Christian thinking aboutnature but rather to identify theological anthropologyas a crucial dimension of, and problem for, Christianenvironmental ethics. (shrink)
This book is about the extent, origins and causes of the environmental crisis. Dr Northcott argues that Christianity has lost the biblical awareness of the inter-connectedness of all life. He shows how Christian theologians and believers might recover a more ecologically friendly belief system and life style. The author provides an important corrective to secular approaches to environmental ethics, including utilitarian individualism, animal rights theories and deep ecology. He contends that neither the stewardship tradition, nor the panentheist or process (...) ecological theologies have successfully mobilised the Christian tradition. He demonstrates that the Hebrew Bible contains an ecological message which is close to the traditions of many primal and indigenous peoples and which provides an important corrective to instrumental attitudes to nature in much modern philosophy and Christian ethics. (shrink)
The present study intends to demonstrate that there is no logical-formal inconsistency in the Christian Trinity. However, the demonstration requires specific tools, other than those of classical logic. There are many older or newer attempts that try to remove the thesis of the inconsistency of the Christian Trinity. There is often a call for mathematical tools. As far as we are concerned, we will appeal to co -inherence and the nesting relationships specific to the Christian Trinity, as (...) they appear especially in Augustine’s work. We advance the hypothesis that Augustine's metaphor "heaven of heavens" has a foundational role in the logical plane of explanation. In this sense, Augustine points out that in the "heaven of heavens", reason does not know "in part", but it knows everything suddenly, entirely, as in a totality. This totality with a founding role functions as a principle, which we can call the principle of free totality. But the co -belonging of entities in the free and founding totality also expresses co -inherence. Divine persons are an emanation of God. That is why we are talking about co -inherence. The "co" particle points out that the starting point is in the free totality of God, and that this totality logically precedes the rest of the process. Thus, we can consider the term "the Christian Trinity" as a nested term, as co -habitation. The totality of God is not a generalization in the spirit of the Aristotelian abstraction, but rather a particularity, a "personalization" that does not cancel the individual, but it highlights in instantiation. In this sense, the Christian God is not an abstraction, but a divine Being in three persons, in whom He instantiates. The logic of this process is the one of vagueness. (shrink)
Origins of the Copernican Revolution that led to modern science genesis can be explained only by the joint influence of external and internal factors. The author tries to take this influence into account with a help of his own growth of knowledge model according to which the growth of science consists in interaction, interpenetration and unification of various scientific research programmes spreading from different cultural milieux. Copernican Revolution consisted in revealation and elimination of the gap between Ptolemy’s mathematical astronomy and (...) Aristotelian qualitative physics. But the very realization of the gap between physics and astronomy appeared to be possible because at least at its first stages modern science was a result of Christian Weltanschaugung development with its aspiration for elimination of pagan components. Of all the external factors religion was the strongest one. Key words: scientific revolution, Christian weltanschaugung, modernity, Copernicus, Ptolemy. (shrink)
The Christian idea of man -- The idea of man in general -- The Christian idea of man and St. Thomas Aquinas's theory of virtues -- The true concept of virtue and the hierarchy of virtues -- Prudence -- Justice -- Courage and fear of the Lord -- Discipline and moderation -- Faith, hope, and love -- The distinction between a natural and supernatural ethos.
Jeffrey Stout addresses two of the main criticisms of liberal democracy by its contemporary neotraditionalist Christian critics: that liberal democracy is destructive of social tradition, and thereby of virtue in the citizenry, and that liberal democracy is inherently secular, committed to expunging religious voices from the public arena. I judge that Stout effectively answers these charges: liberal democracy has its own tradition, it cultivates the virtues relevant to that, and it is not inherently hostile to piety. What Stout does (...) not do, I suggest, is take the next step of showing, positively, that Christianity can and should affirm the substance of liberal democratic society. This is due, in good measure, to the fact that Stout never tells us, except in off-hand comments, what he takes the substance of liberal democracy to be. And this, in turn, is due to his way of employing pragmatism: he uses pragmatism to give an account of human society generally, not of liberal democratic society. I raise some questions about the general account that pragmatism gives of human society, and thus about the account that it would give of liberal democracy. (shrink)
In this paper I evaluate Zamulinski’s recent attempt to rebut an argument to the conclusion that having any kind of religious faith violates a moral duty. I agree with Zamulinski that the argument is unsound, but I disagree on where it goes wrong. I criticize Zamulinski’s alternative construal of Christian faith as existential commitment to fundamental assumptions. It does not follow that we should accept the moral argument against religious faith, for at least two reasons. First, Zamulinski’s Cliffordian ethics (...) of belief is defective in several regards. Second, the truth of doxastic involuntarism and the possibility of doxastic excuse conditions can be used to demonstrate that the argument is unconvincing. (shrink)
This book addresses the question of the communication of Christian ethics in the public forum of liberal, pluralist societies. Drawing on debates in philosophy, theology and sociological theory, it relates the problem of communication to fundamental questions about the nature of liberal societies and the identity of Christian faith and the Christian community. With particular emphasis on Kantian and neo-Kantian ethics, it explores the link between autonomy and community in liberal societies. The theology of communio, expressed in (...) revealed Christian traditions, can reconcile autonomy and community. Any Christian attempt to communicate this vision must also reflect on Christianity's own identity, especially the ways in which its own self-consciousness grows in critical interaction with secularity. In this light, Christian ethical communication is both a witness to a distinctive identity, founded in the revelation of the triune God, and a vision of universal human solidarity which can reconcile autonomy and community. (shrink)
Separated from its anchorage in religion, ethics has followed the social sciences in seeing human beings as fundamentally characterized by self-interest, so that altruism is either naively idealistic or arrogantly self-sufficient. Colin Grant contends that, as a modern secular concept, altruism is a parody on the self-giving love of Christianity, so that its dismissal represents a social levelling that loses the depths that theology makes intelligible and religion makes possible. The Christian affirmation is that God is characterized by self-giving (...) love, then expected of Christians. Lacking this theological background, the focus on self-interest in sociobiology and economics, and on human realism in the political focus of John Rawls or the feminist sociability of Carol Gilligan, finds altruism naive or a dangerous distraction from real possibilities of mutual support. This book argues that to dispense with altruism is to dispense with God and with the divine transformation of human possibilities. (shrink)