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Moving Beyond Eurocentric Moral Thinking
A groundbreaking corrective work, Latina/o Social Ethics strives to create a liberative ethical approach to the Hispanic experience by using its own tools and materials. First explaining why Eurocentric ethical paradigms are inadequate in their attempts to liberate oppressed communities, Miguel De La Torre looks with Hispanic eyes at three major ethicists of the twentieth century—Walter Rauschenbusch, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Stanley Hauerwas—and how ethics is presented in U.S. culture wars, from the Religious Right to the Religious Left. He deconstructs these ethical paradigms and demonstrates why all are detrimental to and irreconcilable with the Hispanic social location.
With a clean slate, then, De La Torre moves to constructing a new Hispanic-centered ethical paradigm that is rooted in the Latino community way of being. Reviewing the field of Hispanic ethical thought, De La Torre pays special attention to specific concepts ripe with potential that have been developed over the past generation. In the final chapter, De La Torre offers his own constructive paradigm—an ethics para joder, which is rooted in the Latina/o experience, and by which, he argues, the Hispanic community can survive within U.S. culture.
Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society
Can the law promote moral values even in pluralistic societies such as the United States? Drawing upon important federal legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, legal scholar and moral theologian Cathleen Kaveny argues that it can. In conversation with thinkers as diverse as Thomas Aquinas, Pope John Paul II, and Joseph Raz, she argues that the law rightly promotes the values of autonomy and solidarity. At the same time, she cautions that wise lawmakers will not enact mandates that are too far out of step with the lived moral values of the actual community.
According to Kaveny, the law is best understood as a moral teacher encouraging people to act virtuously, rather than a police officer requiring them to do so. In Law’s Virtues Kaveny expertly applies this theoretical framework to the controversial moral-legal issues of abortion, genetics, and euthanasia. In addition, she proposes a moral analysis of the act of voting, in dialogue with the election guides issued by the US bishops. Moving beyond the culture wars, this bold and provocative volume proposes a vision of the relationship of law and morality that is realistic without being relativistic and optimistic without being utopian.