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Joy, pain, celebration, and grief are constant companions on the journey of caregiving. While remaining detached might seem the preferable option, it is not possible to disentangle the threads of our interwoven stories. Our lives are shaped by each other. We are transformed by our encounters.

In Formed Together, Keith Dow explores the questions of why we should, and why we do, care for one another. He considers what it means for human beings to be interdependent, created in the image of a loving God. Dow recounts personal experiences of supporting people with intellectual disabilities while drawing upon theological and philosophical sources to discover the ethical underpinnings of Christian care. Formed Together reveals that human beings care for one another not merely by choice, but because every person relies upon others. People are called together in mutually formative practices of care, and human flourishing means learning to care well. Dow suggests five virtues that mark ethical caregiving, such as humble courage and quiet attentiveness. These practices can help guide caregivers in responding to the divine call to care.

Dow demonstrates that ethical practices of care do not depend upon intelligence or rational ability. Many are called to the vocation of tending to and being present in the needs of others. To be formed together in the divine image means that caregivers never entirely comprehend themselves, others, or God. Rather, caring well means that humans are to accompany one another in and through experiences of profound mystery and revelation.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title Page, Series Page, Title Page, Copyright, Series Introduction
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction: Giving a Careful Account
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. I: The Call to Care
  1. 1. Vocation and Transcendence: Called to One Another
  2. pp. 11-24
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  1. 2. Vocation and Immanence: Called by Each Other
  2. pp. 25-38
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  1. 3. A Theological Story: The Limits of Professional Ethics
  2. pp. 39-52
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  1. II: Encountering My Neighbor
  1. 4. Traces of the Divine: The imago Dei and Human Ability
  2. pp. 55-74
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  1. 5. Seeing You through Me: The Myth of the Transparent Other
  2. pp. 75-94
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  1. 6. The Stories I Tell: The Myth of the Transparent Self
  2. pp. 95-112
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  1. 7. A Mysterious Revelation: The Myth of a Transparent God
  2. pp. 113-124
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  1. III: Responding to the Call
  1. 8. Formed Together in Love: Toward an Ethic of Christian Care
  2. pp. 127-140
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  1. 9. The Virtues of Care: Discovering Who We Are
  2. pp. 141-168
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  1. Epilogue: Responding to God's Call
  2. pp. 169-174
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 175-202
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 203-210
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 211-213
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  1. Also Available in the SRTD Series
  2. p. 214
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