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Doing Ethics in a Pluralistic World

Essays in Honour of Roger C. Hutchinson

Phyllis D. Airhart

Publication Year: 2002

Doing Ethics in a Pluralistic World is an apt title for this collection of essays in honour of Roger C. Hutchinson who, over many decades, has encouraged and participated in shaping a Canadian contextual social ethics. His abiding interest in social ethics and in religious engagement with public issues is reflected in his life’s work — seeking the consensus and self-knowledge required to achieve cooperation in the search for a just, participatory, and sustainable society.

One of Roger Hutchinson’s many notable accomplishments is his development of a method of dialogue for ethical clarification in situations of diversity. Some of the essays collected here apply this method to specific issues, while others discuss how religious persons and organizations can and do co-operate in a pluralistic world to achieve social and ecological well-being. All essays are of keen interest to those concerned with the role and function of ethics at the matrix of religious conviction and social transformation.

For nearly three decades Roger Hutchinson has been based at Victoria University in Toronto, first in religious studies, then at Emmanuel College, where he completed his teaching career as professor of church and society while serving as principal from 1996 to 2001.

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Series: Comparative Ethics

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii

We want to thank a host of contributors in this collaborative venture. We are grateful to Roseann Runte, then president of Victoria University, who provided funds to make publication possible and arranged a lovely celebration to surprise Roger with this festschrift. Paul Bowlby, editor of the Comparative...

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pp. 1-12

Doing Ethics in a Pluralistic World is an apt title for this collection of essays in honour of Roger Hutchinson. His academic life has been devoted to serious inquiry into the role and function of ethics at points of interplay between religious...

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1. Roger Hutchinson as Ethicist and Educator in an Age of Religious Pluralism

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pp. 13-38

In this attempt to locate Roger Hutchinson’s work and significance as ethicist and educator, I have found it necessary to combine some of his intellectual history with my own, for reasons that should become clear later. When I was assigned...

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2. The Church and Pluralism in Quebec: An Account of a Participant

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pp. 39-56

Today’s church is challenged by pluralism in several contexts. Let me mention three of them. There is, first, the difficult theological problem of religious pluralism in a church that believes in a single saviour. There is, second, the political...

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3. Karl Barth on Divine Command: A Jewish Response

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pp. 57-76

Usually one does not include Karl Barth in contemporary Jewish- Christian dialogue. Unlike his Protestant theological contemporaries, Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr, there is no evidence that, during his long theological career, Barth...

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4. Not Moral Heroes: The Grace of God and the Church’s Public Voice

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pp. 77-98

In this essay, I explore the foundation of the church’s public proclamation and mission for social justice in the grace of God, disclosed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is, the church’s social ethic is fundamentally not a...

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5. “O Day of God, Draw Nigh”: R.B.Y. Scott, the Church and the Call for Social Reconstruction

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pp. 99-112

Throughout his career as professor of church and society, Roger Hutchinson has demonstrated that the work of the Christian church deserves serious study. In his classes on Christian ethics, he has consistently encouraged his students...

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6. Ethical Values and Canadian Foreign Policy

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pp. 113-134

Roger Hutchinson has written extensively and in depth of the efforts of Canadian churches to make public policy more ethically responsible. He has sought to clarify the relationship of this social-activist work of Canadian churches to their...

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7. Ecological Ethics: Roger Hutchinson’s Methodology and Engagement in Canadian Initiatives

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pp. 135-148

Roger Hutchinson seems to me to be a very pragmatic idealist. He believes that the world can be changed for the better, but recognizes that the journey is slow and contentious and requires a lot of small steps. Applied ecological ethics...

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8. Genetically Modified Food: Beauty or the Beast?

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pp. 149-166

Roger Hutchinson has long pursued a methodology for ethical clarification that allows for systematic comparison between differing positions on social issues. He has developed a model to move discussion forward in cases where interested parties...

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9. Beyond “Survival of the Fittest”: Pastoral Resources for Rebuilding Rural Community

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pp. 167-202

As a parish pastor and a theologian, I have struggled to understand and to cope with a painful discrepancy in rural Canada. Roger Hutchinson has helped me find the tools to begin this task. Here is the incongruity. On the one hand, rural Canadians long for a vibrant future for...

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10. Fetal Assessment: A Feminist Approach to a Bioethical Case Study Using Hutchinson’s Method of Ethical Clarification

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pp. 203-222

Science, technology and medicine present complex issues and challenges. In this essay, I will identify the myriad of ethicial issues involved in a dilemma faced by one family, and show how a feminist theological perspective can help to clarify...

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11. Are Clergy Ethics a Matter of Common Sense?

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pp. 223-238

When I began my life as a graduate student, it was my privilege to serve for five years as teaching assistant to Roger Hutchinson. The class, at the University of Toronto, was “Introduction to Religious Ethics,” and it was there that I was schooled in what we all came to call “The Method.” The genealogy...

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12. Spirituality and Justice-Making in a City Context

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pp. 239-250

This essay seeks to make connections between the search for a deeper spirituality and the quest for social justice in an urban context. First, I want to articulate the basis for being inclusive of social justice when speaking about spirituality....

Select Bibliography of Roger Hutchinson

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pp. 251-256


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pp. 257-264

E-ISBN-13: 9780889209022
Print-ISBN-13: 9780889204102
Print-ISBN-10: 0889204101

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2002

Series Title: Comparative Ethics