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1. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Preface
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selected essays
2. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
David P. Gushee Christian Ethics: Retrospect and Prospect
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This SCE presidential address attempts an interpretation of the history of American Christian ethics that is simultaneously an intellectual autobiography. Seven types of Christian ethics receive attention: ecclesial-formational, Protestant social ethics, Niebuhrian, Catholic, evangelical, Hauerwasian, and liberationist. The discipline is described as methodologically fractured and professionally endangered, especially in the case of its founding strand, Protestant social ethics. The essay ends with a call for mutual respect and support among Christian ethicists, sustained attention to one another’s work, and shared efforts to advance the discipline.
3. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Eboni Marshall Turman, Reggie Williams Life in the Body: African and African American Christian Ethics
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African and African American Christian ethics comprises an assemblage of disciplines and traditions that address the embodied experiences of black people and provide moral guidance for life in community. Its progenitors helped to establish it as a field of ethical inquiry despite marginalization and hostility and in contrast to dominant ethical traditions that privilege concepts over encounters with embodied life. African and African American Christian ethics privileges embodied encounter as the location for determining a moral hermeneutic in order to recalibrate our understanding of communal relationships toward healthier norms, for the sake of the entire community’s survival and wholeness.
4. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Ki Joo (KC) Choi Asian American Christian Ethics: The State of the Discipline
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This essay provides a brief history of how Asian American Christian ethics came to be and sketches the main themes and questions with which this new theological-ethical discipline has grappled since its inception. It then provides an account of two interrelated issues that continue to shape the development of Asian American Christian ethics: (1) whether there is a distinctive Asian American perspective and (2) how the racial marginalization of Asian Americans in Christian ethics and society as a whole might inform this perspective. This essay proposes that as long as Asian Americans continue to be made invisible as model minorities, the goal of racial and social justice will fall short.
5. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Rubén Rosario Rodríguez, María Teresa Dávila, Victor Carmona, Teresa Delgado US Latino/a Contributions to the Field: Retrospect and Prospect
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The 2018 SCE meeting focused on the theme “Retrospect and Prospect” in order to build greater understanding of the discipline of Christian ethics in its varied cultural, methodological, and confessional forms. Latino/a ethics in the United States, by embodying a cooperative methodology (teología en conjunto) grounded in a liberative reading of the Christian Scriptures that employs a hermeneutics of suspicion, seeks to articulate an emancipatory and inclusive vision that yields distinctive forms of social and political action while working toward the common good. This essay provides a brief introduction to and history of Latino/a contributions to the field of Christian ethics, defines key themes that unite its various proponents, and identifies future trends.
6. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Brett McCarty Medicine as Just War?: The Legacy of James Childress in Christian Ethics
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What do medicine and war have to do with each other? This question is explored through the writings of James Childress, whose early contributions to just war theory illuminate his work in bioethics. By considering the conceptual influences of just war theory on Childress’s bioethics, the contributions and limits of his approach can be set in relief through normative engagement with certain areas of medicine. In particular, Childress’s just-war-inspired bioethics befits the practice of surgery; but oncology, as a medical analogue to total warfare, requires significant transformation in order to be disciplined by Childress’s approach. Childress offers a coherent schema for navigating moral conflict in a fallen world, but he does not provide a substantive account of the peaceable end toward which medicine as just war aims.
7. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Nathaniel Van Yperen Nature Elicits Piety: James Gustafson among the Wolves
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This essay explores James Gustafson’s theocentric ethics for the work of constructing an adequate Protestant Christian ethic of the wild. Two critical questions arise in conversation with his ethics: (1) When the category of natural evil is rendered incoherent, what are the significant consequences for piety in Christian ecological ethics? (2) How does Gustafson’s theocentric ethics, which emphasizes experience, help us to refigure gratitude in ecological ethics? The essay explores these questions in the context of the debate over the reintroduction and conservation of wolves in the American West.
8. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Matthew Elia Ethics in the Afterlife of Slavery: Race, Augustinian Politics, and the Problem of the Christian Master
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The recent renaissance of Augustinian ethics remains mostly silent about the central place of slavery in Augustine’s thought. Although Augustinians appear confident his insights can be excised from his legitimation of the institution of slavery, two facts challenge this assumption: First, slavery constitutes not simply one moral issue among others for Augustine but an organizing, conceptual metaphor; second, the contemporary scene to which Augustinians apply his thought is itself the afterlife of a slave society. Thus, to bear faithful witness in a racialized world, Augustinians must grapple with slavery as Augustine’s key conceptual metaphor, one that animates his thought and subtly reproduces the moral vantage of the master.
9. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
M. Therese Lysaught, Michael McCarthy A Social Praxis for US Health Care: Revisioning Catholic Bioethics via Catholic Social Thought
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Catholic health care has long been a key place where the Church embodies its social doctrine. However, the moral methodology that shapes Catholic bioethics relies on an act-based approach to decision making, which is rooted in the pre–Vatican II manualist tradition, focusing primarily on clinical issues related to the beginning and end of life. This essay argues that given the doctrinal status of Catholic social thought (CST), Catholic bioethics must revisit its scope and methodology. It proceeds in three steps: (1) a meta-analysis of traditional Catholic bioethics, validating the claim made above; (2) an overview of the limited literature published since 1980 engaging Catholic bioethics and CST; and (3) a map of a Catholic bioethics informed by CST generated from a dual starting point. The essay concludes by focusing on both the places where marginalized persons encounter Catholic health care and the ethical issues presented, including race, health care disparities, immigration status, and gender inequality, as well as the interrelated perspective of the common good, expanding the array of issues to include environmental degradation, unions, health care financing, and more.
10. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Susan A. Ross Aesthetics and Ethics: Women Religious as Aesthetic and Moral Educators
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This essay examines the particular contributions of three communities of women religious for the ways in which they incorporated concerns for the moral formation of their students together with a focus on beauty. These communities not only provided a basic “Catholic moral education” but also aimed to develop persons who saw their responsibility as building a better world that was not only good but also beautiful. Given recent attention to the relationship between ethics and aesthetics, this essay shows how the work of women religious makes a significant contribution to this field.