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Daniel Lord Smail

whether the study of the past is compatible with moral theology, I stand with Stephen Jay Gould, who addressed the temptation to moralize the past in his 1982 essay, “Nonmoral Nature.” The essay explores a question that agonized the theologians and

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Anthropology and Moral Philosophy

A Symposium on Michael Banner's The Ethics of Everyday Life

Michael Banner, Lesley A. Sharp, Richard Madsen, John H. Evans, J. Derrick Lemons, and Thomas J. Csordas

What Moral Theology (and Moral Philosophy) Needs from Social Anthropology Michael Banner

The Ethics of Suffering in Everyday Life Lesley A. Sharp

Ethical Narrative and Moral Theory Richard Madsen

Specifying the Relationship between Social Anthropology and Moral Theology John H. Evans

The Ethics of Everyday Life: The Next Word J. Derrick Lemons

Reading Michael Banner on Moral Theology and Social Anthropology Thomas J. Csordas

Descriptions, Norms, and the Uses of Ethnography Michael Banner

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Political Theology

The Authority of God

Avishai Margalit

There are two theses that are intimately related to the idea of authority. One is political theology. It is associated with the name of Carl Schmitt. The second is moral theology. It is associated with Elizabeth Anscombe (though she never used the expression ‘moral theology’). Political theology is the claim that key notions in modern and secular political doctrines are unwittingly moored in theological and teleological world views. These notions in their secularized versions make no sense and can be validated only within a theological frame for which they were designed. ‘Sovereignty’ and ‘authority’ are paradigmatic cases of such key notions. Moral theology is a parallel claim. Key moral notions in modern moral doctrines are moored in a theological and teleological frame. They gain their currency only in such a frame. Unmoored, as these notions are in a current secular frame, they have lost their sense. ‘Obligation’ and ‘duty’ are paradigmatic examples of such notions anchored in the old idea of God the law-giver. Without God the law-giver these notions make very little sense. Secular morality is like the famous explanation of what wireless is. Well, you know what wire is. It is like a dog: you pull its tail in Jerusalem and it barks in Rome. Now, wireless works like wire, but without the dog. Morality without God is like wireless without the dog.

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Returning to the Source

Revisiting Arendtian Forgiveness in the Politics of Reconciliation

Sam Grey

The idea of forgiveness is omnipresent in the transitional justice literature, yet this body of work, taken as a whole, is marked by conceptual, terminological and argumentative imprecision. Equivocation is common, glossing moral, theological, therapeutic and legal considerations, while arguments proceed from political, apolitical and even antipolitical premises. With forgiveness as a praxis linked to reconciliation processes in at least ten countries, concerns have grown over its negative implications for the relationship between the state and victims of state-authored injustices. Many of these debates reference Hannah Arendt. Drawing from a range of Arendt’s published and unpublished work, this article challenges the academic claim that forgiveness has no place in the politics of reconciliation. Through this ‘returning to the source’, it presents a promising mode of thinking about political forgiveness in contemporary Settler-colonial states.

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God's Voice in a Secular Society

A Christian Perspective

Trevor Wedman

content of the norms within the legal system is not only similar to, but actually an extension or application of moral theology, with the legal norms of the Western societies developing out of the Roman law which co-existed harmoniously with Canon law for

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James Joyce's “The Sisters”

Implied Pederasty and Interpreting the Inexpressible

Barry Ryan

the boy] are neither speculative nor scientific but [are] taken up with moral theology, which pertains to modes of action” ( 1971: 43 ), where imperfections are placed beyond the realm of reflection. Thus, in both accounts, children are depicted as

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Receiving the Gift of Cognitive Disability

Recognizing Agency in the Limits of the Rational Subject

Patrick McKearney

. 1958 . The Human Condition . Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Press . Banner , M. 2014 . The Ethics of Everyday Life: Moral Theology, Social Anthropology, and the Imagination of the Human . Oxford : Oxford University Press . Berubé , M