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101. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Jonathan E. Brockopp RESPONSE TO: "Cultivating a Liberal Islamic Ethos, Building an Islamic Civil Society"
102. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Virginia W. Landgraf Competing Narratives of Property Rights and Justice for the Poor: Toward a Nonannihilationist Approach to Scarcity and Efficiency
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ULRICH DUCHROW AND FRANZ HINKELAMMERT'S PROPOSALS AGAINST private property contain a structural weakness analogous to that of which they accuse John Locke: an inability to attribute agency to their opponents. Analysis of antineoliberal and neoliberal narratives of economic history shows that they are mirror images of each other in what they consider fixed or changeable in life. The likelihood that each narrative contains partial truths means that faithful Christian economic ethics are best grounded in a theology according agency to all, acknowledging the universality of sin, and proclaiming transcendent hope.
103. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Irene Oh RESPONSE TO: "Cultivating a Liberal Islamic Ethos, Building an Islamic Civil Society"
104. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
William C. Mattison III The Changing Face of Natural Law: The Necessity of Belief for Natural Law Norm Specification
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IN THE PAST THREE YEARS, TWO IMPORTANT CATHOLIC MORAL THINKERS—both well-respected Thomists—have published books on the natural law. Besides offering their own significant contributions to natural law thought, Jean Porter and Russell Hittinger each insightfully surveys developments in natural law thinking from the scholastics, into the early modern period, through today. In importantly similar narrations of the history of natural law, both Porter and Hittinger claim that natural law in the modern period has been understood as a source of specific moral norms that is independent of belief commitments and compelling to all rational creatures, even shorn of—in fact, precisely because it is shorn of—these authoritative commitments. However, both authors claim that this understanding of natural law is highly problematic. If the goal of natural law inquiry is a set of "independent" and "compelling to all" particular norms existing "free-floating" in an "authority-free zone," impossible demands have been made of natural law. Both Porter and Hittinger must and indeed do honor the notion of natural law as universally applicable and binding (or "written on every human heart," Rom. 2:15). Yet both acknowledge that something is necessary, beyond the specific norms of the natural law themselves, in order to identify and justify those norms.
105. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
William O'Neill Rights of Passage: The Ethics of Forced Displacement
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CONTEMPORARY HUMANITARIAN CRISES UNDERSCORE WHAT HANNAH Arendt called the "perplexities" of human rights; the very category "refugee" attests the failure of the global rights regime. Indeed, the "abstract nakedness of being nothing but human" belies the "right to have rights." In light of this criticism, I offer a reconstructive, communitarian interpretation of the rights of the forcibly displaced. The grammar of rights, I argue, presumes the communicative virtues of respect and recognition of the "concrete other." I conclude by showing how biblical narrative "re-inscribes" stateless persons/strangers precisely as neighbor (Lev. 19:18, 33—34) in "anamnestic solidarity."
106. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Sohail H. Hashmi RESPONSE TO REPONSES TO: "Cultivating a Liberal Islamic Ethos, Building an Islamic Civil Society"
107. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Laura Stivers A Sense of Place in a Globalized World: Place-Based Organizing for Corporate Accountability
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AN EMPHASIS ON LABOR MOBILITY AS WELL AS THE EXPENDABILITY OF people and the environment in late-stage capitalism prompts my exploration of rootedness to place as one value that can inform how we more justly construct our economies. I argue that rootedness to place is important for many people, while also noting the dangers of romanticizing the notion of place and/or using it to justify exclusion or oppression. In this essay, I theologically reflect on our connections to both ecological and human communities of a place, and argue that these connections should be guided by justice. Then I show how communities have promoted social and environmental justice by organizing to hold corporations accountable to particular places.
108. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Grace Y. Kao "One Nation under God" Or Taking the Lord's Name in Vain?: Christian Reflections on the Pledge of Allegiance
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BY EXPLORING THE ONGOING CONTROVERSY WHETHER TEACHER-LED recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is constitutional, this paper demonstrates how and why Christians have much to gain from reverting the pledge to its pre-1954 text. I expose critical weaknesses in recent strategies to retain the contested words "under God" in the pledge employed by litigants, amici curiae ("friends of the court"), several Supreme Court justices, and other interested parties. I additionally interrogate the prominent place the American flag holds in public life and question whether such preoccupation rises to the level of fetishism or even idolatry. Finally, I conclude that pacifists and others who are critical of America's expanding military empire have good reason to reject the Pledge of Allegiance entirely, whether or not the nation is described as being "under God."
109. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Patrick T. McCormick Volunteers and Incentives: Buying the Bodies of the Poor
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IN RESPONSE TO A SPREADING RECRUITMENT CRISIS AMONG THE ARMY, National Guard, and Army Reserve during the first half of 2005, the Pentagon sought to bolster combat volunteers for Iraq by offering a wide array of enlistment and reenlistment bonuses. This use of financial incentives to recruit bodies for the Iraq war echoed earlier White House efforts to induce nations to join the "coalition of the willing" by offering aid and trade packages, and paralleled the Pentagon's decision to outsource twenty thousand military jobs in Iraq to private military firms. When democratic nations seek to garner support for unpopular wars by offering financial incentives to those who serve in combat, they run the risk of exploiting the poor and undermining the moral legitimacy of their authority to wage war.
110. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Sohail H. Hashmi Cultivating a Liberal Islamic Ethos, Building an Islamic Civil Society
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MUSLIM STATES HAVE BEEN CHARACTERIZED AS SUFFERING FROM A "democratic deficit." A wide-ranging debate has been taking place for many years on whether Islam is somehow to blame for the troubled history of liberal democracy in the Muslim world. This essay argues that if liberal democratic polities are to develop in Muslim countries, then nurturing civil society is a necessary first step. How can Islamic ethics help or hinder this process?
111. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
William Werpehowski Practical Wisdom and the Integrity of Christian Life
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THEOLOGICALLY CONSIDERED, THE VIRTUE OF PRUDENCE OR PRACTICAL wisdom disposes a moral agent to "reason rightly about things to be done" insofar as the acts of counsel, judgment, and command enable both the discernment and the embodiment of moral reality in the world created and redeemed by God in Jesus Christ. In that world, Christians live and act as both sinful and righteous, and they find their integrity and maturity in an ongoing practice of repentance, renewal, and perseverance.
112. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Christopher D. Marshall Offending, Restoration, and the Law-Abiding Community: Restorative Justice in the New Testament and in the New Zealand Experience
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DURING THE PAST THIRTY YEARS, A GROWING CONVERSATION ABOUT THE "restorative" dimensions of justice in contrast to its "retributive" dimensions in addressing crime, wrongdoing, and cultural conflict has emerged around the world. In New Zealand, an initiative known as Family Group Conferencing has virtually replaced the conventional juvenile justice that preceded it. This initiative has inspired many people around the world to adapt that restorative approach in many different settings.
113. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Lisa Fullam Sex in 3-D: A Telos for a Virtue Ethics of Sexuality
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AS WITH OTHER CONSIDERATIONS FROM AN ETHICS OF VIRTUE, DISCERNing the ends of sexual activities requires a careful examination of the particularly human dimensions of sex. By asking, "What do you want from, what are your hopes, what are your ends for your sex life?" three dimensions of excellent sex emerge: a feel for incarnation, an ability for intimacy, and an eye for insight.
114. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
John P. Crossley Jr. The "Elective Affinity" between Liberal Theology and Liberal Politics
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MAX WEBER FURNISHES THE ANALOGY ON WHICH THIS ESSAY IS BASED: "This-worldly Protestant asceticism... acted powerfully against the spontaneous enjoyment of possessions; it restricted consumption, especially of luxuries. On the other hand, it had the psychological effect of freeing the acquisition of goods from the inhibitions of traditionalistic ethics. It broke the bonds of the impulse of acquisition in that it not only legalized it, but... looked upon it as directly willed by God."
115. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Gerald W. Schlabach Continuity and Sacrament, or Not: Hauerwas, Yoder, and Their Deep Difference
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STANLEY HAUERWAS HAS FAMOUSLY TAKEN TO THE MENNONITES BEcause they constitute what appears to be an oxymoron—a tradition of dissent. He launched his career endeavoring to restore the stuff of continuity to the Christian life. In contrast, John Howard Yoder launched his career arguing against the assumption that traditions and organic communal life could carry practices of authentic discipleship forward across generations. Here lies a fundamental difference between Hauerwas and Yoder that runs deeper than whether one of them is more "for" or "against" the nations.
116. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
John Perry John Locke's America: The Character of Liberal Democracy and Jeffrey Stout's Debate with the Christian Traditionalists
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RECENT STUDIES OF CHRISTIANITY'S RELATION TO LIBERAL POLITICS HAVE recognized the importance of specifying clearly what type of liberalism is being considered. Jeffrey Stout's critique is one such example. Unfortunately, Stout fails to engage the one thinker who arguably is the most influential in how Americans relate Christianity and politics: John Locke. Political arguments of today's Christians are premised, often unconsciously, on rival interpretations of Locke's political theology.
117. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
David Clough, Brian Stiltner On the Importance of a Drawn Sword: Christian Thinking about Preemptive War—and Its Modern Outworking
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JUST WAR THINKERS, SUCH AS HUGO GROTIUS, RESISTED USING FEARS about the enemy's intentions as grounds for preemptive military action. This conservative rendering of what was permissible came under pressure in debates about the military responses to Iraq, Iran, and other nations seeking weapons. Those arguing for a more permissive category of preventive war maintain that a prudent leader must anticipate developing military threats and respond before an act of aggression is imminent. Though the just war tradition must respond to the changing nature of military threats, if the tradition is to remain viable as a moral framework, it is vital that it not be made more malleable in this area.
118. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Julie Hanlon Rubio, Barbara Hilkert Andolsen, Rebecca Todd Peters, Cheryl Kirk-Duggan Women Scholars in Christian Ethics: The Impact and Value of Family Care
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THE CREATION OF FAMILY-FRIENDLY DEPARTMENTS IS A JUSTICE ISSUE affecting primary caregivers and their dependents as well as the academic profession as a whole. This essay asks: "How do conflicts between work and family care affect the profession, the Society of Christian Ethics, and ultimately scholarship in ethics?"
119. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
William McDonough "Caritas" as the "Prae-Ambulum" of All Virtue: Eberhard Schockenhoff on the Theological-Anthropological Significance and the Contemporary Interreligious Relevance of Thomas Aquinas's Teaching on the "Virtutes Morales Infusae"
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JEAN PORTER RECENTLY ASKED, IF CHRISTIANS "SEE MEN AND WOMEN OF every religious belief, and none, displaying what we can only regard as...charity,...how can we deny that the Spirit of God is present when we see its fruits?" She says that the development of a more interreligiously open Christian theology of the "infused moral virtues" is a task for our day. This essay accepts Porter's question and suggests that the German Catholic theologian Eberhard Schockenhoff, in his 1987 study of the foundations of Aquinas's virtue ethics, has already largely given us the renewed approach that Porter seeks. This essay is a presentation of Schockenhoff's thought on the matter.
120. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Todd David Whitmore Crossing the Road: The Case for Ethnographic Fieldwork in Christian Ethics
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CHRISTIAN ETHICS IS VIRTUALLY DEVOID OF ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELDWORK. Many Christian ethicists practice "veranda ethics": They write from a vast social remove from the issues they address, like poverty and war, as observers. Fieldwork, as illustrated by casework in Northern Uganda, provides a way to overcome this remove.