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The Harmony of Goodness

Mutuality and Moral Living According to John Duns Scotus

by Mary Beth Ingham

Publication Year: 2012

Since the first publication of John Duns Scotus: The Harmony of Goodness in 1996, much work has appeared in print on Scotus’s theological and philosophical vision including the gradual completion of the Vatican edition of Scotus’s Ordinatio. Various congresses and international gatherings continue to highlight the important significance of this great medieval thinker for the new millennium. Drawing upon the work of several significant scholars combined with her own deepened conviction that understanding Scotus’s moral philosophy and theology must be understood within the broader context of Franciscan spirituality including the role of Stoic and monastic influences on the medieval Franciscans, , Mary Beth Ingham, C.S.J., offers this new edition of John Duns Scotus: The Harmony of Goodness. Scotus’s articulation of a moral vision to lived harmony and to moral living as a path of beauty is offered anew by Ingham in this new edition.

Published by: Franciscan Institute Publications


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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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Preface to the Revised Second Edition

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pp. 5-6

Since the first publication of this volume in 1996, much work has appeared in print on Scotus’s theological and philosophical vision. Various congresses and international gatherings continue to highlight the important significance of this great medieval thinker for the new millennium. My own reflection ...

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pp. 7-18

The Franciscan moral vision is grounded in the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi. It is, at heart, a vision based upon the primacy of love in imitation of the Trinity: God who is one in being, yet Trinity of persons equal in majesty. Such relational love can be understood as mutuality, ...

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Chapter One: A Structure for Mutuality

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pp. 19-49

In this first chapter, we consider several significant elements from Scotus’s philosophical and theological vision, drawn from spirituality, metaphysics and epistemology. These elements correspond to the overall context of the wind chime. In addition, they help us appreciate the deeper metaphysical and spiritual structure from which to understand his ethical vision. ...

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Chapter Two: Rational Freedom and the Will’s Moral Affections

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pp. 51-80

The key piece in any wind chime is the center disk. This must be adequately weighted to hang in a straight manner. It must also be light enough to be moved by the wind. The disk anchors the balance of the chime and makes possible the beautiful music. Like the disk, the will is the centerpiece of Scotus’s moral discussion. It too is weighted with love for the ...

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Chapter Three: Mutuality and Harmony: Moral Goodness

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pp. 81-117

While love and freedom are clearly at the heart of Scotus’s philosophical enterprise, it is ordered and rational loving which constitutes the fullness of moral living. The moral goal is not merely to love, but to love rightly. Scotus clearly distinguishes between desire and love, stating that desire, while also an experience of the will, is not always ordered.1 ...

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Chapter Four: Virtue: Integrity of Character

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pp. 119-147

The preceding chapters have focused upon the relational aspect within moral living: persons in communion, freedom for values, goodness as beauty. All three have emphasized freedom as key to the moral discussion. This raises the following questions: what value, if any, do the virtues hold in this approach? If virtue is learned behavior, then is character simply the result ...

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Chapter Five: Moral Reasoning and Discernment:Prudence

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pp. 149-180

To this point, the discussion has focused on moral goodness as it appears in actions. We have also considered virtues as they influence decisions. The present chapter intensifies this reflection with a focus on the person in the activity of moral decision-making. Here is the place to look more carefully at ...

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Chapter Six: Living in Love: Mutuality with God

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pp. 181-207

As we have seen, Scotus’s presentations of moral living and the perfection of our rational nature are framed in love and founded on loving relationship. It is no wonder that his vision culminates in the supreme act of charity: love for God. This act, whereby God is not only loved from afar, but with the love of friendship, fulfills the movement which began with divine ...

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Chapter Seven: The Harmony of Goodness

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pp. 209-224

In this final chapter we reprise the elements of Scotus’s moral vision and reflect upon its significance for contemporary ethical discussion. It does little good to examine the thoughts of the past if we do not consider how they might influence present-day concerns. At the outset of this study, I indicated that it is not possible to transplant Scotist thought into the twenty-first ...


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pp. 225-231

Index of Terms

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pp. 233-237

E-ISBN-13: 9781576593523
E-ISBN-10: 1576593525
Print-ISBN-13: 9781576593363
Print-ISBN-10: 1576593363

Page Count: 180
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: Second

OCLC Number: 835770493
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Harmony of Goodness

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Subject Headings

  • Duns Scotus, John, ca. 1266-1308 -- Ethics.
  • Ethics, Medieval.
  • Christian ethics -- History -- Middle Ages, 600-1500.
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