Leading legal scholar JohnWitte, Jr. explores the role religion played in the development of rights in the Western legal tradition and traces the complex interplay between human rights and religious freedom norms in modern domestic and international law. He examines how US courts are moving towards greater religious freedom, while recent decisions of the pan-European courts in Strasbourg and Luxembourg have harmed new religious minorities and threatened old religious traditions in Europe. Witte argues that the robust (...) promotion and protection of religious freedom is the best way to protect many other fundamental rights today, even though religious freedom and other fundamental rights sometimes clash and need judicious balancing. He also responds to various modern critics who see human rights as a betrayal of Christianity and religious freedom as a betrayal of human rights. (shrink)
This book defends the fundamental place of the marital family in modern liberal societies. While applauding modern sexual freedoms, JohnWitte, Jr also defends the traditional Western teaching that the marital family is an essential cradle of conscience, chrysalis of care, and cornerstone of ordered liberty. He thus urges churches, states, and other social institutions to protect and promote the marital family. He encourages reticent churches to embrace the rights of women and children, as Christians have long taught, (...) and encourages modern states to promote responsible sexual freedom and family relations, as liberals have long said. He counsels modern churches and states to share in family law governance, and to resist recent efforts to privatize, abolish, or radically expand the marital family sphere. Witte also invites fellow citizens to end their bitter battles over same-sex marriage and tend to the vast family field that urgently needs concerted attention and action. (shrink)
Extending the dialogue on corporate social performance (CSP) as descriptive stakeholder management (Clarkson, Acad Manage Rev 20: 92, 1995), we examine differences in CSP activity between family and nonfamily firms. We argue that CSP activity can be explained by the firm's identity orientation toward stakeholders (Brickson, Admin Sci Quart 50: 576, 2005; Acad Manage Rev 32: 864, 2007). Specifically, individualistic, relational, or collectivistic identity orientations can describe a firm's level of CSP activity toward certain stakeholders. Family firms, we suggest, adopt (...) a more relational orientation toward their stakeholders than nonfamily firms, and thus engage in higher levels of CSP.Further, we invoke collectivistic identity orientation to argue that the higher the level of family or founder involvement within a family firm, the greater the level of CSP toward specific stakeholders. Using social performance rating data from 1991 to 2005, we find that family and nonfamily firms demonstrate notable differences in terms of social initiatives and social concerns. We also find that the level of family and founder involvement is related to the type and frequency of a family firm's social initiatives and social concerns. (shrink)
The twentieth-century Dutch philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd left behind an impressive canon of philosophical works and has continued to influence a scholarly community in Europe and North America, which has extended, critiqued, and applied his thought in many academic fields. Jonathan Chaplin introduces Dooyeweerd for the first time to many English readers by critically expounding Dooyeweerd's social and political thought and by exhibiting its pertinence to contemporary civil society debates. Chaplin begins by contextualizing Dooyeweerd's thought, first in relation to present-day debates (...) and then in relation to the work of the Dutch philosopher Abraham Kuyper. Chaplin outlines the distinctive theory of historical and cultural development that serves as an essential backdrop to Dooyeweerd's substantive social philosophy; examines Dooyeweerd's notion of societal structural principles; and sets forth his complex classification of particular types of social structure and their various interrelationships. Chaplin provides a detailed examination of Dooyeweerd's theory of the state, its definitive nature, and its proper role vis-a-vis other elements of society. Dooyeweerd's contributions, Chaplin concludes, assist us in mapping the ways in which state and civil society should be related to achieve justice and the public good. "This superb study simultaneously introduces and critically engages the work of one of the most important and neglected Christian thinkers of the twentieth century, while showing its connection to the pluralist tradition and bringing it to bear on the contemporary debate about civil society. More than just providing an overview of Dooyeweerd's thought, it seeks to advance his intellectual project and show its contemporary relevance. It is essential reading not only for those interested in the neo-Calvinist tradition, but for anyone interested in Christian social thought, structural pluralism, or the nature and fate of civil society." --_Kenneth L. Grasso, Texas State University _ "The subtlety, scope, and insightfulness of Dooyeweerd's social philosophy were unparalleled among Protestant thinkers in the past century. Yet his contributions are not well known. Jonathan Chaplin promises to remedy this neglect. His lucid and masterful study brings a new and transformative voice to contemporary debates about the future of a democratic society." --_Lambert Zuidervaart, Institute for Christian Studies and University of Toronto_ "Finally, an authoritative book that brings to brilliant light and life Herman Dooyeweerd's Christian philosophy of law, politics, and society. For the past half century, the profound and original teachings of this prolific Dutch sage have been lost on most readers. Jonathan Chaplin has rescued Dooyeweerd from his own obscure prose, poor translations, and cultic mystique to reveal his astonishing and engaging insights into our lives as persons and peoples, rulers and citizens, preachers and parishioners, parents and children. This will be the go-to book on Dooyeweerd for many years to come." --_John Witte, Jr., Emory University_ "Herman Dooyeweerd was both deep and original. Much of his writing is an articulation of rather undeveloped lines of thought in his Dutch predecessor, Abraham Kuyper. In the course of his exposition, Chaplin effectively highlights Dooyeweerd's significance for a theory of civil society and for present-day social theory in general." --_Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale University and the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Virginia_. (shrink)
Is the existence of God a reasonable metaphysical hypothesis? So asks A. C. Ewing in his important posthumous work, Value and Reality. Thus the topic of the book is theistic religion, not in its entirety, but rather merely in its intellectual part. That it does have such a part, and further that it makes claims ‘to objective truth in the field of metaphysics’, is defended on the grounds that a fictional ‘story’ about God has what religious or ethical impact it (...) may have because, or at least mainly because, it is taken precisely not as fictional, but as expressing an objective theological truth; and that a story, or an account, can constitute a good reason for one's acting in a certain way only if the account is, in fact, objectively true. Bearing on both points is Ewing's observation that ‘emotion, at least except in pathological cases, requires some objective belief about the real, true or false, to support it for long, and if it exists without knowledge or rationally founded belief with which it is in agreement, it is to be condemned as irrational or unfitting, as it would be unfitting to rejoice at something disastrous or be angry with an inanimate thing’. The claim is not, we are told, that religious statements are literal as distinguished from symbolic. The door would seem to be left open, in fact, to their all being symbolic. What is essential is that some of them symbolise distinctively metaphysical truths, or truths ‘going beyond the realm of science’ and ‘throwing some light on the general nature of the real’. We should indeed distinguish, Ewing notes, ‘belief in’ from ‘belief that’. Yet the former is not possible without the latter. ‘Unless I believe that God exists I cannot believe in God’. So in Ewing's opinion, statements of metaphysics—if not concerning God, then at least concerning certain general aspects of reality—are most important for religion as a whole, and are, in being true, conceptually necessary to its validity, or to its ‘fittingness’. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Marcia J. Bunge; Part I. Religious Understandings of Children and Obligations to Them: Central Beliefs and Practices: 1. The concept of the child embedded in Jewish law Elliot N. Dorff; 2. Children's spirituality in the Jewish narrative tradition Sandy Eisenberg Sasso; 3. Christian understandings of children and obligations to them: central Biblical themes and resources Marcia J. Bunge; 4. Human dignity and social responsibility: Catholic Social Thought on children William Werpehowski; 5. Islam, children, and modernity (...) - a Qur'anic perspective Farid Esack; 6. Linking past and present: educating Muslim children in diverse cultural contexts Lily Zakiyah Munir and Azim Nanji; 7. Imagining childism: how childhood should transform religious ethics John Wall; 8. Talking about childhood and engaging children: a Christian perspective on interfaith dialogue Nelly Van Doorn-Harder; Part II. Specific Responsibilities of Children and Adults: Selected Contemporary Issues and Challenges: 9. Will I have Jewish grandchildren?: Cultural transmission and ethical concerns among ethnoreligious minorities Sylvia Barack Fishman; 10. Muslim youth and religious identity: classical perspectives and contemporary challenges Marcia Hermansen; 11. Honor your father and your mother: a Christian perspective in dialogue with contemporary psychological theories Annemie Dillen; 12. Work, play, labor, and chores: Christian ethical reflection on children and vocation Bonnie Miller-McLemore; 13. Orphans and adoption: Biblical themes, Christian initiatives, and contemporary ethical concerns Keith Graber Miller; 14. Second-hand children: a Jewish ethics of foster care in an age of desire Laurie Zoloth; 15. Christianity's mixed contributions to children's rights: traditional teachings, modern doubts Don Browning and JohnWitte, Jr; 16. Children's rights in modern Islamic and international law: changes in Muslim moral imaginaries Ebrahim Moosa; Appendix I. Selected primary texts; Appendix II. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; Index of names; Index of subjects. (shrink)
From ancient times to the present, the discovery and presentation of new proofs of previously established theorems has been a salient feature of mathematical practice. Why? What purposes are served by such endeavors? And how do mathematicians judge whether two proofs of the same theorem are essentially different? Consideration of such questions illuminates the roles that proofs play in the validation and communication of mathematical knowledge and raises issues that have yet to be resolved by mathematical logicians. The Appendix, in (...) which several proofs of the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic are compared, provides a miniature case study. (shrink)
Religious considerations in medical decision-making have enjoyed newfound attention in recent years, challenging the assumption that the domains of biological and spiritual flourishing can be cleanly separated in clinical practice. A surprising majority of patients desire their physicians to engage their religious and spiritual concerns, yet most never receive such attention, particularly in cases near the end of life where such attention seems most warranted.1–3 As physicians Aparna Sajja and Christina Puchalski recently wrote in the AMA Journal of Ethics theme (...) issue on ‘Religion and Spirituality in Healthcare Practice’, modern medical training is ‘falling short of preparing physicians to help patients with the metaphysical needs of their illness’.4 It would seem then that both patients and physicians might challenge the conclusions proffered by philosophers Jake Greenblum and Ryan Hubbard in ‘Responding to Religious Patients: Why Physicians Have No Business Doing Theology’, in which they claim that physicians ought not to engage religious reasoning for medical decisions. Their conclusion relies on two core arguments: a ‘public reason’ argument and a ‘fiduciary argument’, both of which contend that theology and religious considerations have no place in medical reasoning. We find that two central errors undergird these arguments. First is the fraught notion of an epistemically and ethically normative public reason, and second is a fundamental mischaracterisation of the fiduciary nature of the patient–physician relationship and the nature of medicine itself. In response, we argue that all physicians essentially ‘do theology’ and that, rather than divorcing theology from medical practice, clinicians should make it their business to do theology well. To support the exclusion of religious reasoning from medical decision-making, the authors open with a ‘public reason argument’, suggesting that physicians serve in roles closely resembling those of public officials. As such, the physician as public official ought to limit himself …. (shrink)
The symposium »Does the Concept of ›Truth‹ Have Value in the Pursuit of Cross-Cultural Philosophy?« hones on a methodological question which has deep implications on doing philosophy cross-culturally. Drawing on early Confucian writers, the anchor, Henry Rosemont, Jr., attempts to explain why he is skeptical of pat, affirmative answers to this question. His co-symposiasts James Maffie, John Maraldo, and Sonam Thakchoe follow his trail in working out multi-faceted views on truth from Mexican, Japanese Confucian, and Tibetan Buddhist perspectives respectively. (...) As these positions substantiate, the aforementioned non-Anglo-European traditions seem to draw on an integrated view of thinking, feeling, and living a human life. For their practitioners, truth is less of a correspondence with a given external reality. In fact, it enables human beings to strike the right path in living good, social lives. (shrink)
If a serious Christian wants to think seriously about a serious subject, what does he or she do? Grounded in the best of the Christian theological tradition, Need to Know sets out a comprehensive, coherent, and clear model of responsible Christian thinking.
The idea of God’s action in history was prominent in the Biblical theology of the past generation. This theology was generally opposed to philosophic explication of its doctrine of God, and consequently it is difficult to say just what it meant by divine action. In any case, that movement faded and, with it, talk of God’s acts.
What kind of persons could engage in political torture? Not only the morally impaired who lack empathy or compassion, or even the merely obedient, but also the righteous who struggle with conscience, and the realists who set morality aside.
Philosophical defenses of cognitive/evolutionary psychological accounts of racialism claim that classification based on phenotypical features of humans was common historically and is evidence for a species-typical, cognitive mechanism for essentializing. They conclude that social constructionist accounts of racialism must be supplemented by cognitive/evolutionary psychology. This article argues that phenotypical classifications were uncommon historically until such classifications were socially constructed. Moreover, some philosophers equivocate between two different meanings of “racial thinking.” The article concludes that social constructionist accounts are far more robust (...) than psychological accounts for the origins of racialism. (shrink)
This book offers an introduction to the thought of Robert Holcot, a great and influential but often underappreciated medieval thinker. Holcot was a Dominican friar who flourished in the 1330's and produced a diverse body of work including scholastic treatises, biblical commentaries, and sermons. By viewing the whole of Holcot's corpus, John T. Slotemaker and Jeffrey C. Witt provide a comprehensive account of his thought. Challenging established characterizations of him as a skeptic or radical, they show Holcot to be (...) primarily concerned with affirming and supporting the faith of the pious believer. At times, this manifests itself as a cautious attitude toward absolutist claims about the power of natural reason. At other times Holcot reaffirms, in Anselmian fashion, the importance of rational effort in the attempt to understand and live out one's faith. Over the course of this introduction the authors unpack Holcot's views on faith and heresy, the divine nature and divine foreknowledge, the sacraments, Christ, and political philosophy. They also examine Holcot's approach to several important medieval literary genres, including the development of his unique. (shrink)
This study was a preliminary exploration of the value changes taking place in the United States since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, which was a significant emotional event or cultural upheaval. Rokeach told us that "a person's total value system may undergo change as a result of socialization, therapy, or cultural upheaval..." (Rokeach, The Nature of Human Values, 1973, p. 37). The researchers explored the value changes of 500 aviation industry employees (...) before the attack and 500 after the attack. The statistically significant research results showed a total of twenty-seven of thirty-six values changed. Before the attack respondents valued much higher self-esteem and self-actualization values like A Sense of Accomplishment and Self-Respect. After the attack respondents placed a much higher value importance on survival, safety and security values like A World at Peace, Freedom, Family Security, National Security, Mature Love, Salvation, and True Friendship. (shrink)