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1. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Preface
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selected essays
2. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Daniel K. Finn The Promise of Interdisciplinary Engagement: Christian Ethics and Economics as a Test Case
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ALL SCHOLARSHIP OCCURS IN CONTEXT, AND ACADEMIC SILOS—WHERE scholars interact with only a narrow circle of specialists like themselves—too often eclipse the biases of academic disciplines. This essay recommends interdisciplinary work by Christian ethicists, reviews some fruits available from substantive engagement with mainstream economics, and urges graduate programs in Christian ethics to encourage and enable students to do substantive coursework in another discipline to broaden and deepen Christian ethical engagement with contemporary moral problems.
3. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Christine E. Gudorf Water Privatization in Christianity and Islam
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THIS ESSAY EXAMINES GLOBAL WATER PRIVATIZATION EFFORTS IN LIGHT of the environmental teachings of both Islam and Christianity, proposing that although environmental ethics is more developed within Christianity, Islam offers more ethical sources for thinking about water due to the arid climate in which Islam developed. Furthermore, this essay advocates full-cost pricing as necessary to attain closed loop water recycling, maintains that full-cost pricing does not further disadvantage the poor, and argues that full-cost pricing more easily fits Muslim and Christian moral imperatives than present water policies do.
4. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
John Wall "Ain't I a Person?": Reimagining Human Rights in Response to Children
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THE ETHICAL GROUNDS OF HUMAN RIGHTS FROM THE ENLIGHTENMENT TO today have been almost exclusively centered on the experiences of adults. This essay argues that human rights are not fully "human" unless their very bases are transformed in response to the third of humanity who are children. The essay is an exercise in what is broadly termed "childism": not just applying ethical norms to children but restructuring norms themselves in light of children's experiences. Human rights in particular should be reimagined along postmodern and religious lines, not as protections of autonomy but as responses to difference. This notion is illustrated through the ethics of political representation, including conceptions of democratic citizenship and voting.
5. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Esther D. Reed Refugee Rights and State Sovereignty: Theological Perspectives on the Ethics of Territorial Borders
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THERE IS A RELATIVE DEARTH OF THEOLOGICAL CONTRIBUTION TO PRESENT-day discussion about the status of territorial borders. Secularist discourse tends to divide between "partialists" and "impartialists." Partialists work with an ideal of states as distinct cultural communities, which justifies priority for the interests of citizens over refugees. Impartialists work with an ideal of states as cosmopolitan agents, which takes into account equally the interests of citizens and refugees. The aim of this essay is to show how selected biblical texts help to rethink these categories and offer different, theologically informed ways of construing the meaning of borders. The need for an "ethic of answerability" is established and initial suggestions are given as to how this approach might be developed.
6. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Jean Porter The Natural Law and Innovative Forms of Marriage: A Reconsideration
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THIS ESSAY EXPLORES THE IMPLICATIONS OF A NATURAL LAW ACCOUNT of marriage for the gay marriage controversy, starting from the concept of the natural law developed by scholastic jurists and theologians in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Certainly, the scholastics themselves unanimously condemned homosexual acts, and probably never entertained the possibility of same-sex marital unions. Yet this fact taken by itself does not mean that their overall concept of the natural law and the approach to marriage developed out of that concept must necessarily rule out gay marriages. We are the heirs of several centuries of further experiences with and reflection on marriage, and through this process our own conceptions of both marriage and sex itself have changed—leading to perspectives very different from the scholastics yet recognizably products of a trajectory of thought that they initiated. In this essay I argue that the scholastic concept of the natural law, when developed and applied within a contemporary context, does not rule out gay marriage but on the contrary gives us reasons to support the legal recognition of such unions.
7. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Kathryn D. Blanchard Who's Afraid of "The Vagina Monologues?": Christian Responses and Responsibility to Women on Campus and in the Global Community
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EVE ENSLER'S CONTROVERSIAL PLAY, THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, HAS INcited both passionate support and harsh protest. Among its most vehement critics are those lobbying to ban performances at all Catholic colleges and universities. Most critics argue that the text challenges traditional Christian norms of heterosexual marriage. While not incorrect, I argue that visceral reactions against the word "vagina," together with fears about the liturgical and evangelical qualities of Ensler's play and the V-Day organization, may factor even more heavily in people's condemnations. I encourage readers to see the movement not as an attack on Christianity but as an attempt to meet needs that orthodox traditions have heretofore left unmet, and a call to acknowledge the disastrous effects for women and girls that arise from inappropriate silence and undue delicacy surrounding matters of female sexuality.
8. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Ayesha S. Chaudhry The Ethics of Marital Discipline in Premodern Qur'anic Exegesis
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CONTEMPORARY MUSLIM SCHOLARS WHO SEEK TO RECONCILE GENDER egalitarian values with the premodern patriarchal Islamic tradition face a dilemma. Because the two values—gender egalitarianism and patriarchy—are fundamentally at odds with each other, scholars must choose one to privilege over the other. If the premodern Islamic tradition is privileged, then the ideal of gender egalitarianism is compromised. However, favoring gender egalitarian values at the expense of the premodern Islamic tradition leads to the loss of authority within the believing community. This essay explores the options available to Muslim scholars as they negotiate the egalitarian—authoritative dilemma in the context of the Qur'anic exegesis of the husbandly privilege to discipline wives in Qur'an 4:34.
9. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
David VanDrunen Natural Law in Noahic Accent: A Covenantal Conception of Natural Law Drawn from Genesis 9
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MUCH RECENT SCHOLARSHIP HAS CALLED FOR THE INTEGRATION OF NATural law theory with biblical revelation, yet few writers have pursued such a project in detail. This essay presents the foundations of a constructive account of natural law grounded in an overlooked biblical text and in Reformed covenant theology, in conversation with contemporary biblical exegesis and recent Protestant and Roman Catholic literature on natural law. It explores the character of the Noahic covenant established with all creation (Gen. 8:20—9:17) and argues that this covenant provides necessary theological foundation for understanding nature and common human moral obligations. This account of natural law provides a sound way to integrate natural law theory with the biblical narrative and to conceive of natural law as a universal God-given standard mediated through a fallen world.
10. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Geoffrey Claussen Sharing the Burden: Rabbi Simḥah Zissel Ziv on Love and Empathy
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RABBI SIMḤAH ZISSEL ZIV OF KELME, LITHUANIA, WAS ONE OF THE EARLY leaders of the Musar movement, a pietistic religious movement in nineteenth century Europe that attempted to place concerns with moral character at the center of Jewish life. This essay introduces Simḥah Zissel's virtue-centered approach to the Torah's central commandment that one "love one's fellow as one-self." For Simḥah Zissel, love is a disposition of the soul, with emotional and intellectual aspects culminating in action. Love demands a sense of partnership with others and a sense of care that should extend to all of God's creatures; love requires that we not privilege ourselves over other people; and the highest level of love is "sharing the burden of one's fellow," compassionate love characterized by empathy and responsiveness, which can only be cultivated through great effort.
11. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
David A. Clairmont Theravāda Buddhist Abhidhamma and Moral Development: Lists and Narratives in the Practice of Religious Ethics
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THIS ESSAY EXAMINES THE RELEVANCE FOR RELIGIOUS ETHICS OF BUDDHIST Abhidhamma texts, those dealing with the analysis and systematization of mental states arising in and examined by meditation practice. Developing recent scholarship on the prevalence and significance of interlocking lists in Buddhist canonical texts and commentaries, the Buddhist use of lists in the Abhidhamma constitutes a kind of narrative expression of moral development through the sequential occurrence of carefully defined mental states. Attention to this narrative dimension of the moral life, while related to other recent proposals about the place of narrative in religious ethics, offers a way to employ this underexamined genre of religious literature (lists) drawn from a comparative context (Buddhist and Christian ethics), in service of a more nuanced account of moral development.
book reviews
12. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Jozef D. Zalot Spirituality Inc.: Religion in the American Marketplace
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13. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Paul W. Murphey Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire; Religious Perspectives on Business Ethics: An Anthology; Just Business Practices in a Diverse and Developing World: Essays on International Business and Global Responsibilities
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14. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
John P. Crossley Jr. Religion and the Human Future: An Essay on Theological Humanism
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15. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Nathan Colborne Theology and Culture: A Guide to the Discussion
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16. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Joseph Bush For Life Abundant: Practical Theology, Theological Education, and Christian Ministry
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17. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Emily J. Choge Refugee Rights: Ethics, Advocacy, and Africa
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18. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Nancy Arnison Does Human Rights Need God?; The Rights of God: Islam, Human Rights, and Comparative Ethics; The Ethics of Human Rights: Contested Doctrinal and Moral Issues
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19. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Denis Müller Beyond the Ethical Demand
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20. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Marianne Farina Overcoming Our Evil: Human Nature and Spiritual Exercises in Xunzi and Augustine
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