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The Moral Theology of Juan Caramuel
Through the centuries, at the heart of Catholic moral theology is a fundamental question: How do we behave responsibly in the face of moral uncertainty? Attempts to resolve problems of everyday life led to the growth of a variety of moral systems, one of which emerged in the early 17th century and was known as "probabilism." This method of solving difficult moral cases allowed the believer to rely upon a view that was judged defensible in terms of its arguments or the authorities behind it, even if the opposite opinion was supported by stronger arguments or more authorities. The theologian Juan Caramuel, a Spanish Cistercian monk whom Alphonso Liguori famously characterized as "the prince of laxists," has been regarded as one of the more extreme—and notorious—proponents of probabilism. As the only full-length English study of Caramuel's theological method, Defending Probabilism seeks to reappraise Caramuel's legacy, claiming that his model of moral thinking, if better understood, can actually be of help to the Church today. Considered one of the most erudite theologians of his age, a scientist and scholar who published works on everything from astronomy and architecture to printing and Gregorian chant, Caramuel strove throughout his life to understand probabilism's theological and philosophical foundations as part of his broader analysis of the nature of human knowledge. In applying Caramuel's legacy to our own time, Defending Probabilism calls for a reconsideration of the value of provisional moral knowledge. Fleming's study shows that history matters, and that to attain any position on moral certitude is a difficult and painstaking process.
Charles Curran in his newest book The Development of Moral Theology: Five Strands, brings a unique historical and critical analysis to the five strands that differentiate Catholic moral theology from other approaches to Christian ethics -- sin and the manuals of moral theology, the teaching of Thomas Aquinas and later Thomists, natural law, the role of authoritative church teaching in moral areas, and Vatican II. Significant changes have occurred over the course of these historical developments. In addition, pluralism and diversity exist even today, as illustrated, for example, in the theory of natural law proposed by Cardinal Ratzinger.
In light of these realities, Curran proposes his understanding of how the strands should influence moral theology today. A concluding chapter highlights the need for a truly theological approach and calls for a significant change in the way that the papal teaching office functions today and its understanding of natural law.
In a work useful to anyone who studies Catholic moral theology, The Development of Moral Theology underscores, in the light of the historical development of these strands, the importance of a truly theological and critical approach to moral theology that has significant ramifications for the life of the Catholic church.
Language and New Media
Our everyday lives are increasingly being lived through electronic media, which are changing our interactions and our communications in ways that we are only beginning to understand. In Discourse 2.0: Language and New Media, editors Deborah Tannen and Anna Marie Trester team up with top scholars in the field to shed light on the ways language is being used in, and shaped by, these new media contexts.
Topics explored include: how Web 2.0 can be conceptualized and theorized; the role of English on the worldwide web; how use of social media such as Facebook and texting shape communication with family and friends; electronic discourse and assessment in educational and other settings; multimodality and the "participatory spectacle" in Web 2.0; asynchronicity and turn-taking; ways that we engage with technology including reading on-screen and on paper; and how all of these processes interplay with meaning-making.
Students, professionals, and individuals will discover that Discourse 2.0 offers a rich source of insight into these new forms of discourse that are pervasive in our lives.
What History Teaches Us about Strategic Barriers and International Security
A number of nations, conspicuously Israel and the United States, have been increasingly attracted to the use of strategic barriers to promote national defense. In Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?, defense analyst Brent Sterling examines the historical use of strategic defenses such as walls or fortifications to evaluate their effectiveness and consider their implications for modern security. Sterling studies six famous defenses spanning 2,500 years, representing both democratic and authoritarian regimes: the Long Walls of Athens, HadrianÆs Wall in Roman Britain, the Ming Great Wall of China, Louis XIVÆs PrT CarrT, FranceÆs Maginot Line, and IsraelÆs Bar Lev Line. Although many of these barriers were effective in the short term, they also affected the states that created them in terms of cost, strategic outlook, military readiness, and relations with neighbors. Sterling assesses how modern barriers against ground and air threats could influence threat perceptions, alter the military balance, and influence the builderÆs subsequent policy choices. Advocates and critics of strategic defenses often bolster their arguments by selectively distorting history. Sterling emphasizes the need for an impartial examination of what past experience can teach us. His study yields nuanced lessons about strategic barriers and international security and yields findings that are relevant for security scholars and compelling to general readers.
Protecting the Rights of Forced Migrants
Throughout human history people have been driven from their homes by wars, unjust treatment, earthquakes, and hurricanes. The reality of forced migration is not new, nor is awareness of the suffering of the displaced a recent discovery. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that at the end of 2007 there were 67 million persons in the world who had been forcibly displaced from their homesùincluding more than 16 million people who had to flee across an international border for fear of being persecuted due to race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion. Driven from Home advances the discussion on how best to protect and assist the growing number of persons who have been forced from their homes and proposes a human rights framework to guide political and policy responses to forced migration. This thought-provoking volume brings together contributors from several disciplines, including international affairs, law, ethics, economics, and theology, to advocate for better responses to protect the global communityÆs most vulnerable citizens.
Asbestos Litigation and the Failure of Commonsense Policy Reform
In an era of polarization, narrow party majorities, and increasing use of supermajority requirements in the Senate, policy entrepreneurs must find ways to reach across the aisle and build bipartisan coalitions in Congress. One such coalition-building strategy is the "politics of efficiency," or reform that is aimed at eliminating waste from existing policies and programs. After all, reducing inefficiency promises to reduce costs without cutting benefits, which should appeal to members of both political parties, especially given tight budgetary constraints in Washington.
Dust-Up explores the most recent congressional efforts to reform asbestos litigation -- a case in which the politics of efficiency played a central role and seemed likely to prevail. Yet, these efforts failed to produce a winning coalition, even though reform could have saved billions of dollars and provided quicker compensation to victims of asbestos-related diseases. Why? The answers, as Jeb Barnes deftly illustrates, defy conventional wisdom and force us to rethink the political effects of litigation and the dynamics of institutional change in our fragmented policymaking system.
Set squarely at the intersection of law, politics, and public policy, Dust-Up provides the first in-depth analysis of the political obstacles to Congress in replacing a form of litigation that nearly everyone -- Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, presidents, and experts -- agrees is woefully inefficient and unfair to both victims and businesses. This concise and accessible case study includes a glossary of terms and study questions, making it a perfect fit for courses in law and public policy, congressional politics, and public health.
Constructing Information and Reform
Efficiency. Innovation. Results. Accountability. These, advocates claim, are the fruits of performance management. In recent decades government organizations have eagerly embraced the performance modelùbut the rush to reform has not delivered as promised.
Improving America's Schools
In 2002 the No Child Left Behind Act rocked America's schools with new initiatives for results-based accountability. But years before NCLB was signed, a new movement was already under way by mayors to take control of city schools from school boards and in
El espanol en contacto con otras lenguas is the first comprehensive historical, social, and linguistic overview of Spanish in contact with other languages in all of its major contexts in Spain, the United States, and Latin America. In this significant contribution to the field of Hispanic linguistics, Carol A. Klee and Andrew Lynch explore the historical and social factors that have shaped contact varieties of the Spanish language, synthesizing the principle arguments and theories about language contact, and examining linguistic changes in Spanish phonology, morphology and syntax, and pragmatics. Individual chapters analyze particular contact situations: in Spain, contact with Basque, Catalan, Valencian, and Galician; in Mexico, Central, and South America, contact with Nahuatl, Maya, Quechua, Aimara, and Guarani; in the Southern Cone, contact with other principle European languages such as Portuguese, Italian, English, German, and Danish; in the United States, contact with English. A separate chapter explores issues of creolization in the Philippines and the Americas and highlights the historical influence of African languages on Spanish, primarily in the Caribbean and Equatorial Guinea. Written in Spanish, this detailed synthesis of wide-ranging research will be a valuable resource for scholars of Hispanic linguistics, language contact, and sociolinguistics.