Heroes Saints And Ordinary Morality

Author: Andrew Michael Flescher
Editor: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589013414
Size: 16,45 MB
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Most of us are content to see ourselves as ordinary people—unique in ways, talented in others, but still among the ranks of ordinary mortals. Andrew Flescher probes our contented state by asking important questions: How should "ordinary" people respond when others need our help, whether the situation is a crisis, or something less? Do we have a responsibility, an obligation, to go that extra mile, to act above and beyond the call of duty? Or should we leave the braver responses to those who are somehow different than we are: better somehow, "heroes," or "saints?" Traditional approaches to ethics have suggested there is a sharp distinction between ordinary people and those called heroes and saints; between duties and acts of supererogation (going beyond the expected). Flescher seeks to undo these standard dichotomies by looking at the lives and actions of certain historical figures—Holocaust rescuers, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, among others—who appear to be extraordinary but were, in fact, ordinary people. Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality shifts the way we regard ourselves in relationship to those we admire from afar—it asks us not only to admire, but to emulate as well—further, it challenges us to actively seek the acquisition of virtue as seen in the lives of heroes and saints, to learn from them, a dynamic aspect of ethical behavior that goes beyond the mere avoidance of wrongdoing. Andrew Flescher sets a stage where we need to think and act, calling us to lead lives of self-examination—even if that should sometimes provoke discomfort. He asks that we strive to emulate those we admire and therefore allow ourselves to grow morally, and spiritually. It is then that the individual develops a deeper altruistic sense of self—a state that allows us to respond as the heroes of our own lives, and therefore in the lives of others, when times and circumstance demand that of us.

Moral Evil

Author: Andrew Michael Flescher
Editor: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1626160112
Size: 12,72 MB
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The idea of moral evil has always held a special place in philosophy and theology because the existence of evil has implications for the dignity of the human and the limits of human action. Andrew Michael Flescher proposes four interpretations of evil, drawing on philosophical and theological sources and using them to trace through history the moral traditions that are associated with them. The first model, evil as the presence of badness, offers a traditional dualistic model represented by Manicheanism. The second, evil leading to goodness through suffering, presents a theological interpretation known as theodicy. Absence of badness—that is, evil as a social construction—is the third model. The fourth, evil as the absence of goodness, describes when evil exists in lieu of the good—the "privation" thesis staked out nearly two millennia ago by Christian theologian St. Augustine. Flescher extends this fourth model—evil as privation—into a fifth, which incorporates a virtue ethic. Drawing original connections between Augustine and Aristotle, Flescher’s fifth model emphasizes the formation of altruistic habits that can lead us to better moral choices throughout our lives. Flescher eschews the temptation to think of human agents who commit evil as outside the norm of human experience. Instead, through the honing of moral skills and the practice of attending to the needs of others to a greater degree than we currently do, Flescher offers a plausible and hopeful approach to the reality of moral evil.

Blessed Are The Consumers

Author: Sallie McFague
Editor: Fortress Press
ISBN: 1451438672
Size: 13,86 MB
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For decades, Sallie McFague has lent her voice and her theological imagination to addressing and advocating for the most important issues of our time. In doing so, she has influenced an entire generation, and empowered countless people in their efforts to put religion in the service of meeting human needs in difficult times. In this timely book, McFague recalls her readers to the practices of restraint. In a world bent on consumption it is imperative that people of religious faith realize the significant role they play in advocating for the earth, and a more humane life for all. The root of restraint, she argues, rests in the ancient Christian notion of Kenosis, or self-emptying. By introducing Kenosis through the life stories of John Woolman, Simone Weil, and Dorothy Day, McFague brings a powerful theological concept to bear in a winsome and readable way.

The Christian Case For Virtue Ethics

Author: Joseph J. Kotva Jr.
Editor: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589014282
Size: 17,16 MB
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Despite the growing interest among philosophers and theologians in virtue ethics, its proponents have done little to suggest why Christians in particular find virtue ethics attractive. Joseph J. Kotva, Jr., addresses this question in The Christian Case for Virtue Ethics, showing that virtue theory offers an ethical framework that is highly compatible with Christian morality. Kotva defines virtue ethics and demonstrates its ability to voice Christian convictions about how to live the moral life. He evaluates virtue theory in light of systematic theology and Scripture, arguing that Christian ethics could be profitably linked with neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics. Ecumenical in tone, this book provides a thorough but accessible introduction to recent philosophical accounts of virtue and offers an original, explicitly Christian adaptation of these ideas. It will be of value to students and scholars of philosophy, theology, and religion, as well as to those interested in the debates surrounding virtue ethics.

Love And Christian Ethics

Author: Frederick V. Simmons
Editor: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1626163677
Size: 20,54 MB
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In Love and Christian Ethics, nearly two dozen leading scholars analyze and assess the meaning of love from a wide range of perspectives. Chapters are organized into three areas: influential sources and exponents of Western Christian thought about the ethical significance of love, perennial theoretical questions attending that consideration, and the implications of Christian love for important social realities. These major experts in the field bring a richness of thought and experience to deliver unprecedentedly broad yet rigorous analysis of this central tenet of Christian ethics and faith. Love and Christian Ethics is sure to become a benchmark resource in the field.

Family Ethics

Author: Julie Hanlon Rubio
Editor: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 158901667X
Size: 17,87 MB
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How can ordinary Christians find moral guidance for the mundane dilemmas they confront in their daily lives? To answer this question, Julie Hanlon Rubio brings together a rich Catholic theology of marriage and a strong commitment to social justice to focus on the place where the ethics of ordinary life are played out: the family. Sex, money, eating, spirituality, and service. According to Rubio, all are areas for practical application of an ethics of the family. In each area, intentional practices can function as acts of resistance to a cultural and middle-class conformity that promotes materialism over relationships. These practices forge deep connections within the family and help families live out their calling to be in solidarity with others and participate in social change from below. It is through these everyday moral choices that most Christians can live out their faith—and contribute to progress in the world.

Hermeneutics And Hindu Thought Toward A Fusion Of Horizons

Author: Rita Sherma
Editor: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1402081928
Size: 13,35 MB
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The advent of Hindu Studies coincides with the emergence of modern hermeneutics. Despite this co-emergence and rich possibilities inherent in dialectical encounters between theories of modern and post-modern hermeneutics, and those of Hindu hermeneutical traditions, such an enterprise has not been widely endeavored. The aim of this volume is to initiate such an interface. Essays in this volume reflect one or more of the following categories: (1) Examination of challenges and possibilities inherent in applying Western hermeneutics to Hindu traditions. (2) Critiques of certain heuristics used, historically, to “understand” Hindu traditions. (3) Elicitation of new hermeneutical paradigms from Hindu thought, to develop cross-cultural or dialogical hermeneutics. Applications of interpretive methodologies conditioned by Western culture to classify Indian thought have had important impacts. Essays by Sharma, Bilimoria, Sugirtharajah, and Tilak examine these impacts, offering alternate interpretive models for understanding Hindu concepts in particular and the Indian religious context in general. Several essays offer original insights regarding potential applications of traditional Hindu philosophical principles to cross-cultural hermeneutics (Long, Bilimoria, Klostermaier, Adarkar, and Taneja). Others engage Hindu texts philosophically to elicit deeper interpretations (Phillips, and Rukmani). In presenting essays that are both critical and constructive, we seek to uncover intellectual space for creative dialectical engagement that, we hope, will catalyze a reciprocal hermeneutics.

Shaping The Moral Life

Author: Klaus Demmer
Editor: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589018259
Size: 11,78 MB
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Although he is one of the most influential Catholic theologians in Europe, very few of Klaus Demmer's writings are available in English. This translation of his well-known work on moral theology introduces Demmer's thought to English-speaking audiences. In an original synthesis of scholastic and continental philosophy, Demmer brings the Catholic moral tradition into conversation with contemporary philosophical schools—transcendental, hermeneutical, and analytical—to fashion a moral theology in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. He shows the richness of the neoscholastic tradition in shaping and being shaped by our contemporary self-understanding. A complete bibliography of Demmer's works will assist readers in seeking out more of his writings.

The Altruistic Species

Author: Andrew Michael Flescher
Editor: Templeton Foundation Press
ISBN:
Size: 11,20 MB
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What motivates altruism? How essential is the phenomenon of altruism to the human experience? Is altruism readily accessible to the ordinary person? In The Altruistic Species, Andrew Michael Flescher and Daniel L. Worthen explore these questions through the lenses of four disciplinary perspectives—biology, psychology, philosophy, and religion. In the course of their investigation, they make an extended argument for the existence of altruism against competing theories that construe all ostensible cases of benevolence as self-interest in disguise. The authors consider theories of egoism; the role of genetics and evolutionary biology; the psychological that induce altruistic behavior; philosophical theories of altruism in normative ethics such as Kantian, utilitarian, and Aristotelian models of moral action; and accounts of love of the neighbor in Christianity and Buddhism. Additionally, they offer a new, comprehensive definition of altruism that is inclusive of the insights of each of these perspectives. The Altruistic Species reinvigorates the debate over the prevalence of selfless motivation in human behavior—whether it is a rare or ubiquitous phenomenon, something that is always to be considered exceptional or a capacity that members of any community potentially could develop. This noteworthy interdisciplinary examination of altruism balances science, virtue theory, and theology. It is ideal courses in ethics, human behavior, and evolutionary biology, as an educational resource for other multidisciplinary studies, and for interested lay readers.

Self Deception And The Common Life

Author: Lloyd H. Steffen
Editor: Peter Lang Pub Incorporated
ISBN:
Size: 18,50 MB
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Self-Deception and the Common Life investigates the topic of self-deception from three points of view: philosophical psychology, ethics, and theology. Empirical evidence and an -ordinary language- analysis support the case that the linguistic expression 'self-deception' is literally meaningful and that the language of the common life can be trusted. After critically analyzing the cognition, translation, and action accounts, along with the contributions of Freud and Sartre, Steffen proposes a new synthetic -emotional perception- account, one that avoids paradox. Giving attention to relevant moral issues, he argues that self-deception is not immoral, but represents a peculiar form of akrasia. Finally, because theologians employ 'self-deception' to describe the cognitive component of sin, Steffen considers the logic of theological self-deception. His study seeks an -intimate acquaintance- with self-deception and exemplifies a method of analysis relevant to constructive theological inquiry."