Comparative Religious Ethics  book cover
1st Edition

Comparative Religious Ethics

ISBN 9780415684484
Published July 22, 2015 by Routledge
1878 Pages

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Book Description


(Valid until 3 months after publication)

No collection of this sort has yet been conceived of, let alone accomplished, in this field.  In part that may well be due to the extraordinarily nascent character of the field of comparative religious ethics, described as that (as opposed to Christian ethics, for example). Yet the aim is not simply to gather together a number of pieces, but -- with the appropriate modesty and tentativeness -- to offer one picture of how the field ought to understand itself: its past, present, and perhaps its future. A critical mass of scholars has now emerged in this area, and the institutional dynamics of religious studies departments, which are increasingly seeing the attractions of classes in "comparative ethics," are favorable as well.

By gathering together both "classic" statements, exemplifying paradigmatic approaches in the field, and recent, ground-breaking and innovative works, the ambition is to make this collection the gold standard for anyone working on the field of comparative religious ethics in coming decades.

Table of Contents

VolUME I: Comparative Religious Ethics—Defining a Field by Comparison

Part 1: Origins of ‘Comparative Religious Ethics’

1.1. Defining a Field

1. David Little, ‘Max Weber and the Comparative Study of Religious Ethics’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 1974, 2, 2, 5–40.

2. Ron Green, ‘Introduction’ and ‘Conclusion’, Religious Reason (Oxford University Press, 1978), pp. 3–7, 247–55.

3. John P Reeder Jr., ‘Religious Ethics as a Field and as a Discipline’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 1978, 6, 1, 32–53.

1.2. Early Exchanges in Response to Little and Twiss

4. Jeffrey Stout, ‘Weber’s Progeny Once Removed’, Religious Studies Review, 1980, 6, 4, 289–95.

5. David Little, ‘The Present State of the Comparative Study of Religious Ethics’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 1981, 9, 2, 210–27.

6. Jeffrey Stout, ‘Holism and Comparative Ethics: A Response to Little’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 1983, 11, 2, 301–16.

1.3. Retrospectives

7. Ronald M. Green, ‘The Journal of Religious Ethics, 1973–1994’, Religious Studies Review, 1995, 21, 3, 180–5.

8. Donald K. Swearer, ‘Caught in the Belly of a Paradox’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 1997, 25, 3, 253–67.

9. John Kelsay, ‘The Present State of the Comparative Study of Religious Ethics: An Update’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 2012, 40, 4, 583–602.

Part 2: Accounting for Comparison

2.1. Purposes of Comparison

10. Aaron Stalnaker, ‘Judging Others: History, Ethics and the Purposes of Comparison’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 2008, 36, 4, 425–44.

11. Lee Yearly, ‘New Religious Virtues’ (Arizona State University Public Lecture).

12. John P. Reeder Jr., ‘What is a Religious Ethic?’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 1997, 25, 3, 157–81.

13. Jennifer Rapp, ‘A Poetics of Comparison: Euripides, Zhuangzi, and the Human Poise of Imaginative Construction’, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2010, 78, 1, 163–201.

14. Thomas A. Lewis, ‘Frames of Comparison: Anthropology and Inheriting Traditional Practices’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 2005, 33, 2, 225–53.

2.2. Rethinking Comparison

15. Stanley Fish, ‘Boutique Multiculturalism’, The Trouble with Principle (Harvard University Press, 2001).

16. Leora Batnitzky, ‘Dialogue as Judgment, Not Mutual Affirmation: A New Look at Franz Rosenzweig’s Dialogical Philosophy’, The Journal of Religion, 1999, 79, 4, 523–44.

17. Paul J. Griffiths, ‘Denaturalizing Discourse: Abhirharmikas, Propositionalists, and the Comparative Philosophy of Religion’, in Frank E. Reynolds and David Tracy (eds.), Myth and Philosophy (SUNY Press, 1990), pp. 57–91.

18. Charles Taylor, ‘Comparison, History, Truth’, in Frank E. Reynolds and David Tracy (eds.), Myth and Philosophy (SUNY Press, 1990), pp. 37–55.

19. Wesley J. Wildman ‘Comparing Religious Ideas: There’s Method in the Mob’s Madness’, in Thomas Athanasius Idinopulos, Brian C. Wilson, and James Constantine Hanges (eds.), Comparing Religions: Possibilities and Perils? (Brill, 2006), pp. 77–113.

2.3. Comparative Religious Ethics and Theology

20. David A. Clairmont, ‘On Hegemonies Within: Franciscan Missions and Buddhist Kings in Comparative Theological Contexts’, Moral Struggle and Religious Ethics (Wiley, 2011), pp. 63–88.

21. Francis X. Clooney, S.J., ‘"Passionate Comparison": The Intensification of Affect in Interreligious Reading of Hindu and Christian Texts’, Harvard Theological Review, 2005, 98, 4, 367–90.

22. Hugh Nicholson, ‘Reunification of Theology and Comparison’, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2009, 77, 3, 609–46.

VolUME II: The ‘Human’ in Comparative Religious Ethics

Part 1. Embedded and Embodied: Human Nature, Agency, and Identity

23. Aaron Stalnaker, ‘Comparative Religious Ethics and the Problem of Human Nature’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 2005, 33, 2, 187–224.

24. David A. Clairmont, ‘Personal Horizons: Moral Struggle, Religious Humility, and the Possibility of a Comparative Theological Ethics’, Moral Struggle and Religious Ethics (Wiley, 2011), pp. 189–213.

25. Anver M. Emon, ‘On Islam and Islamic Natural Law: A Response to the International Theological Commission’s "Look at Natural Law"’, in John Berkman and William C. Mattison III (eds.), Searching for a Universal Ethic (Wm. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2014).

26. Amy Hollywood, ‘Gender, Agency, and the Divine in Religious Historiography’, Journal of Religion, 2004, 84, 4, 514–28.

Part 2. Self, Formation, and Education

27. Karyn Lai, ‘Confucian Moral Cultivation: Some Parallels with Musical Training’, in Kim-chong Chong, Sor-hoon Tan, and C. L. Ten (eds.), The Moral Circle and the Self: Chinese and Western Approaches (Open Court Publishing Company, 2003), pp. 107–39.

28. Jonathan Schofer, ‘Self, Subject, and Chosen Subjection: Rabbinic Ethics and Comparative Possibilities’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 2005, 33, 2, 255–91.

29. Julia Ching, ‘Paradigms of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity’, Buddhist-Christian Studies, 1984, 4, 31–50.

30. Saba Mahmood, ‘Feminist Theory, Embodiment, and the Docile Agent: Some Reflections on the Egyptian Islamic Revival’, Cultural Anthropology, 2001, 16, 2, 202–36.

Part 3. Virtues, Old and New

31. Alasdair MacIntyre, ‘Plain Persons and Moral Philosophy’, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 1992, 66, 1, 3–19.

32. Mark Csikszentmihalyi, ‘Introduction’ and ‘Conclusion’, Material Virtue: Ethics and the Body in Early China, Material Virtue: Ethics and the Body in Early China (Brill, 2004), pp. 1–10, 251–6.

33. Jiyuan Yu, ‘Virtue: Confucius and Aristotle’, Philosophy East & West, 1998, 48, 2, 323–47.

34. Stephen J. Lewis and Galen Amstutz, ‘Teleologized "Virtue" or Mere Religious "Character?" A Critique of Buddhist Ethics from the Shin Buddhist Point of View’, Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 1997, 4, 138–59.

Part 4. Happiness, Suffering, and Therapeia

35. Martin Ganeri, ‘Two Pedagogies for Happiness: Healing Goals and Healing Methods in the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas and the Sri Bhasya of Remanuja’, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 2010, 85, 66.

36. Rodney L. Taylor, ‘The Problem of Suffering: Christian and Confucian Dimensions’, The Religious Dimensions of Confucianism (SUNY, 1990), pp. 115–34.

37. Jonathan Wyn Schofer, ‘Descriptive Religious Ethics’, Confronting Vulnerability: The Body and the Divine in Rabbinic Ethics (University of Chicago Press, 2010), pp. 6–9, 14–19.

Part 5. Expanding Ethics

38. Charles Hirschkind, ‘The Ethics of Listening: Cassette-Sermon Audition in Contemporary Egypt’, American Ethnologist, 2001, 28, 3, 623–49.

39. Joel J. Kupperman, ‘Naturalness Revisited: Why Western Philosophers Should Study Confucius’, in Bryan W. Van Norden (ed.), Confucius and the Analects: New Essays (Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 39–52.

40. Lee Yearley, ‘Selves, Virtues, Odd Genres, and Alien Guides: An Approach to Religious Ethics’, The Journal of Religious Ethics, 1997, 25, 3, 127–55.

41. Pierre Hadot, ‘Philosophical Discourse as Spiritual Exercise’, The Present Alone is Our Happiness (Stanford University Press, 2009), pp. 87–97.

VolUME III: Meaning and Understanding in Comparative Religious Ethics

Part 1. History, Cosmogony, and Naturalism

42. Robin W. Lovin and Frank E. Reynolds, ‘In the Beginning’, Cosmogony and Ethical Order: New Studies in Comparative Ethics (University of Chicago Press: 1985), pp. 1–20, 27–35.

43. Ronald M. Green and Charles H. Reynolds, ‘Cosmogony and the "Questions of Ethics"’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 1986, 14, 1, 139–56.

44. W. Schweiker, ‘The Drama of Interpretation and the Philosophy of Religions: An Essay on Understanding in Comparative Religious Ethics’, Discourse and Practice (1992), pp. 263–94.

45. James Behuniak, ‘Naturalizing Mencius’, Philosophy East and West, 2011, 61, 3, 492–515.

46. Timothy P. Jackson, ‘Naturalism, Formalism, and Supernaturalism: Moral Epistemology and Comparative Ethics’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 1999, 27, 3, 477–506.

Part 2. Rhetoric, Language, and Concepts

47. David Burrell, ‘Freedom and Creation in the Abrahamic Traditions’, Faith and Freedom: An Interfaith Perspective (Wiley, 2004), pp. 143–55.

48. Gerald McKenny, ‘Genre and Persuasion in Religious Ethics: An Introduction’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 2005, 33, 3, 397–407.

49. Mark D. Jordan, ‘Cicero, Ambrose, and Aquinas "On Duties" or the Limits of Genre in Morals’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 2005, 33, 3, 485–502.

50. Elizabeth M. Bucar, ‘Methodological Intervention as a Constructive Project: Exploring the Production of Ethical Knowledge Through the Interaction of Discursive Logics’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 2008, 36, 3, 355–73.

51. Bruce Grelle, ‘Comparative Religious Ethics as Critical Inquiry’, Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics, 1993, 13, 271–81.

Part 3. Tradition, Context, and Perspective

52. Jeffrey Stout, ‘Commitments and Traditions in the Study of Religious Ethics’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 1997, 25, 3, 23–56.

53. Talal Asad, ‘The Idea of an Anthropology of Islam’, Qui Parle, 2009, 17, 2, 1–30.

54. Pierre Hadot, ‘Philosophy as a Way of Life’, Philosophy as a Way of Life (Wiley, 1995), pp. 264–76.

55. Quentin Skinner, ‘Language and Social Change’, in James Tully (ed.), Meaning and Context: Quentin Skinner and His Critics (Princeton University Press, 1988), pp. 119–32.

56. Brian Goldstone and Stanley Hauerwas, ‘Disciplined Seeing: Forms of Christianity and Forms of Life’, South Atlantic Quarterly, 2010, 109, 4, 765–90.

Part 4. Commensurability and Incommensurability

57. Alasdair MacIntyre, ‘Incommensurability, Truth, and the Conversation Between Confucians and Aristotelians About the Virtues’, in Eliot Deutsch (ed.), Culture and Modernity: East-West Philosophical Perspectives (University of Hawai’i Press, 1992), pp. 104–22.

58. Richard J. Bernstein, ‘Incommensurability and Otherness Revisited’, in Eliot Deutsch (ed.), Culture and Modernity: East-West Philosophical Perspectives (University of Hawai’i Press, 1992), pp. 85–103.

59. Edward Slingerland, ‘Virtue Ethics, the Analects, and the Problem of Commensurability’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 2001, 29,1, 97–125.

60. Charles Hallisey, ‘Ethical Particularism in Theravada Buddhism’, Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 1996, 3, 32–43.

61. Kevin Schilbrack, ‘The General and the Particular in Theravàda Ethics: A Response to Charles Hallisey’, Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 1997, 4, 98–111.

62. Zhang Longxi, ‘The Myth of the Other: China in the Eyes of the West’, Critical Inquiry, 1988, 15, 108–31.

Volume IV: Practical Ethics and Everyday Life

Part 1. Law and Rights

63. Sumner B. Twiss, ‘Comparative Ethics and Intercultural Human Rights Dialogues’, in Lisa S. Cahill and James F. Childress (eds.), Christian Ethics: Problems and Prospects (Pilgrim Press, 1996), pp. 357–78.

64. Jonathan Z. Smith, ‘God Save This Honorable Court: Religion and Civic Discourse’, Relating Religion: Essays in the Study of Religion (University of Chicago Press, 2004), pp. 375–90.

65. Ebrahim Moosa, ‘Dilemma of Islamic Rights Schemes’, Journal of Law and Religion, 2000–1, 15, 1/2, 185–215.

66. Rosalind Hackett, ‘Mediated Religion in South Africa: Balancing Airtime and Rights Claims’, in Birgit Meyer and Annelies Moors (eds.), Religion, Media, and the Public Sphere (Indiana University Press, 2005), pp. 166–87.

Part 2. Reasoning about War

67. John Kelsay, ‘Just War, Jihad, and the Study of Comparative Ethics’, Ethics and International Affairs, 2010, 24, 3, 227–38.

68. Noah Feldman, ‘War and Reason in Maimonides and Averroes’, in Richard Sorabji and David Rodin (eds.), The Ethics of War: Shared Problems in Different Traditions (Ashgate Publishing, 2006), pp. 92–109.

69. Torkel Brekke, ‘Between Prudence and Heroism: Ethics of War in the Hindu Tradition’, in Torkel Brekke (ed.), The Ethics of War in Asian Civilizations: A Comparative Perspective (Routledge, 2006), pp. 113–44.

70. Tessa Bartholomeusz, ‘In Defense of Dharma: Just War Ideology in Buddhist Sri Lanka’, Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 1999, 6, 1–16.

Part 3. Health

71. William R. LaFleur, ‘From Agape to Organs: Religious Difference Between Japan and American in Judging the Ethics of the Transplant’, Zygon, 2002, 37, 3, 623–42.

72. Jarrett Zigon, ‘Morality and HIV/AIDS: A Comparison of Russian Orthodox Church and Secular NGO Approaches’, Religion, State & Society, 2009, 37, 3, 311–25.

73. Tobias Bauer, ‘Patterns of Reasoning in Religious Positions on Organ Donation in Japan and Germany’, Eubios Journal of Asian and Intl. Bioethics, 2011, 21, 60–8.

Part 4. Wealth

74. Frank E. Reynolds, ‘Ethics and Wealth in Theravada Buddhism: A Study in Comparative Religious Ethics’, in Russell F. Sizemore and Donald K. Swearer (eds), Ethics, Wealth, and Salvation (University of South Carolina Press, 1990), pp. 59–76.

75. Charles Tripp, ‘Islamic Social Critics’, Islam and the Moral Economy: The Challenge of Capitalism (Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 46–76.

76. H. E. Chehabi, ‘How Caviar Turned out to be Halal’, Gastronomica, 2007, 7, 2, 17–23.

Part 5. Education

77. Robin W. Lovin and Frank E. Reynolds, ‘Teaching Comparative Religious Ethics’, in John B. Carman and Steven Hopkins (eds.), Tracing Common Themes (Scholars, 1991), pp. 249–61.

78. Lee H. Yearley, ‘Bourgeois Relativism and the Cultivation of the Self’, in John B. Carman and Steven Hopkins (eds.), Tracing Common Themes (Scholars, 1991), pp. 165–78.

79. Paul J. Griffiths, ‘The Context of Religious Reading’ and ‘Conclusion’, Religious Reading: The Place of Reading in the Practice of Religion (Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 60–76, 182–8, 194–5.

80. Emile Lester and Patrick S. Roberts, ‘How Teaching World Religions Brought a Truce to the Culture Wars in Modesto, California’, British Journal of Religious Education, 2009, 31, 3, 187–99.

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