Displaying: 41-60 of 367 documents

0.168 sec

41. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 2
David Cloutier Composing Love Songs for the Kingdom of God?: Creation and Eschatology in Catholic Sexual Ethics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
THE VATICAN II MANDATE TO TREAT TOPICS IN MORAL THEOLOGY IN A WAY that will "shed light on the loftiness of the calling of the faithful in Christ" points the way to an alternative approach, in which sexuality and the lofty calling to the Kingdom are not simply kept separate. Such an approach would be a genuinely eschatological narration of marriage and sexuality. In this essay I argue three points: First, as a background story, the characterization of the shift in the tradition on sexual issues from a "negative" to a "positive" view of sexuality is both inaccurate and theologically rather empty. Second, four writers (Pope John Paul II, Germain Grisez, Lisa Cahill, and Herbert McCabe) all manifest this shift, but their construals of eschatology differ significantly—indicating that future debate about sexual ethics will have to take place among competing narrations of eschatology rather than in terms of competing moral theories about how to justify certain norms. Finally, I gesture toward potential implications for sexual norms in light of eschatological approaches to marriage and sexuality.
42. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 2
Aline H. Kalbian Integrity in Catholic Sexual Ethics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
TOTALITY AND COMPLEMENTARITY ARE PROMINENT TERMS IN CATHOLIC discussions of sexuality and gender. In this essay I explore these terms as they relate to the concept of integrity. I argue that although these terms were originally intended to describe the importance of physical integrity or wholeness, recent moves toward a more personalistic sexual ethic have rendered them problematic. More precisely, although these two terms appear to have integrity as their goal, uncertainty about the object of integrity results in fragmentation.
43. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 2
Ted A. Smith Redeeming Critique: Resignations to the Cultural Turn in Christian Theology and Ethics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
IN THIS ESSAY I BEGIN BY NAMING A "TURN TO CULTURE" THAT MARKS A wide range of works in contemporary theology and ethics. I describe how the turn plays out in books by Stanley Hauerwas and Delores S. Williams and argue that their idealist versions of the turn uncritically replicate core features of the dominant cultures they try to criticize. I explain how their idealism in conceiving the oppositional cultures to which they turn constructs those cultures as "others" to the culture being criticized, wholes unto themselves, and symbols that directly participate in some ultimate good or truth. I then gesture toward a more critical, self-conscious performance of the turn to culture. I argue that turns to culture should not obscure but rather thematize the role of the critic in making the turn. I use the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Walter Benjamin to argue that self-conscious critique will involve a set of resignations to reflexivity rather than otherness, to a hodgepodge of highly mobile practices rather than a single, unified tradition, and to regarding cultural artifacts as mixed allegories rather than pure symbols.
44. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 2
Aaron Stalnaker Spiritual Exercises and the Grace of God: Paradoxes of Personal Formation in Augustine
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
AUGUSTINE'S MATURE, ANTI-PELAGIAN UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN AND divine willing might appear to conflict with his advocacy (in numerous sermons, for example) of human striving to "make progress in righteousness" through various practices of personal reformation. In this essay I consider exercises such as reading and listening to scripture, fasting, and Eucharistie worship; I argue that although deep tensions exist in Augustine's account, ultimately they are not contradictions. Furthermore, recent attempts to retrieve "spiritual exercises" or askesis for contemporary ethical reflection would do well to grapple with Augustine's thought and practice in this area.
45. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 2
Paul W. Schroeder International Order and Its Current Enemies
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
IN THIS ESSAY I PROPOSE SEVERAL SWEEPING PROPOSITIONS ABOUT INternational order: that it is structurally prior to international peace and justice and required for it; that in the anarchical society of international politics any order must be based on the principle of voluntary association and exclusion, with their attached rewards and sanctions; that such a working order has been emerging over centuries and has resulted in an undeniable growth of world peace, though without ending war; and that this emergent international order is now under attack from various directions. One such attack—not the worst or most dangerous in the long run but very grave at present—is the current foreign policy of the United States, which directly denies or indirectly subverts the principles and trends that have led to the emergence of a promising international order.
46. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 2
Glen H. Stassen Just Peacemaking as Hermeneutical Key: The Need for International Cooperation in Preventing Terrorism
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
DATA SHOW THAT THE STRATEGY OF ARGUING THAT A WAR IS UNJUST, or that we should oppose all wars, always loses the national debate that occurs before a war. Data also show, however, that articulating an alternative to the war fares much better. Facing this reality requires us to develop an additional ethic besides just war and pacifism—an ethic that articulates specific alternatives to a war.
47. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Susan A. Ross Women, Beauty, and Justice: Moving Beyond von Balthasar
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
IN THIS ESSAY I CONSIDER POSSIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS OF FEMINIST THEOLogy to theological aesthetics and ethics by comparing the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905—88), the predominant figure in theological aesthetics, with that of Elizabeth Johnson and Sallie McFague. Balthasar's emphasis on contemplation and obedience in response to the unexpected revelation of God's glory contrasts with the practicality, mutuality, and creativity of feminist theological ethics. On the other hand, feminist theology's emphasis on appropriate language and images for God suggests an implicit aesthetics. The artistic work of contemporary African women in crisis situations sheds further light on both Balthasar and feminist theology and brings into relief the relationship of beauty and justice. Although Balthasar's emphasis on the transcendent glory of God may leave him with an undeveloped ethics, feminist theology's agent-oriented approach could benefit from greater attention to contemplation and a transformed understanding of obedience. These conclusions urge greater appreciation and development of the aesthetic and imaginative dimensions of feminist theological ethics.
48. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Cristina Traina Touch on Trial: Power and the Right to Physical Affection
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF THE NEAR-PROHIBITION OF TOUCH IN RElations between unequals, this essay addresses very different questions: When do more-powerful people owe touch to less-powerful people as a consequence of their moral responsibility to care and nurture? How are we to understand morally the enjoyment that powerful adults receive from such contacts with their charges? This essay draws on psychological literature on touch to argue that touch is a condition of human flourishing. Consequently, in many circumstances (especially the nurture of children) the obligation to care not only permits but requires physical affection. It argues as well that the lines separating required, permitted, and forbidden touch are somewhat culture-dependent but nevertheless can be adjudicated. Finally, it suggests how traditional theologies and ethics of embodiment might support and be developed by these claims, showing that a positive ethic of touch shares the same theological foundations as the existing ethic of protection.
49. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Alex Mikulich Mapping "Whiteness": The Complexity of Racial Formation and the Subversive Moral Imagination of the "Motley Crowd"
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
THIS ESSAY MAPS SOCIAL HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC INTERPREtations of Whiteness to develop an understanding of the complexity and rootedness of Whiteness as a social construction. Mapping Whiteness helps clarify historical pitfalls in the interpretation of racial formation, including the problems of essentialism, dualism, and assimilationism. A social historical perspective retrieves the multiethnic and multiclass reality of the "motley crowd" —sailors, slaves, and commoners whose religious and radical praxis subverted the dominant political and economic forces of the revolutionary Atlantic. The subversive praxis of the motley crowd suggests an alternative moral imagination, moored by Black Catholic political theology, that affirms the historical complexity of racial formation, critiques and subverts White privilege, and celebrates the need to extend multiple struggles for social, political, and economic liberation.
50. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Jonathan Rothchild Ethics, Law, and Economics: Legal Regulation of Corporate Responsibility
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
ECONOMICS AND LAW HAVE HISTORICALLY ATTENUATED THE CONTRIBUtion of ethics in their putative separation of fact and value. In this essay I argue that reconceptualizing the relationships between law, economics, and ethics reveals the shortcomings of positions that disavow ethics. In the first section I contend that thinkers must reread Adam Smith as an economist and a moral philosopher to appreciate his extended treatment of sympathy, conscience, and social justice. In the second section I appropriate the work of Amartya Sen to examine the entanglement of fact and value in deliberating economic choices, including moral motivations and social evaluations that problematize reductive images of economic actors. Finally, I interrogate legal regulation of corporate governance with respect to the Enron scandal and the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act. I argue that legal regulation is a necessary but not sufficient resolution to corporate misconduct because it too enervates ethics and bifurcates fact and value.
51. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Diana Fritz Cates The Religious Dimension of Ordinary Human Emotions
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
UNDERSTANDING HOW EMOTIONS ARE COMPOSED AS MENTAL STATES can help us understand the access many people have to their own emotions. It also can help us understand how people might increase this access and make more effective use of it in their efforts to become more free and responsible in their emotional lives. This essay focuses on some forms of cognition that enter into the composition of at least some emotional states. It shows how thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, intuitions, and questions that are arguably religious can condition the ways in which people construe objects and events in their lives and thus the ways in which they form emotional responses to those objects and events. The essay takes its bearings from the work of James Gustafson and Martha Nussbaum.
52. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Douglas A. Hicks Self-Interest, Deprivation, and Agency: Expanding the Capabilities Approach
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
IN THIS ESSAY I ENGAGE THE DEBATE AMONG THEOLOGIANS, PHILOSOphers, and economists on the proper role of self-interest in the pursuit of economic well-being. Often, neither economists' use of self-interest nor critics' rejection of it is carefully specified. I consider conditions under which acting in one's self-interest is theologically and morally proper. Specifically, I argue that for socioeconomically disadvantaged persons, increased exercise of self-interest should not be regarded as sinful but as a fitting expansion of agency and well-being. Contextual factors of distribution and the quality of social relations must inform any analysis of self-interest. I introduce a theological perspective on self-interest within an egalitarian Christian framework and suggest ways in which this approach enables further theological and ethical reflection on the proper role of self-interest.
53. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Joe Pettit The Persistence of Injustice: Challenging Some Dominant Explanations
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
IN THIS ESSAY I CONSIDER THE PROBLEM OF THE PERSISTENCE OF MASsive injustice in the United States and challenge some of the dominant explanations for this injustice. I argue that most explanations of injustice, such as appeals to corruption in human nature or the political order, only explain the injustice away by making it seem unreasonable to believe that anything could be done about it. Injustice, then, becomes only a state of affairs that is unfortunate for many but about which little can be done, beyond perhaps individual charity. Seeking to avoid this outcome, I argue that the persistence of injustice is best explained by lack of education on the part of citizens. This education involves knowledge of sociological and political realities as well as of ethical expectations requiring response to massive injustice. I conclude with suggestions for how ethicists might do a better of job of teaching about injustice.
54. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Jonathan K. Crane Because . . .: Justifying Law/Rationalizing Ethics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
ONE LINK WITHIN JUDAISM BETWEEN ETHICS AND LAW MAY BE FOUND IN the deployment of rationales in halakhah, Jewish law. Although rationales exist in biblical as well as rabbinic legal sources, in this essay I explore two rabbinic examples that are frequently cited, considered closely related, and applied to interactions between Jews and gentiles: mipnei darkhei shalom ("for the sake of peace") and mipnei eivah ("because of concern to prevent enmity"). I survey the broad range of issues to which these rationales are attached, evaluate current theories interpreting these rationales and their relationship to each other, and conclude with reflections on the dynamic tension between and historical development of halakhah and ethical concerns.
55. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Gloria H. Albrecht Ideals and Injuries: The Denial of Difference in the Construction of Christian Family Ideals
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
CONCERN ABOUT THE WELL-BEING OF FAMILIES HAS BEEN A CONSTANT refrain in the history of the United States. Change in family forms often has been regarded as a breakdown of the family and a harbinger of social decay. In each historical period, a family form has been identified as an ideal in contrast to which other forms of family have been found deficient, even dysfunctional. Social policies have been designed to reward "good" families and discourage "bad" ones. Today, the increase in single-mother families, the high divorce rate, and the percentage of children living in poverty often are cited as evidence of the breakdown of the family and abandonment of family values because of a culture of "inordinate individualism." The Marriage Movement particularly represents this view. In this essay I first describe this approach to family values, its use of social science to support its claims, and the influence of this perspective on certain liberal Christian proposals for family ideals. I argue that family ideals assume race, gender, and economic privileges that are not available to all. By ignoring socioeconomic realities for many people, these ideals may mask and reinforce unjust inequalities. In fact, the themes and policies of the defense-of-marriage movement fit nicely with the neoliberal political economy that developed in the second half of the twentieth century. I argue that church and social policies that value families must connect the well-being of all families with a commitment to gender equality and economic justice.
56. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Sumner B. Twiss Humanities and Atrocities: Some Reflections
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE causes and mechanisms involved in human rights atrocities, as well as strategies for preventing or interdicting their occurrence. Although I have focused my attention on social scientific and psychological investigations in an effort to develop an integrated schema or framework that could be applied to particular cases, I launched a faculty seminar at Florida State University (FSU) and taught correlated courses on crimes against humanity that specifically used humanistic materials in examining such criminal activity. The underlying rationale for this effort stemmed from the charge to the FSU human rights center to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizing the international, comparative, and interdisciplinary aspects of human rights education and drawing on faculty resources throughout the university's schools and departments. In this essay I report on the theme that emerged in the FSU initiative that human rights education could be especially enhanced by engagement with humanistic materials ranging across history, literature, philosophy, and the arts. These materials can raise profound questions, appeal to the imagination and moral sensibilities, and engender critical and creative thinking.
57. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Paul Lauritzen Humanities and Atrocities: A Response
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
SUMNER TWISS HAS ARGUED THAT HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION NEEDS TO be expanded to include work that traditionally is beyond the horizon of human rights literature. Specifically, human rights education could benefit from inclusion of humanistic genres such as novels, poetry, film, drama, and music, which engage our critical and emotional capacities. Examination of humanistic literature in relation to human rights atrocities might provide important and new insights into the causes of human rights abuses. In this essay I suggest that although Twiss identifies an important area for further reflection, there are some reasons to worry about the possibility of blurring genres that his proposal entails. I also suggest that we need to develop criteria for evaluating the kinds of experiential arguments that are frequently embedded in the literature Twiss highlights.
58. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
P. Travis Kroeker Whither Messianic Ethics?: Paul as Political Theorist
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
IN RECENT YEARS SEVERAL IMPORTANT PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES ON THE ethical and political character of Pauline messianism have been published by continental philosophers such as Alain Badiou, Stanislaus Breton, Jacob Taubes, and Giorgio Agamben. In contrast to the Weberian "secularization thesis," which interprets Paul's eschatological messianism as one of indifference to worldly conditions, these authors—more in keeping with Walter Benjamin and Karl Barth—interpret it as radically political: a challenge to conventional modern politics of human and especially national sovereignty. In this essay I bring these studies of Paul into conversation with recent critical discussions of Christian political theology to consider how messianic ethics may or may not be relevant to contemporary political theory, particularly in reformulating a "secularity" that neither excludes nor privileges particular religious voices and traditions.
59. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Scott Bader-Saye Thomas Aquinas and the Culture of Fear
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
FROM POLITICS TO THE MARKETPLACE, FEAR PLAYS AN INCREASINGLY important role in American culture. It shapes decisions as well as character, while it feeds an "ethic of security" that raises personal and national safety to the status of highest good. How might Christians respond faithfully to a culture of fear? This essay draws on Thomas Aquinas' account of fear in the Summa Theologica to provide a set of analytical categories and diagnostic questions in hopes of helping us become more reflective about fear. At the very least, this discussion seeks to reintroduce the premodern categories of ordered and disordered fear to challenge the modern presumption that fear is a pre-political "given" in its twin forms of anxiety and terror.
60. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Stanley Hauerwas, Linda Hogan, Enda McDonagh The Case for Abolition of War in the Twenty-First Century
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
IN THIS ESSAY WE ASK WHETHER CHRISTIANS HAVE THE RESOURCES AND the commitment to make the theological-ethical case for ending war as an instrument of international and national policy in an authentically Christian, intellectually coherent, and practically feasible way. Historical precedent for such shifts in mindsets and practices, as occurred with the abolition of slavery, give grounds for hope, as do witness pacifists. In this essay, we argue for a shift in the center of gravity of theological debate by reorienting our vision of the future to the continuing in-breaking of the Reign of God.