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1. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
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presidential address
2. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Ronald M. Green Jewish and Christian Ethics: What Can We Learn from One Another?
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metaphysics and anthropology in christian ethics
3. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
William J. Meyer On Keeping Theological Ethics Theological: An Alternative to Hauerwas's Diagnosis and Prescription
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Stanley Hauerwas argues that Christian ethics has lost its theological voice because it has accommodated itself to the secular assumptions of modern philosophical ethics. What has led to this fateful accommodation, he argues, is that theology has sought to translate its insights into a nontheological idiom in order to remain publicly intelligible and relevant. My thesis is that Hauerwas rightly recognizes that a fateful accommodation has occurred but wrongly identifies what it is. The real accommodation is found not in theology's attempt to be publicly intelligible and credible but in its widespread acceptance of the modern denial of metaphysics.
4. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Jennifer A. Herdt Cudworth, Autonomy and the Love of God: Transcending Enlightenment (and Anti-Enlightenment) Christian Ethics
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Recent attempts by Christian ethicists to mine the tradition of Christian Platonism have overlooked seventeenth-century Cambridge Platonist Ralph Cudworth. Cudworth's significance lies in his creative extension of Christian Platonism in response to the early modern situation of religious conflict. He develops an account of autonomy as the self-rule of the "redoubled soul," while retaining a teleological account of the soul's final end as participation in God. Cudworth can help contemporary Christian ethicists imagine a way beyond pro-Enlightenment secular accounts of autonomy and anti-Enlightenment rejections of autonomy in the name of tradition.
5. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Charles T. Mathewes Reading Reinhold Niebuhr Against Himself
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Reinhold Niebuhr's critics rightly identify flaws in his anthropology, but err in assuming those flaws irreparably vitiate his larger proposal. In fact Niebuhr's work contains two different anthropologies, one problematically "modernist" and one Augustinian; we may use the latter to critique the former within the context of his larger program, thus retaining (and indeed sharpening) the basic theological-ethical project of Niebuhr's work. By doing so we move beyond Niebuhr's formulations in a way that incorporates his insights at the most basic level, thus showing how we might read putatively "modernist" thinkers back into the presumptively "premodern" traditions from which they spring.
studies in christian love
6. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Amy Laura Hall Complicating the Command: Agape in Scriptural Context
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While some of Anders Nygren's critics supplant agape with eros or philia, we may best correct the false simplicity of Nygren's account through a scriptural retrieval of agape itself. I suggest what this textual turn may impart by discussing agape in passages from Exodus, Leviticus, Hosea, Luke, and John. Agape in these texts reflects motivations as disparate as passionate desire, parental longing, committed dutifulness, and protective seclusion—depictions at odds with Nygren's atemporal portrayal of agape as unmotivated and spontaneous. We may be called at times to heed one of these scriptural strains more than another, but to say either that impassivity (Nygren) or any one of these motivations represents the apex of love is misleading. I suggest that we resist the urge to condense our intentionally enigmatic canon.
7. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Stephen J. Pope Compassion and Self-Deception: The Unity of Love and Truthfulness in Leo Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich"
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This essay examines Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich in light of the moral status of self-deception, particularly as defended on grounds of compassion. It argues that Tolstoy's powerful depiction of the interconnection of love and truthfulness reveals the spiritual and moral dangers of self-deception and particularly its destructive consequences for interpersonal love and friendship.
psychology and christian ethics
8. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Don Browning The Challenge and Limits of Psychology to Theological Ethics
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This article summarizes the claims of Owen Flanagan that psychology can make important criticisms of and viable contributions to both religious and philosophical ethics. Flanagan insists that both fields of ethics should pass the test of what he calls the Principle of Minimal Psychological Realism (PMPR). However, in order for Flanagan to escape naïve naturalism, his PMPR test should be used within a hermeneutic philosophy such as that of Paul Ricoeur. Ricoeur's concepts of "diagnosis" and "distanciation" can help the moral theologian find a limited but important role for PMPR.
9. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
D. M. Yeager Real Toads in Imaginary Gardens: Impossibility and Perfection in Christian Ethics
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The challenge of joining a productive conversation between the human sciences and theological ethics is here given concrete form by a detailed consideration of Erich Neumann's attack on Christian ethics and his proposed alternative. Making the case that Christian ethics, the "old ethic," subverts consciousness, entails an unreliable conception of the psyche, and encumbers the personality with unbearable burdens, Neumann proposes a "new ethic" enlightened by depth psychology's study of the unconscious. Acknowledging that Neumann's critique deserves attention proportional to the truth of the psychological insights that propel it, the author also suggests that Neumann's proposed ethic may not differ from Christian ethics as dramatically as he insists.
10. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Ernest Wallwork Psychodynamic Contributions to Religious Ethics: Toward Reconfiguring "Askesis"
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Contemporary ethicists largely ignore the recent, revolutionary findings of psychodynamic psychology. The author argues that ethicists have been dissuaded from taking psychodynamic psychology seriously by (1) hostile attacks on the credibility of the psychodynamic paradigm, and (2) confusion about the contribution that clinical findings can make to ethics. With respect to these obstacles, the credibility of the psychodynamic paradigm is vouchsafed by a growing body of empirical studies that support the main psychodynamic hypotheses, particularly those of interest to ethicists. This new research points toward the need to expand the range of issues covered by contemporary ethics by retrieving and updating the ancient tradition of askesis, involving thought-exercises oriented towards cultivation of habits of mind conducive to acting morally in one's daily activities. The paper concludes by sketching several ways in which self-reflection may improve moral decision-making.
historical and contemporary perspectives on oppression
11. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Scott Davis Humanist Ethics and Political Justice: Soto, Sepúlveda, and the "Affair of the Indies"
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In the debate over Spanish treatment of the natives of the New World, both sides regularly invoked Aristotle on natural slaves. This paper argues that the interpretation of the Spanish Dominican Domingo de Soto displays a greater understanding of Aristotle and the Aristotelian tradition of justice than that of Juan Gines de Sepúlveda, the Spanish Humanist. The paper goes on to argue that it is the humanist tradition itself that disposes Sepúlveda to misconstrue Aristotle and the tradition of political justice.
12. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Miguel A. De La Torre Beyond Machismo: A Cuban Case Study
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This article explores the multidimensional aspects of intra-Hispanic oppression by unmasking the socio-historical construction of machismo. Usually, traditionally disenfranchised groups construct well-defined categories as to who are the perpetrators and who are the victims of injustices. All too often, Hispanic ethicists tend to identify oppressive structures of the dominant Eurocentric culture while overlooking repression conducted within the Hispanic community. The author suggests that, within the marginalized space of the Latino/a community, there exist intra-structures of oppression along gender, race, and class lines, and that these require a type of analysis that moves beyond (what Edward Said terms) "the rhetoric of blame." One form of such analysis is developed here, as the author examines intra-Cuban sexism, racism, and classism.
13. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Audrey R. Chapman Coming to Terms with the Past: Truth, Justice, and/or Reconciliation
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This paper explores one of the major issues before transitional societies, the balance among truth, justice, and/or reconciliation. It focusses on the role of truth commissions, with an emphasis on the experience of South Africa. A central thesis of the paper is that establishing a shared truth that documents the causes, nature, and extent of severe and gross human rights abuses and/or collective violence under antecedent regimes is a prerequisite for achieving accountability, meaningful reconciliation, and a foundation for a common future. It develops and applies an approach to reconciliation based on and extending Donald Shriver's concept of "political forgiveness."
studies in multicultural justice and law
14. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Richard B. Miller On Identity, Rights, and Multicultural Justice
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This essay critically examines justificatory arguments on behalf of justice for nonmainstream groups, focusing on two demands. The first is for mainstream groups to provide recognition by "fusing horizons" with the oral traditions of nonmainstream groups. Fusing horizons requires members of mainstream cultures to be transformed by the study of the other and thus to avoid ethnocentric evaluations of others. This demand involves the problematic idea that mainstream cultural norms and traditions are a priori morally deficient to evaluate alternative cultural norms. The second demand is to provide group-differentiated rights on terms that aim to protect disadvantaged minority cultures because they provide a horizon for autonomous choice, not because their customs make a presumptive claim for others' recognition. This demand may produce legal rights, but not recognition in a psychologically robust sense insofar as it secures rights on terms that are foreign to the comprehensive goods according to which minority cultures understand and esteem themselves. The aim of this paper is to distinguish between these two demands, explain each as resulting from different specifications of equality, and suggest how the need to balance recognition and rights might occur in political practical reasoning.
15. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Robert H. Craig Institutionalized Relationality: A Native American Perspective on Law, Justice and Community
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A vision of law and justice that is rooted in relationality stands at the heart of this paper. To tribal people, such as the Lakota and Dakota, what sustains the lives of people are bonds of kinship relations that bind human and nonhuman life together with a sense of mutual responsibility and caring that is most aptly captured by the Lakota phrase Mitakuye Oysain, "all are relatives." What are important to tribal communities are collective rights and obligations as embodied in Indian law and justice. Indian societies, thereby, have established their own tribal courts and legal systems that are markedly different from mainstream society. Indian people, it is argued, have much to teach about the limitations of the dominant legal culture and ways in which relationality serves a far better basis for law and justice than an adversarial system that demands winners and losers.
cross-cultural medical ethics
16. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Ping-cheung Lo Confucian Ethic of Death with Dignity and Its Contemporary Relevance
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This paper advances three claims. First, according to contemporary Western advocates of physician-assisted-suicide and voluntary euthanasia, "death with dignity" is understood negatively as bringing about death to avoid or prevent indignity, that is, to avoid a degrading existence. Second, there is a similar morally affirmative view on death with dignity in ancient China, in classical Confucianism in particular. Third, there is consonance as well as dissonance between these two ethics of death with dignity, such that the Confucian perspective would regard the argument for physician-assisted-suicide and voluntary euthanasia as less than compelling because of the latter's impoverished vision of human life.
private and public in political life
17. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
J. Philip Wogaman Intersections: Personal and Public Morality Pastoral and Prophetic Ministry
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18. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
M. Cathleen Kaveny The Public / Private Distinction And the Lewinsky Episode: A Loss of Innocence
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19. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Patricia A. Lamoreaux The Relation of Private and Public Life: A Conundrum
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sexual harassment
20. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 19
Anne E. Patrick Sexual Harassment: A Christian Ethical Response
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