Finding and Seeking

Finding and Seeking

Finding and Seeking

Finding and Seeking

Synopsis

This is the second of three volumes in Oliver O'Donovan's masterful "Ethics as Theology" project. In his first volume -- Self, World, and Time -- O'Donovan discusses Christian ethics as an intellectual discipline in relation to the humanities, especially philosophy, theology, and behavioral studies, and in relation to the Christian gospel.

In Finding and Seeking O'Donovan traces the logic of moral thought from self-awareness to decision through the virtues of faith, hope, and love. Blending biblical, historico-theological, and contemporary ideas in its comprehensive survey, this second volume continues O'Donovan's splendid study in ethics as theology and adds significantly to his previous theoretical reflection on Christian ethics.

Excerpt

In Self, World, and Time, the first part of Ethics as Theology, we described Christian Ethics, alias Moral Theology, as an intellectual discipline: distinct from moral thinking on the one hand and from moral teaching on the other, it offers to each of them an ordered reflection on their assumptions and procedures in the light of the Christian gospel. We came finally to focus on a conceptual trajectory which would encompass the logic of moral thought within the three virtues of faith, love, and hope (the sequence in which the three most usually occur in the New Testament). This now gives rise to two further tasks. One lies before us in this second part: to follow moral thought from self-awareness to decision through the sequence of virtues from faith to hope. the second, guided by the claim made for the sovereignty of love, is to explore ends-of-action, penultimate and ultimate, the objects, natural and supernatural, that we may anticipate and pursue.

“Today, if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts …” (Ps. 95:7). “Today” is the day of some agent, some “I” or “we” who find ourselves addressed in that “you”; more precisely, this “I” or “we” — ourselve19s day is not “today,” but “then.” We do not deliberate about it. We deliberate about the today on which it is given to you, or me, or us, to live and act. But there can be no framing this “today” — it remains no more than a pleasing philosophical abstraction — unless the “you,” “I,” or “we” in question have come to know ourselves as agents summoned by God to answer him in action, and in that knowledge have addressed the question of what we are to do as the supremely important question. and there can be no framing this “today” except as a moment within world-time. the subjective “here and . . .

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