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1. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Preface
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selected essays
2. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Douglas F. Ottati How Can Theological Ethics Be Christian?
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THIS ESSAY PRESENTS THE ARGUMENT THAT A THEOLOGICAL ETHIC CAN be Christian if it is shaped by a Christian theology or a reflective attempt to articulate a Christian worldview in the service of the life of faith. But there is no generic Christian theology, only historical varieties, many of which shape our ethics differently and also include distinctive self-critical resources. Therefore, although theology is not all you need, you must also be your own theologian to be a critical, interesting, and ecclesially relevant Christian ethicist.
3. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Charles E. Curran How Does Christian Ethics Use Its Unique and Distinctive Christian Aspects?
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IN THIS ESSAY I RESPONT TO THE QUESTION OF HOW THEOLOGICAL ETHICS are theological by moving it in a direction that attends to the specifically Christian contribution to ethics. I begin with three somewhat related presuppositions or questions—on human wisdom, audience(s), and the relationship with other types of ethics—that indicate how I understand the discipline of Christian ethics. I follow with a discussion of quandary ethics before moving to a systematic overview of and approach to Christian ethics. I conclude with a challenge to raise the distinctive contributions that the Christian tradition makes to the discipline of ethics and its hearers today.
4. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Lloyd Steffen The Ethical Complexity of Abraham Lincoln: Is There Something for Religious Ethicists to Learn?
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ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S UNORTHODOX RELIGIOUS VIEWS CONNECTED TO AN ethical stance that is not reducible to any single overarching philosophical theory. By attending to virtue cultivation, a rational utilitarianism, and a divinely grounded natural law commitment to human equality, Lincoln devised a principled yet flexible ethic that addressed the complexity of the moral life. Despite apparent philosophical difficulties, Lincoln's "hybrid ethic" nonetheless coheres to reveal familiar features of ordinary moral thinking while illuminating moral judgments in the face of dilemmas. As such, it is worthy of attention by ethicists, who have much to learn from the humility Lincoln expressed in connecting religious sources to ethical meaning.
5. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
John P. Burgess Christ and Culture Revisited: Contributions from the Recent Russian Orthodox Debate
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WESTERN SCHOLARS HAVE POINTED OUT BOTH THE USEFULNESS AND limitations of H. Richard Niebuhr's Christ and Culture. This essay relates Niebuhr's five types to discussions of church and culture in contemporary Russian Orthodoxy. I propose a sixth type, Christ in culture, that best illuminates the Church's current program of votserkovlenie ("in-churching"). To its Russian representatives, "Christ in culture" enabled the Christian faith to survive communist efforts to destroy the Church, and this cultural legacy continues to define Russia's national identity today. The Church's task, therefore, is not to convert Russians but rather to call them back to their historic self-understanding by means of historical commemoration, religious education, and social outreach. The essay critically evaluates this program of in-churching and the possibilities of a Christ-in-culture type for understanding distinctive features of historically Christian cultures in both East and West.
6. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Tommy Givens The Election of Israel and the Politics of Jesus: Revisiting John Howard Yoder's "The Jewish—Christian Schism Revisited"
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IN THE JEWISH—CHRISTIAN SCHISM REVISITED, JOHN HOWARD YODER gives an account of the Jewishness of the politics of Jesus and Pauline Christianity. He rightly claims that irresponsible historiography has presented early Christianity as a departure from the Jewish ways of its time, reading the later schism into the New Testament and belying the Jewishness of Christian ethics. He contends that living in the faithfully Jewish ways of Jeremiah, Jesus, and Paul, as many Jewish communities did up to the time of Jesus and many non-Christian Jewish communities and free churches have done since, is what it means to be the people of God. After an appreciative exposition of Yoder's account and a brief articulation of its theological and ethical stakes, I argue that the biblical witness to the election of Israel (neglected in his account) troubles his understanding of the people of God as presupposed and conveyed by his revisionist historiography of the Jewish—Christian schism.
7. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Amy Levad "I Was in Prison and You Visited Me": A Sacramental Approach to Rehabilitative and Restorative Criminal Justice
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ROMAN CATHOLIC ETHICISTS AND THEOLOGIANS HAVE REMAINED RELAtively silent about crises in US criminal justice systems, with two exceptions. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops published a document in 2000 calling for rehabilitative and restorative approaches to crime. Historian Andrew Skotnicki has criticized the bishops for ignoring traditional Catholic models of punishment—monastic and ecclesiastical prisons. This essay challenges Skotnicki and bolsters the bishops' argument by proposing that the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Penance, provide a stronger basis in Catholicism for responding to crime and the crises in US criminal justice systems in ways that foster rehabilitation and restore justice while also reforming broken systems and promoting social justice.
8. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Kathryn Getek Soltis Mass Incarceration and Theological Images of Justice
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THE NUMBINGLY HIGH RATE OF INCARCERATION IN THE UNITED STATES poses a challenge to our images of justice, particularly given the indirect consequences for families and communities. Two key theological sources for justice, the lex talionis and the (mis)interpretation of Anselmian satisfaction, offer key insights for adjudicating between restoration and retribution. Yet a Christian ethical response capable of addressing mass incarceration must also examine the collateral consequences of imprisonment. This essay ultimately argues for an image of justice that, while sensitive to restoration and retribution, is also attentive to community membership and the full scope of human relationality.
9. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Michael R. Turner The Place of Desert in Theological Conceptions of Distributive Justice: Insights from Calvin and Rawls
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DOES A STANDARD OF DESERT BELONG IN CHRISTIAN CONCEPTIONS OF distributive justice? This essay places John Calvin and John Rawls, two of desert's most incisive critics, in conversation to examine the theological and philosophical issues raised by this question. Calvin and Rawls make similar arguments against deservingness as a moral principle, but Calvin emerges as the more adamant detractor, noting that God's grace and humanity's corrupt nature make the validity of positive human desert claims virtually unthinkable. Still, the moral force of desert invites a reevaluation of both Calvin's and Rawls's objections and the fittingness of this principle to theological conceptions of distributive justice.
10. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Cristina L. H. Traina Children's Situated Right to Work
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ALTHOUGH "CHILD LABOR" IS UNIVERSALLY CONDEMNED, CHILD WORK will be a feature of global life for the foreseeable future because many children without adequate access to the requisites of human dignity must work to gain them. With help from the recent work of John Wall, Mary M. Doyle Roche, Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, and others, the author claims children's right to work in Ethna Regan's sense, as an expression of a "situated universal." Rights on this view are real but contingent. They are means to protect universal human goods and vulnerabilities under attack in particular situations. In this case, a situated right to work protects children's flourishing in a global culture still shaped by liberal and capitalist institutions, even as it criticizes that culture's injustices and exclusions.
book reviews
11. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Philip LeMasters Peace to War: Shifting Allegiances in the Assemblies of God; Who Would Jesus Kill? War, Peace, and the Christian Tradition
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12. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
E. Christian Brugger Rediscovering the Natural Law in Reformed Theological Ethics; God's Joust, God's Justice: Law and Religion in the Western Tradition; Intractable Disputes about the Natural Law: Alasdair MacIntyre and Critics
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13. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Cristina L. H. Traina Ethics: A Complete Method for Moral Choice
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14. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
William P. George Moral Dilemmas: An Introduction to Christian Ethics
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15. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
John E. Senior An Ethics of Biodiversity: Christianity, Ecology, and the Variety of Life
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16. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Stephen M. Vantassel Boundaries: A Casebook in Environmental Ethics, 2nd ed.
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17. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty Doing Justice in Our Cities: Lessons in Public Policy from America's Heartland
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18. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Sandra Sullivan-Dunbar Family Ethics: Practices for Christians
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19. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Andrew Watts God, Science, Sex, Gender: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Christian Ethics
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20. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
D. M. Yeager Heterosexism in Contemporary World Religion: Problem and Prospect; Out of the Shadows, into the Light: Christianity and Homosexuality; Reasoning Together: A Conversation on Homosexuality
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