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Ethikon Series in Comparative Ethics

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Ethikon Series in Comparative Ethics

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Christian Political Ethics

John A. Coleman

Christian Political Ethics brings together leading Christian scholars of diverse theological and ethical perspectives--Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anabaptist--to address fundamental questions of state and civil society, international law and relations, the role of the nation, and issues of violence and its containment. Representing a unique fusion of faith-centered ethics and social science, the contributors bring into dialogue their own varying Christian understandings with a range of both secular ethical thought and other religious viewpoints from Judaism, Islam, and Confucianism. They explore divergent Christian views of state and society--and the limits of each. They grapple with the tensions that can arise within Christianity over questions of patriotism, civic duty, and loyalty to one's nation, and they examine Christian responses to pluralism and relativism, globalization, and war and peace. Revealing the striking pluralism inherent to Christianity itself, this pioneering volume recasts the meanings of Christian citizenship and civic responsibility, and raises compelling new questions about civil disobedience, global justice, and Christian justifications for waging war as well as spreading world peace. It brings Christian political ethics out of the churches and seminaries to engage with today's most vexing and complex social issues.

The contributors are Michael Banner, Nigel Biggar, Joseph Boyle, Michael G. Cartwright, John A. Coleman, S.J., John Finnis, Theodore J. Koontz, David Little, Richard B. Miller, James W. Skillen, and Max L. Stackhouse.

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Confucian Political Ethics

Daniel A. Bell

For much of the twentieth century, Confucianism was condemned by Westerners and East Asians alike as antithetical to modernity. Internationally renowned philosophers, historians, and social scientists argue otherwise in Confucian Political Ethics. They show how classical Confucian theory--with its emphasis on family ties, self-improvement, education, and the social good--is highly relevant to the most pressing dilemmas confronting us today.

Drawing upon in-depth, cross-cultural dialogues, the contributors delve into the relationship of Confucian political ethics to contemporary social issues, exploring Confucian perspectives on civil society, government, territorial boundaries and boundaries of the human body and body politic, and ethical pluralism. They examine how Confucianism, often dismissed as backwardly patriarchal, can in fact find common ground with a range of contemporary feminist values and need not hinder gender equality. And they show how Confucian theories about war and peace were formulated in a context not so different from today's international system, and how they can help us achieve a more peaceful global community. This thought-provoking volume affirms the enduring relevance of Confucian moral and political thinking, and will stimulate important debate among policymakers, researchers, and students of politics, philosophy, applied ethics, and East Asian studies.

The contributors are Daniel A. Bell, Joseph Chan, Sin Yee Chan, Chenyang Li, Richard Madsen, Ni Lexiong, Peter Nosco, Michael Nylan, Henry Rosemont, Jr., and Lee H. Yearley.

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Islamic Political Ethics

Civil Society, Pluralism, and Conflict

Sohail H. Hashmi

One of the most dynamic aspects of the Islamic revival during the past two centuries has been the rethinking of Islamic political thought. A broad range of actors, ideas, and ideologies characterize the debate on how Islamic ethics and law should be manifested in modern institutions. Yet this aspect of the "return to Islam" has been neglected by policymakers, the media, and even many scholars, who equate "political Islam" with merely one strand, labeled "Islamic fundamentalism." Bringing together ten essays from six volumes of the Ethikon Series in Comparative Ethics, this book gives a rounded treatment to the subject of Islamic political ethics.

The authors explore the Islamic ethics of civil society, boundaries, pluralism, and war and peace. They consider questions of diversity, discussing, among other subjects, Islamic regimes' policies regarding women and religious minorities. The chapters on war and peace take up such crucial and timely issues as the Islamic ethics of jihad, examining both the legitimate conditions for the declaration of war and the proper conduct of war.

In their discussions, the contributors analyze the works of classical writers as well as the full range of modern reinterpretations. But beyond these analyses of previous and contemporary thinkers, the essays also reach back to the two fundamental sources of Islamic ethics--the Qur'an and traditions of the Prophet--to develop fresh insights into how Islam and Muslims can contribute to human society in the twenty-first century.

The authors are Dale F. Eickelman, Hasan Hanafi, Sohail H. Hashmi, Farhad Kazemi, John Kelsay, Muhammad Khalid Masud, Sulayman Nyang, Bassam Tibi, and M. Raquibuz Zaman.

From the foreword by Jack Miles:

"Western foreign ministers and secretaries of state may have to learn a little theology if the looming clash between embattled elements both in the West and in the Muslim umma is to yield to disengagement and peaceful coexistence, to say nothing of fruitful collaboration. . . . It is, then, no idle academic exercise that the thinkers whose work is collected here have in hand. The long-term practical importance of their work can scarcely be overstated."

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Law, Politics, and Morality in Judaism

Michael Walzer

Jewish legal and political thought developed in conditions of exile, where Jews had neither a state of their own nor citizenship in any other. What use, then, can this body of thought be today to Jews living in Israel or as emancipated citizens in secular democratic states? Can a culture of exile be adapted to help Jews find ways of being at home politically today? These questions are central in Law, Politics, and Morality in Judaism, a collection of essays by contemporary political theorists, philosophers, and lawyers.

How does Jewish law accommodate--or fail to accommodate--the practice of democratic citizenship? What range of religious toleration and pluralism is compatible with traditional Judaism? What forms of coexistence between Jews and non-Jews are required by shared citizenship? How should Jews operating within halakha (Jewish law) and Jewish history judge the use of force by modern states?

The authors assembled here by prominent political theorist Michael Walzer come from different points on the religious-secular spectrum, and they differ greatly in their answers to such questions. But they all enact the relationship at issue since their answers, while based on critical Jewish texts, also reflect their commitments as democratic citizens.

The contributors are Michael Walzer, David Biale, the late Robert M. Cover, Menachem Fisch, Geoffrey B. Levey, David Novak, Aviezer Ravitzky, Adam B. Seligman, Suzanne Last Stone, and Noam J. Zohar.

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The Many and the One

Religious and Secular Perspectives on Ethical Pluralism in the Modern World

Richard Madsen

The war on terrorism, say America's leaders, is a war of Good versus Evil. But in the minds of the perpetrators, the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington were presumably justified as ethically good acts against American evil. Is such polarization leading to a violent "clash of civilizations" or can differences between ethical systems be reconciled through rational dialogue? This book provides an extraordinary resource for thinking clearly about the diverse ways in which humans see good and evil. In nine essays and responses, leading thinkers ask how ethical pluralism can be understood by classical liberalism, liberal-egalitarianism, critical theory, feminism, natural law, Confucianism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

Each essay addresses five questions: Is the ideal society ethically uniform or diverse? Should the state protect, ban, or otherwise intervene in ethically based differences? How should disagreements on the rights and duties of citizens be dealt with? Should the state regulate life-and-death decisions such as euthanasia? To what extent should conflicting views on sexual relationships be accommodated? This book shows that contentious questions can be discussed with both incisiveness and civility. The editors provide the introduction and Donald Moon, the conclusion. The contributors are Brian Barry, Joseph Boyle, Simone Chambers, Joseph Chan, Christine Di Stefano, Dale F. Eickelman, Menachem Fisch, William Galston, John Haldane, Chandran Kukathas, David Little, Muhammad Khalid Masud, Carole Pateman, William F. Scheuerman, Adam B. Seligman, James W. Skillen, James Tully, and Lee H. Yearley.

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