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Comparative Religious Ethics

Everyday Decisions for Our Everyday Lives

by Christine E. Gudorf

Publication Year: 2013

The study of comparative religious ethics is at a critical juncture, given the growing awareness of non-Christian ethical beliefs and practices and their bearing on social change. Christine Gudorf is at the forefront of rendering comparative—and competing—religious beliefs meaningful for students, especially in the area of ethics.

Unlike other texts, Gudorf's work focuses on common, everyday issues—including food and diet, work, sex and marriage, proper dress, anger and violence, charity, family, and infirmity and the elderly—while drawing out ethical implications of each and demonstrating how different religious traditions prescribe rules for action. An introductory chapter reviews standard ethical theory and core elements of comparative religious analysis. Each chapter opens with a riveting real-life case and shows how religious ethics can shed light on how to handle the larger issues, without determining for the reader what a proper ethical response might be.

Helpful pedagogy, including summaries, questions, and list of readings, along with special chapter features, charts and photographs and a glossary, combine to make this new text most suitable for the wide array of courses in comparative religious ethics.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vii

Photo acknowledgments

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pp. viii-9

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Introduction: Comparative Religious Ethics and the Contemporary Search for Meaning

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pp. 1-14

Comparative study of religions, and by extension, comparative religious ethics, began as ways for persons from one religion, confronted by persons of differing beliefs and practices, to learn about one or more other religions and their ethical practices and beliefs. ...

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Chapter 1: Ethics and Spirituality in Religion

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pp. 15-40

What does it mean when students say, “I’m really not religious, but I am very spiritual”? It usually means that they do not subscribe to the rules and regulations, the organizational authority structures of religions, but that they are interested in a personal relationship with the Divine/Ultimate. ...

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Chapter 2: Religions on Food, Fasting, and Feasting

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pp. 41-66

Food is, with water, our most basic human need. It is a need all humans share. Food not only satisfies our survival needs by filling our stomachs but also has possibilities of delighting our palate and our eyes. Because it is so necessary, food is multivalent as a symbol. ...

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Chapter 3: Religions on Making Work Human

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pp. 67-96

Some things do never change. It has always required human work to feed, clothe, and shelter human communities, and it seems that this will always be the case. We sometimes hear predictions of a human future without work, in which robots toil instead of humans. ...

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Chapter 4: Religions on Body Covering, Appearance, and Identity

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pp. 97-118

Recently I returned yet again to work and visit friends in Indonesia, and the first thing I noticed at the Jakarta airport when I arrived was the crowds of young Muslim women. They were, as always in past visits, wearing jilbabs (headscarves) that cover their hair and wrap around their necks. ...

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Chapter 5: Religions on Sexuality and Marriage

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pp. 119-154

In the West, for perhaps the first time in many centuries, the traditional association of morality and ethics with religion has been broken for large parts of society, many of whom associate religion with moralism and hypocrisy instead. This is especially true around issues of sexuality, where scandals have ripped apart Catholic and Protestant churches, ...

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Chapter 6: Religions on Making and Keeping Families

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pp. 155-184

In every age and in every culture, there have been a variety of family structures. One basic reason for this is that humans did not, and still do not, control death, neither accidental death nor death from disease. We often tend to think that it is modern divorce that has produced variety in family structures, but this is not at all true. ...

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Chapter 7: Religions on Anger and Violence

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pp. 185-210

A generation ago some Americans, if asked what religions had to say about anger and violence, would have answered that anger was dangerous, evil, and led to aggression and violence. Some more discerning Christians would have distinguished righteous anger, as exhibited by Jesus, as an exception. ...

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Chapter 8: Religions on Charity and Beggars

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pp. 211-230

Every morning when I drive out of the walled complex around my high-rise apartment building downtown on my way to the expressway to go to work, there are one or two homeless men standing on the street corners, holding paper cups into which they hope drivers stopped for the traffic light will toss money. ...

Glossary

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pp. 231-244

Index

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pp. 245-248

Back Cover

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p. 258-258


E-ISBN-13: 9781451426212
E-ISBN-10: 1451426216
Print-ISBN-13: 9780800698614
Print-ISBN-10: 0800698614

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2013