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Moral Traditions
Author: Mari Rapela Heidt
Publisher: Anselm Academic
ISBN: 0884897494
Pages: 138
Year: 2010
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Ethics, morality and the study of religious ethics - Hindu tradition - Buddha - Jewish moral tradition - Christian tradition - Islam and the Muslim moral tradition - Chinese moral tradition - Additional moral traditions.
Moral Evil
Author: Andrew Michael Flescher
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1626160112
Pages: 288
Year: 2013-10-24
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The idea of moral evil has always held a special place in philosophy and theology because the existence of evil has implications for the dignity of the human and the limits of human action. Andrew Michael Flescher proposes four interpretations of evil, drawing on philosophical and theological sources and using them to trace through history the moral traditions that are associated with them. The first model, evil as the presence of badness, offers a traditional dualistic model represented by Manicheanism. The second, evil leading to goodness through suffering, presents a theological interpretation known as theodicy. Absence of badness—that is, evil as a social construction—is the third model. The fourth, evil as the absence of goodness, describes when evil exists in lieu of the good—the "privation" thesis staked out nearly two millennia ago by Christian theologian St. Augustine. Flescher extends this fourth model—evil as privation—into a fifth, which incorporates a virtue ethic. Drawing original connections between Augustine and Aristotle, Flescher’s fifth model emphasizes the formation of altruistic habits that can lead us to better moral choices throughout our lives. Flescher eschews the temptation to think of human agents who commit evil as outside the norm of human experience. Instead, through the honing of moral skills and the practice of attending to the needs of others to a greater degree than we currently do, Flescher offers a plausible and hopeful approach to the reality of moral evil.
Kinship Across Borders
Author: Kristin E. Heyer
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589019318
Pages: 208
Year: 2012-10-02
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The failure of current immigration policies in the United States has resulted in dire consequences: a significant increase in border deaths, a proliferation of smuggling networks, prolonged family separation, inhumane raids, a patchwork of local ordinances criminalizing activities of immigrants and those who harbor them, and the creation of an underclass—none of which are appropriate or just outcomes for those holding Christian commitments. Kinship Across Borders analyzes contemporary US immigration in the context of fundamental Christian beliefs about the human person, sin, family life, and global solidarity. Kristin Heyer expertly demonstrates how current US immigration policies reflect harmful neoliberal economic priorities, and why immigration cannot be reduced to security or legal issues alone. Rather, she explains that immigration involves a broad array of economic issues, trade policies, concerns of cultural tolerance and criminal justice, and, at root, an understanding of the human person. In Kinship Across Borders, Heyer has developed a Christian immigration ethic—grounded in scriptural, anthropological, and social teachings and rooted in the experiences of undocumented migrants—that calls society to promote concrete practices and policies reflecting justice and solidarity.
Family Ethics
Author: Julie Hanlon Rubio
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 158901667X
Pages: 272
Year: 2010-03-17
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How can ordinary Christians find moral guidance for the mundane dilemmas they confront in their daily lives? To answer this question, Julie Hanlon Rubio brings together a rich Catholic theology of marriage and a strong commitment to social justice to focus on the place where the ethics of ordinary life are played out: the family. Sex, money, eating, spirituality, and service. According to Rubio, all are areas for practical application of an ethics of the family. In each area, intentional practices can function as acts of resistance to a cultural and middle-class conformity that promotes materialism over relationships. These practices forge deep connections within the family and help families live out their calling to be in solidarity with others and participate in social change from below. It is through these everyday moral choices that most Christians can live out their faith—and contribute to progress in the world.
Aquinas, Feminism, and the Common Good
Author: Susanne M. DeCrane
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589012410
Pages: 236
Year: 2004-01-29
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To dismiss the work of philosophers and theologians of the past because of their limited perceptions of the whole of humankind is tantamount to tossing the tot out with the tub water. Such is the case when feminist scholars of religion and ethics confront Thomas Aquinas, whose views of women can only be described as misogynistic. Rather than dispense with him, Susanne DeCrane seeks to engage Aquinas and reflect his otherwise compelling thought through the prism of feminist theology, hermeneutics, and ethics. Focusing on one of Aquinas's great intellectual contributions, the fundamental notion of "the common good"—in short, the human will toward peace and justice—DeCrane demonstrates the currency of that notion through a contemporary social issue: women's health care in the United States and, specifically, black women and breast cancer. In her skillful re-engagement with Aquinas, DeCrane shows that certain aspects of religious traditions heretofore understood as oppressive to women and minority groups can actually be parsed, "retrieved," and used to rectify social ills. Aquinas, Feminism, and the Common Good is a bold and intellectually rigorous feminist retrieval of an important text by a Catholic scholar seeking to remain in the tradition, while demanding that the tradition live up to its emphasis on human equity and justice.
The Christian Case for Virtue Ethics
Author: Joseph J. Kotva Jr.
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589014286
Pages: 240
Year: 1996-09-01
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Despite the growing interest among philosophers and theologians in virtue ethics, its proponents have done little to suggest why Christians in particular find virtue ethics attractive. Joseph J. Kotva, Jr., addresses this question in The Christian Case for Virtue Ethics, showing that virtue theory offers an ethical framework that is highly compatible with Christian morality. Kotva defines virtue ethics and demonstrates its ability to voice Christian convictions about how to live the moral life. He evaluates virtue theory in light of systematic theology and Scripture, arguing that Christian ethics could be profitably linked with neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics. Ecumenical in tone, this book provides a thorough but accessible introduction to recent philosophical accounts of virtue and offers an original, explicitly Christian adaptation of these ideas. It will be of value to students and scholars of philosophy, theology, and religion, as well as to those interested in the debates surrounding virtue ethics.
Loyal Dissent
Author: Charles E. Curran
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589013638
Pages: 314
Year: 2006-05-01
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Loyal Dissent is the candid and inspiring story of a Catholic priest and theologian who, despite being stripped of his right to teach as a Catholic theologian by the Vatican, remains committed to the Catholic Church. Over a nearly fifty-year career, Charles E. Curran has distinguished himself as the most well-known and the most controversial Catholic moral theologian in the United States. On occasion, he has disagreed with official church teachings on subjects such as contraception, homosexuality, divorce, abortion, moral norms, and the role played by the hierarchical teaching office in moral matters. Throughout, however, Curran has remained a committed Catholic, a priest working for the reform of a pilgrim church. His positions, he insists, are always in accord with the best understanding of Catholic theology and always dedicated to the good of the church. In 1986, years of clashes with church authorities finally culminated in a decision by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, that Curran was neither suitable nor eligible to be a professor of Catholic theology. As a result of that Vatican condemnation, he was fired from his teaching position at Catholic University of America and, since then, no Catholic university has been willing to hire him. Yet Curran continues to defend the possibility of legitimate dissent from those teachings of the Catholic faith—not core or central to it—that are outside the realm of infallibility. In word and deed, he has worked in support of more academic freedom in Catholic higher education and for a structural change in the church that would increase the role of the Catholic community—from local churches and parishes to all the baptized people of God. In this poignant and passionate memoir, Curran recounts his remarkable story from his early years as a compliant, pre-Vatican II Catholic through decades of teaching and writing and a transformation that has brought him today to be recognized as a leader of progressive Catholicism throughout the world.
The Quest for Peace
Author: James Turner Johnson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400886740
Pages: 328
Year: 2017-03-14
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James Turner Johnson goes beyond the examination of moral restraints on the occasion and conduct of war to a critical study of the moral thinking that has aimed at its prevention. This scrutiny of the peace issue" in Western society covers nearly two thousand years of history and three traditions of the search for peace: the just war tradition of setting limits to war, the sectarian pacifism of withdrawal from the world and its evils, and the Utopian world-perfecting pacifism that finds the cure for discord among nations in the establishment of a new, more nearly universal, and rightly constituted political order. Revealing the historical depth of all three traditions, the book shows that contemporary "nuclear pacifism" derives from forms of thought that are centuries old. Originally published in 1987. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality
Author: Andrew Michael Flescher
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589013417
Pages: 352
Year: 2003-11-25
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Most of us are content to see ourselves as ordinary people—unique in ways, talented in others, but still among the ranks of ordinary mortals. Andrew Flescher probes our contented state by asking important questions: How should "ordinary" people respond when others need our help, whether the situation is a crisis, or something less? Do we have a responsibility, an obligation, to go that extra mile, to act above and beyond the call of duty? Or should we leave the braver responses to those who are somehow different than we are: better somehow, "heroes," or "saints?" Traditional approaches to ethics have suggested there is a sharp distinction between ordinary people and those called heroes and saints; between duties and acts of supererogation (going beyond the expected). Flescher seeks to undo these standard dichotomies by looking at the lives and actions of certain historical figures—Holocaust rescuers, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, among others—who appear to be extraordinary but were, in fact, ordinary people. Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality shifts the way we regard ourselves in relationship to those we admire from afar—it asks us not only to admire, but to emulate as well—further, it challenges us to actively seek the acquisition of virtue as seen in the lives of heroes and saints, to learn from them, a dynamic aspect of ethical behavior that goes beyond the mere avoidance of wrongdoing. Andrew Flescher sets a stage where we need to think and act, calling us to lead lives of self-examination—even if that should sometimes provoke discomfort. He asks that we strive to emulate those we admire and therefore allow ourselves to grow morally, and spiritually. It is then that the individual develops a deeper altruistic sense of self—a state that allows us to respond as the heroes of our own lives, and therefore in the lives of others, when times and circumstance demand that of us.
The Acting Person and Christian Moral Life
Author: Darlene Fozard Weaver
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589017870
Pages: 226
Year: 2011-11-18
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What may we say about the significance of particular moral actions for one’s relationship with God? In this provocative analysis of contemporary Catholic moral theology Darlene Fozard Weaver shows the person as a moral agent acting in relation to God. Using an overarching theological context of sinful estrangement from and gracious reconciliation in God, Weaver shows how individuals negotiate their relationships with God in and through their involvement with others and the world. Much of current Christian ethics focuses more on persons and their virtues and vices exemplified by the work of virtue ethicists or on sinful social structures illustrated in the work of liberation theologians. These judgments fail to appreciate the reflexive character of human action and neglect the way our actions negotiate our response to God. Weaver develops a theologically robust moral anthropology that advances Christian understanding of persons and moral actions and contends we can better understand the theological import of moral actions by seeing ourselves as creatures who live, move, and have our being in God.
Living the Truth
Author: Klaus Demmer
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589018028
Pages: 176
Year: 2010-06-14
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How is moral theology related to pastoral theology? In this first English translation of Living the Truth, Klaus Demmer answers this question by offering a complete theory of action. Its crucial element is truthfulness, which Demmer claims is a basic attitude that must be translated concretely into our individual decisions. Demmer demonstrates that the demand for truthfulness offers a critical corrective to the usual praxis whereby ethical norms are formulated. This has significant consequences for every area of ethical directives, including questions about celibacy and partnerships. Demmer moves away from the act-centered morality that dominates the neo-Scholastic manuals of moral theology. His concern is to show how our actions embody and carry out a more original anthropological project. Not only does this anthropological project condition our insights into goods and values, it provides the criteria by which our actions are judged morally. This book will be welcomed by all who are looking for ethical norms, and by all whose task it is to formulate such norms.
Aquinas on the Emotions
Author: Diana Fritz Cates
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589017188
Pages: 304
Year: 2009-10-15
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All of us want to be happy and live well. Sometimes intense emotions affect our happiness—and, in turn, our moral lives. Our emotions can have a significant impact on our perceptions of reality, the choices we make, and the ways in which we interact with others. Can we, as moral agents, have an effect on our emotions? Do we have any choice when it comes to our emotions? In Aquinas on the Emotions, Diana Fritz Cates shows how emotions are composed as embodied mental states. She identifies various factors, including religious beliefs, intuitions, images, and questions that can affect the formation and the course of a person's emotions. She attends to the appetitive as well as the cognitive dimension of emotion, both of which Aquinas interprets with flexibility. The result is a powerful study of Aquinas that is also a resource for readers who want to understand and cultivate the emotional dimension of their lives.
Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry
Author: Alasdair MacIntyre
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess
ISBN: 0268160562
Pages: 252
Year: 1994-05-12
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MacIntyre's project, here as elsewhere, is to put up a fight against philosophical relativism. . . . The current form is the 'incommensurability,' so-called, of differing standpoints or conceptual schemes. Mr. MacIntyre claims that different schools of philosophy must differ fundamentally about what counts as a rational way to settle intellectual differences. Reading between the lines, one can see that he has in mind nationalities as well as thinkers, and literary criticism as well as academic philosophy. More explicitly, he labels and discusses three significantly different standpoints: the encyclopedic, the genealogical and the traditional. . . . [T]he chapters on the development of Christian philosophy between Augustine and Duns Scotus are very interesting indeed. . . . [MacIntyre] must be the past, present, future, and all-time philosophical historians' historian of philosophy. -The New York Times Book Review
Law's Virtues
Author: Cathleen Kaveny
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589019334
Pages: 304
Year: 2012-09-20
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Can the law promote moral values even in pluralistic societies such as the United States? Drawing upon important federal legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, legal scholar and moral theologian Cathleen Kaveny argues that it can. In conversation with thinkers as diverse as Thomas Aquinas, Pope John Paul II, and Joseph Raz, she argues that the law rightly promotes the values of autonomy and solidarity. At the same time, she cautions that wise lawmakers will not enact mandates that are too far out of step with the lived moral values of the actual community. According to Kaveny, the law is best understood as a moral teacher encouraging people to act virtuously, rather than a police officer requiring them to do so. In Law’s Virtues Kaveny expertly applies this theoretical framework to the controversial moral-legal issues of abortion, genetics, and euthanasia. In addition, she proposes a moral analysis of the act of voting, in dialogue with the election guides issued by the US bishops. Moving beyond the culture wars, this bold and provocative volume proposes a vision of the relationship of law and morality that is realistic without being relativistic and optimistic without being utopian.
A Culture of Engagement
Author: Cathleen Kaveny
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1626163049
Pages: 320
Year: 2016-03-01
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Religious traditions in the United States are characterized by ongoing tension between assimilation to the broader culture, as typified by mainline Protestant churches, and defiant rejection of cultural incursions, as witnessed by more sectarian movements such as Mormonism and Hassidism. However, legal theorist and Catholic theologian Cathleen Kaveny contends there is a third possibility—a culture of engagement—that accommodates and respects tradition. It also recognizes the need to interact with culture to remain relevant and to offer critiques of social, political, legal, and economic practices. Kaveny suggests that rather than avoid the crisscross of the religious and secular spheres of life, we should use this conflict as an opportunity to come together and to encounter, challenge, contribute to, and correct one another. Focusing on five broad areas of interest—Law as a Teacher, Religious Liberty and Its Limits, Conversations about Culture, Conversations about Belief, and Cases and Controversies—Kaveny demonstrates how thoughtful and purposeful engagement can contribute to rich, constructive, and difficult discussions between moral and cultural traditions. This provocative collection of Kaveny's articles from Commonweal magazine, substantially revised and updated from their initial publication, provides astonishing insight into a range of hot-button issues like abortion, assisted suicide, government-sponsored torture, contraception, the Ashley Treatment, capital punishment, and the role of religious faith in a pluralistic society. At turns masterful and inspirational, A Culture of Engagement is a welcome reminder of what can be gained when a diversity of experiences and beliefs is brought to bear on American public life.