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1. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
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selected essays
2. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas ‘Oh Say Can You See?’: Womanist Ethics, Sub-rosa Morality, and the Normative Gaze in a Trumped Era
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This article employs an intersectional analysis of ethical discourse guiding the US context in the era of Trump. Illustrating the viability of intersectionality for the broader utility of Christian social ethics, this essay explores the contemporary development of surreality and sub-rosa morality indicative of the current political situation in the United States in the wake of Donald Trump’s political ascendancy from the reality TV boardroom of The Apprentice to the Oval Office of the White House. Faced with the escalating nature of lies and deception emanating from the Trump administration, this article provides the moral rationale for civil disobedience as well as suggesting prescriptions for a redemptive ethic intended to remedy the legitimation crises which have become the defining ethos of our time.
3. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Linda Hogan, Kristin Heyer Beyond a Northern Paradigm: Catholic Theological Ethics in Global Perspective
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Notwithstanding the commitment to the inclusion of historically underrepresented communities, Christian ethics continues to be dominated by the voices, concerns, norms and methodologies of scholars from the northern hemisphere. This paper analyses the state of the field through the lens of the Catholic Theological Ethics in a World Church network whose mission is to promote international exchange. It assesses the lacunae arising from the northern-centric nature of Christian ethics as practiced in the northern hemisphere, highlights the inflection points, and considers the likely re-prioritization of concerns that will flow from the systemic inclusion of the multiple, diverse voices of majority world scholars.
4. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Christina A. Astorga Interfacing Filipino Lakas Tawa (Power of Laughter) and Lament
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Filipino lakas tawa, with examples drawn from the 1986 Filipino revolution, is interfaced with lament based on the Book of Lamentations with parallel examples from W. E. Burghart Du Bois’s “A Litany at Atlanta.” This interfacing is brought to bear on the article’s central thesis: Lakas tawa and lament are two ways of being and doing in the face of suffering and death, but are intrinsically woven into the tapestry of one human reality. They are two paths of resistance, both deeply connected to faith and religion, though in different ways. Where they converge and diverge, they have the power to subvert oppressive systems and the potential of transforming them.
5. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Eboni Marshall Turman Of Men and [Mountain]Tops: Black Women, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Ethics and Aesthetics of Invisibility in the Movement for Black Lives
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This essay asserts freedom as the essence of the prophetic Black Christian tradition that propelled the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strikes, and largely guided the moral compass of the late-twentieth-century Civil Rights Movement. Sexism, however, is a moral paradox that emerges at the interstices of the prophetic Black Church’s institutional espousal of freedom and its consistently conflicting practices of gender discrimination that bind Black women to politics of silence and invisibility. An exploration of the iconic “I AM a Man” placards worn by strikers during Martin Luther King Jr.’s final campaign in Memphis alongside a contemporary icon of the Black Lives Matter movement illumines how black women continue to be challenged by intracommunal invisibility, even as they are consistently the progenitors, mobilizers, sustainers, and intellectual architects of Black movements for social change.
6. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Scott Bader-Saye The Transgender Body’s Grace
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Both in church and culture, discussion of sexual orientation has far outpaced discussion of gender identity, leaving the churches with limited resources to respond to “bathroom bills” or to walk faithfully with transgender persons in their midst. This paper draws on the work of Rowan Williams and Sarah Coakley to argue for understanding gender transition as an eschatological formation ordered to the body’s grace. In critical conversation with Oliver O’Donovan, John Milbank, and David Cloutier, the paper offers a constructive, non-voluntarist theological proposal for transgender affirmation in the service of participation in the triune life that exceeds gender.
7. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Tisha M. Rajendra Burdened Solidarity: The Virtue of Solidarity in Diaspora
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This paper will compare the presentation of solidarity in mainstream Christian ethics with the practices of solidarity as described in recent novels about immigrant and refugee experiences. The practice of solidarity in diaspora communities illuminates aspects of solidarity that have been hidden in mainstream Christian ethics. 1) Solidarity can be a “burdened virtue” that does not necessarily lead to flourishing. 2) Solidarity is practiced by “narrative selves” that inherit identities, relationships, and obligations.
8. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Patrick M. Clark The Particularity of Sanctity: Why Paradigms of Exemplarity Matter for Christian Virtue Ethics
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This paper draws upon the meta-ethical insights of Bernard Lonergan and Raimond Gaita to bolster the foundational claims of Linda Zagzebski’s exemplarist moral theory. I aim to refine Zagzebski’s approach by pointing out how a community’s inevitable prioritization of a given paradigm of moral exemplarity plays a decisive role in the trajectory of its ethical reasoning. I conclude by arguing that within the Christian community, encounters with sanctity should determine the identification of virtues rather than vice versa.
9. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Rev. Justin Nickel I Cannot Get It into My Heart So Strongly: Luther’s Moral Psychology Revisited
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According to a common interpretation, Martin Luther holds that pride is humanity’s basic sin. This account of sin has occasioned numerous feminist critiques. In this paper, I argue against this reading. I contend that unbelief, which can take the form of either pride or despair, is the central issue in Luther’s moral psychology. This shift from pride to unbelief means that Luther’s moral psychology could be helpful to the work of Christian feminists.
10. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Sarah E. Fredericks Climate Apology and Forgiveness
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Christian ethicists rarely study apology or forgiveness about climate change, possibly because it is just another sin that God may forgive. Yet apology between humans may be critical to avoiding paralysis after people realize the horror of their actions and enabling cooperative responses to climate change among its perpetrators and victims. Climate change challenges traditional ideas and practices of apology because it involves unintentional, ongoing acts of diffuse collectives that harm other diffuse collectives across space and time. Developing concepts of collective agency and responsibility enable a reconceptualization of apology for an era of climate change. While more work is needed to understand and implement such ideas, this paper lays the groundwork for future studies of collective apology and forgiveness by identifying general features of climate apologies including their symbolic dimensions and connection to ongoing changed actions.