Self Love and Christian Ethics

Self Love and Christian Ethics

Self Love and Christian Ethics

Self Love and Christian Ethics

Synopsis

The contemporary moral climate encourages self love but deprives the individual of the resources needed to discern what it means to love oneself. Christian ethical ambivalence about self love complicates matters further. This book draws on theological accounts to assert that self love requires honesty to oneself and in acts and relationships. The arguments thereby call upon ethicists to revisit ontological accounts of the self.

Excerpt

This book is the twenty-third in the series New Studies in Christian Ethics. It shows extensive points of contact and critical dialogue with other books in the series. Darlene Weaver uses the influential framework provided by Susan Parsons in her Feminism and Christian Ethics for analyzing differing accounts of feminist ethics. She also has significant points in common with Jean Porter's Moral Action and Christian Ethics and with Lisa Cahill's Sex, Gender and Christian Ethics. However it is StanleyRudman's Concepts of Persons and Christian Ethics and William Schweiker's Responsibility and Christian Ethics that provide her with the most sustained dialogue partners.

Both Darlene Weaver and StanleyRudman argue that many recent philosophical understandings of selfhood are too limited. Indeed, Weaver suggests that they 'truncate the self. ' Both authors are convinced that a notion of self-in-relation-to-God offers a much richer account of selfhood and personhood than anysecular understanding. For Weaver it is the belief that 'the person is created to love God' that is fundamental to this richer account. In the process of arguing this, both authors have kept carefullyto the two key aims of the series as a whole – namelyto promote monographs in Christian ethics which engage centrallywith the present secular moral debate at the highest possible intellectual level and, secondly, to encourage contributors to demonstrate that Christian ethics can make a distinctive contribution to this debate.

The original feature of this particular book is that it explores and defends the notion of 'self love. ' Properly understood, Darlene Weaver maintains, self love is 'reflexive, embodied, and interpretive. ' This sophisticated understanding – quite different from shallow modern notions of 'self-realization' or 'autonomy' – owes much . . .

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