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preface

1. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
K. C. Choi, M. T. Dávila

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symposium: forming the political

2. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Luke Bretherton Orcid-ID

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3. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
C. Melissa Snarr

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4. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Cathleen Kaveny

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5. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Nichole M. Flores

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6. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Vincent Lloyd

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selected essays

7. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Andrea Vicini, SJ

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The COVID-19 pandemic is critically analyzed as a social magnifying glass that exacerbates pre-existing unjust situations and contexts—locally, nationally, and internationally. Hence, to reflect ethically on the multiple challenges, which people face during this crisis, requires to address the social and political determinants of health. The essay articulates a systemic approach that examines, first, unjust structural dimensions (i.e., poverty, gender, and racism); and second, local and global practices in healthcare, with privileged attention given to structural dynamics, professionals, decisions, and institutional leadership. As a result, the ethics of global public health stresses how health is a shared, interconnected, and inclusive good that should be carefully protected and urgently promoted.
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8. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Michelle A. Harrington

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White evangelical habits of mind and idolatrous allegiances propped up a devastatingly irresponsible political administration; I argue that the COVID-19 pandemic should be viewed as an apocalypse: “a catastrophic revelation”—in this case, of Christian responsibility refused. I engage the works of Christian historians Mark Noll and Kristin Kobes Du Mez to interrogate how evangelical habits of mind and heart have nurtured anti-intellectualism, credulousness, and the uncritical adoption of neoliberal economic individualism before turning to a constructive Christian realist call for “nasty” (honest, embodied) thinking and genuine repentance which draws from Andrew DeCort’s Bonhoeffer scholarship.
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9. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
M. Therese Lysaught, Cory D. Mitchell

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This essay asks: How do the realities of embodied trauma inflicted by racism interface with virtue theory? This question illuminates two lacunae in virtue theory. The first is attention to race. We argue that the contemporary academic virtue literature performs largely as a White space, failing to address virtue theory’s role in the social construction of race, ignoring the rich and vibrant resources on virtue ethics alive within the Black theological tradition that long antedates Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, and segregating the emerging literature on race and virtue from the broader discourse. The second is lack of attention to embodiment. More precisely, contemporary virtue theory, informed largely by Aristotle, Aquinas, and MacIntyre, has no conceptual space to theorize the body’s role acquiring and deploying virtue and vice. To explore this nexus, we draw on racial trauma therapist Resmaa Menakem, Katie Walker Grimes, and Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited to challenge contemporary virtue theory and open new possibilities for a robustly corporate, enfleshed theological virtue ethic.
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10. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Howard Pickett

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Ethicists and activists have joined forces in recent years to address the problem of “epistemic injustice,” the unjust treatment of people as knowers and, by extension, as communicators. After highlighting the difficulties that come with applying their work to the hard case of the incarcerated individual, I turn from the ambiguities of justice to Christian views of mercy. In doing so, I aim to show the contributions religious ethics makes to discussions of epistemic responsibility and vice versa. More concretely, I also aim to show that if and when disbelief is justified—even deserved—incarcerated individuals can and often should receive what I’m calling “epistemic mercy,” a view that revives longstanding debates about mercy and moral obligation.
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11. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Nicholas Ogle

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Judgments of moral culpability play a crucial role in our lives, providing a basis for practices of accountability that are essential to a just society. Yet when they exceed their proper limits, such judgments can breed resentment and mistrust, thereby undermining the social bonds that they are meant to preserve. In this essay, I explore this tension in cases where the person being judged is sincerely ignorant of having done anything wrong. Drawing upon Aquinas’s discussion of negligence as a cause of sin, I argue that individuals can sometimes be accountable for sins of which they are completely unaware, but only when this ignorance is of something that they could and should have known. Such a perspective, I suggest, offers a helpful way of addressing contemporary concerns regarding social sin and systemic injustice from within the Thomistic tradition.
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12. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Matthew Lee Anderson

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This paper offers a Thomistic defense of gossip as a licit means of protecting third parties from harm by known offenders. After first clarifying what constitutes gossip, it draws from Thomas Aquinas to identify the narrow set of conditions under which gossip might be both permissible and obligatory. It concludes by specifying how the duty to gossip might work in Christian institutions, and especially within institutions where there are weak systems of formal accountability.
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13. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Devan Stahl, Leonard Curry

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Disability theology has been a small but growing field over the past thirty years. This paper reviews the current methods used in the discipline and proposes ways to move the field forward. Two intersections between disability studies and Christian theological ethics are explored in particular: bioethics and critical theory. Bioethics helps to address the material health and wellbeing concerns of people with disabilities and the discriminatory attitudes about disability that stem from the medical field. Critical theory on the other hand, examines disability through cultural productions that shape our ableist imaginary. Critical theory offers resources for countering or “disciplining” our imaginations. Both bioethics and critical theory offer unique entry points into disability, but each also contains limitations that reveal why disability theology must continue to engage multiple methods and discourses.
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14. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Laura Stivers

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This essay focuses on the empowerment of families headed by solo moms in the United States and argues that the so-called “breakup of the family”—whether through divorce, chosen solo parenthood, or non-heterosexual families—is not the primary problem Christian ethicists should be concerned about. Instead, our attention should be directed towards a neoliberal political economic system that does not consider the rearing of children as a public responsibility and does not prioritize support to families of any type. This essay critiques the traditional Christian framing of family and view of the “family crisis” by drawing on the work of Black queer scholars who offer a more inclusive and interdependent understanding of family that challenges the White heteronormative nuclear family ideal. It concludes with an argument for structural change that prioritizes the rearing of children as a public good and not simply the responsibility of individual households and offers support for the flourishing of all families with attention to particularities of race, class, and gender justice.
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15. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Ki Joo Choi

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Sustained reflection on multiple expressions of Asian American experience directs us to the coercive logic of racial identities. Noticing this logic is critical to identifying the limitations of several strategies to resist and transcend racial injustice, including the demand for racial recognition. Rereading the Parable of the Good Samaritan as one about the perils of racial identity and then taking cues from the nonviolent practice of truth force provide a blueprint that reimagines the liberative role racial identities can play.
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book reviews

16. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Laurie Cassidy

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17. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Marc V. Rugani

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18. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
James T. Bretzke, SJ

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19. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Nickolas Becker, OSB

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20. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Janet L. Parker

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