This title was first published in 2003. This book develops a moral ontology for a theistic ethic that engages the work of contemporary moral and political philosophers, and reaffirms the relevance of a theistic tradition of God's relation to the world reflected in the fundamental teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Drawing on recent thought in the non-religious fields of psychology and political and moral philosophy, which build around the concept of human flourishing in community, Kirkpatrick argues that a theistic ethic need not be the captive of parochial or sectarian theological camps. He proposes a common or universal ethic that transcends the fashionable ethnocentric 'incommensurate differences' in morality alleged by many post-modern deconstructionists. In the wake of ethnic religious strife post September 11th 2001, this book argues for a common morality built on the inclusivity of love, community, and justice that can transcend sectarian and parochial boundaries.
'This work is an important contribution to the contemporary recovery of a common, universal, or Global ethic, in the face of the modern international order… Whatever the universal ethic will turn out to be like, it will not be a takeover bid. Books like this are importantly laying the foundations of a whole new generation of religious and secular thinking about ethics in a changed and ever changing world.' Theological Book Review '… another […] fruitful venture into the domain of natural theology.' Appraisal '… Kirkpatrick's text is a thoughtful argument for the relevance of a theological approach to ethics.' Choice 'His work is more descriptive, discursive and suggestive than theoretically substantive, but it is enticing all the same. None of this detracts from the overall interest and stimulation to be derived from the book and from its achievement.' Modern Believing 'This is an admirably ambitious book that has many interesting points…' Crucible '… this book […] makes a significant contribution to the Theology of Religions…' Reviews in Religion and Theology
Contents: Preface; Introduction; The challenge of relativism and deconstruction to theistic ethics; Knowledge as relational; God as the personal 'other': acting in history; Inferring God's agency and intentions from history; Constructing an ethics of community: the theistic response to the intentions of God in history; Theistic ethics, moral philosophy, and psychology: the foundations of a conversation; Flourishing, altruism, trust, and love; Moral rules and contexts: the ethics of feminism, natural law, Marxism, and virtue; Theistic ethics and contemporary political philosophies; Summary and conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
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