Cover of Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics
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preface
1. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Scott Paeth Preface
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selected essays
2. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Joe Blosser And It Was Good: Building an Ethics of Sufficiency
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To follow Jesus’s command to love our neighbors in our neoliberal age, Christians must cultivate new theological and economic stories that urge practices of sufficiency—ways of living with “enough.” The neoliberal version of the United States’s origin story of the American Dream, built on individual responsibility and meritocracy, knows no end to monetary accumulation. And the ways neoliberal rationality colors the Christian creation story can reinforce the drive toward endless accumulation. There are ways of living and practicing Christian stories, however, that can cultivate the kind of communities that form people to know how to say “enough.” This article argues that there is no genuine community, service to others, or love of neighbor if Christians cannot live out of these new stories that cultivate an ethics of sufficiency. Economically privileged Christians cannot love our lower-income neighbors if we continue to participate in a rationality that encourages limitless economic acquisition.
3. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Cara Curtis “No One Left Behind”: Learning From A Multidimensional Ethic of Care in a Women’s Prison in the US South
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Drawing on qualitative research in a theological studies program at a women’s prison, this paper describes a multidimensional ethic of care practiced by the program’s students. Analyzing this ethic, the paper distills three virtues that the students’ practice offers to non-incarcerated persons seeking to advance care and justice in the world: attention, outward-looking self-care, and steadfastness. Through this analysis, the paper makes two main contributions, building on multiple strands of work in everyday ethics and the ethics of care: 1) it explores the moral and pedagogic value of incarcerated women’s ethical practices, and in doing so aims to unsettle assumptions about “where ethics happens,” particularly virtue ethics, and who are qualified ethical teachers; 2) in discussing a care ethic embedded in a carceral context, it furthers the case for ethics of care that are robustly and explicitly tied to the pursuit of justice.
4. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Amy Levad Of Tragedies and Myths: Subsidiarity and Common-Pool Resource Institutions in Response to Environmental Degradation
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A pragmatic turn in Christian ecological ethics and theology suggests a practical approach that draws on the strengths of each of the dominant strategies for responding to environmental degradation: government regulation, privatization, and appeals to conscience. The principle of subsidiarity in Catholic social tradition (CST), which calls for a robust social order that integrates the roles of agents on various levels of society, while delegating specific responsibilities to each level, may provide normative direction for discerning when, how, and why to employ these strategies in response to environmental degradation. This principle recommends the development of effective intermediate institutions to mitigate excessive state and economic power and to serve as outlets for organizing and channeling individual agency, yet CST has not sufficiently fleshed out what such institutions look like, especially when responding to environmental degradation. The work of Nobel-winning political scientist Elinor Ostrom may correct this difficulty with her description of eight design principles of intermediate institutions in numerous ecological, social, cultural, political, and economic contexts.
5. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Lorraine Cuddeback-Gedeon Sin, Sins, and Intellectual Disability: An Ethnographic Examination of Moral Agency and Structural Sin
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Conversations around intellectual disability and sin often rest on either the structural level, or culpability for specific actions. Yet, the effects of sin in the world cannot be reduced to culpability, especially in light of the far-reaching impact of structural sin. Using ethnographic fieldwork among adults with intellectual disabilities, I illustrate how people with IDD participate in structural and interpersonal sin alike, particularly how they resist sin through the exertion of complex agencies. Through the thick description of fieldwork, we gain better tools for recognizing the full, complex humanity of people with IDD—not dismissing them as either sinners or saints—while also recognizing all persons’ call to resist structural sin.
6. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Michael McCarthy Beyond a Bourgeois Bioethics
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This essay draws on the work of Johann Baptist Metz to reimagine a Christian Bioethics that develops from the place of suffering. Beginning from the place of suffering resists the future offered within the scientific-technological paradigm. In turning to Metz, Christian bioethics should give greater attention to complex social structures that contribute to injustices and inequalities resulting in health disparities and unnecessary deaths.
7. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Lisa D. Powell Disability and Resurrection: Eschatological Bodies, Identity, and Continuity
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This article engages the debate around embodiment in the resurrected life, drawing from sources in disability theology, black theology, and womanist ethics. Do we retain “body marks,” as M. Shawn Copeland calls them in her consideration of the scars and wounds on black bodies? Or, as Nancy Eiesland and Amos Yong discuss it: do we retain our impairments as Christ did after his resurrection? I will describe the debate, highlight concern over continuity of identity, and use J. Kameron Carter’s work on theology and race to propose an alternative approach.
8. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Conor M. Kelly From Quandary Cases to Ordinary Life: New Opportunities to Connect Social Ethics and Health Care Ethics
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In Christian bioethics, the call for a greater integration of social ethics and medical ethics is a popular refrain, yet lasting progress toward this goal has been elusive, in part due to the traditional emphasis on quandary cases in medical ethics. This article develops an alternative approach to moral discernment in health care, employing a theological interpretation of solidarity to promote greater social consciousness in ordinary health care decision making. This shifts the ethical analysis from abstract scenarios to everyday choices, elevating the moral significance of seemingly mundane concerns like antibiotic use and diet and exercise.
9. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Theo A. Boer, A. Stef Groenewoud Dutch Reformed support for Assisted Dying in the Netherlands 1969–2019: An Analysis of the Views of Parishioners, Pastors, Opinion Makers, and Official Reports of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands
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In the opinion of many, medical assistance in dying is advocated primarily by secular thinkers whereas Christians seem to be more skeptical. However, we conclude that Dutch euthanasia practice, the most liberal in the world, would not have been possible without the support of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. We examine four sources that illustrate the nature and extent of that support: national surveys from 1970–2018, official church reports from 1972–2003, contributions to the public debate in the formative 1970s and 1980s made by protestant theologians and physicians, and a recent survey amongst Reformed pastors regarding their experiences with a parishioner’s euthanasia request. In the form of seven characteristics of Dutch Calvinism we explore the reasons for this early advocacy and try to understand why this support seems to be fading since the turn of the century.
10. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Daniel J. Daly How Many Heart Valves Should One Person Receive?: The Ethics of Multiple Valve Transplants for Patients with IVDU-Induced Endocarditis
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This article argues that Catholic health care facilities should resist the emerging consensus in clinical ethics, which contends that patients suffering from intravenous drug use induced endocarditis should be denied multiple heart valve replacements. The article demonstrates that the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as well as core concepts in the Christian moral tradition, such as human dignity, the preferential option for the poor, and the common good, reject this emerging consensus. Patients suffering from endocarditis who inject drugs should, in principle, be eligible for second, third, and even fourth valve replacements. While hospitals may protect and promote the common good by limiting access to multiple heart valve surgeries for this patient population, these limitations should emerge from evidence that such surgeries harm the common good of access to primary health care for all members of a community.
book review
11. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Nathan Hershberger Liberating the Politics of Jesus: Renewing Peace Theology Through the Wisdom of Women
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12. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Ebenezer Akesseh Friendship: The Heart of Being Human
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13. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Hoon Choi It’s Time: Narratives of Illness, Aging, and Death: Narratives of Illness, Aging, and Death
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14. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Myles Werntz Christian Pacifism for an Environmental Age
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15. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Aaron Stauffer Consumer Ethics in a Global Economy: How Buying Here Causes Injustices There
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16. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Tobias Winright Mining Morality: Prospecting for Ethics in a Wounded World
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17. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Andrea Vicini Third Displacement: Cosmobiology, Cosmolocality, Cosmosocioecology
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18. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Peter K. Fay Building Bridges in Sarajevo: The Plenary Papers from CTEWC 2018
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19. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Howard Pickett Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Ethics of Formation
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20. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Craig A. Ford, Jr. Religious Ethics and Constructivism: A Metaethical Inquiry
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