Overview

John Rawls never published anything about his own religious beliefs, but after his death two texts were discovered which shed extraordinary light on the subject. A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith is Rawls's undergraduate senior thesis, submitted in December 1942, just before he entered the army. The present volume includes these two texts, together with an Introduction by Joshua Cohen and Thomas Nagel, which discusses their relation to Rawls's published work, and an essay by Robert Merrihew Adams,...
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A BRIEF INQUIRY INTO THE MEANING OF SIN AND FAITH

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Overview

John Rawls never published anything about his own religious beliefs, but after his death two texts were discovered which shed extraordinary light on the subject. A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith is Rawls's undergraduate senior thesis, submitted in December 1942, just before he entered the army. The present volume includes these two texts, together with an Introduction by Joshua Cohen and Thomas Nagel, which discusses their relation to Rawls's published work, and an essay by Robert Merrihew Adams, which places the thesis in its theological context.
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Editorial Reviews

New Yorker
Allows us to see how a very intelligent believer, who once considered the priesthood, lost his Christian faith as a young man.
— James Wood
Christian Century
[A] fascinating account of the evolution of his religiousd convictions.
— R. Bruce Douglass
Times Literary Supplement
No recent secular moralist has been more influential than John Rawls...[A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith] undoubtedly reveals an interesting stage in the development of a highly significant philosopher.
— Anthony Kenny
Tikkun
What a pleasure to read John Rawls's senior thesis at Princeton, which he submitted in 1942, long before his book A Theory of Justice (1971) established him as America's most respected liberal philosopher of law. Rawls's later writings are as pareve (neutral) as could be--they have no hint of the religious passion and wisdom that permeates his senior thesis. Robert Merrihew Adams has a long accompanying essay reviewing what is the most exciting in Rawls's thesis.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674054486
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • File size: 429 KB

Meet the Author

Thomas Nagel is University Professor, Professor of Law, and Professor of Philosophy at New York University.

Joshua Cohen is Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society at Stanford University and editor of Boston Review.

Thomas Nagel is University Professor, Professor of Law, and Professor of Philosophy at New York University.

Robert Merrihew Adams is Clark Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Yale University.

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Table of Contents


Contents
Introduction
Joshua Cohen and Thomas Nagel
The Theological Ethics of the Young Rawls and Its Background
Robert Merrihew Adams
A BRIEF INQUIRY INTO THE MEANING OF SIN AND FAITH
A Note on the Text
Preface
Chapter One: A General Prospectus
Chapter Two: Vindication of the Natural Cosmos
Chapter Three: The Extended Natural Cosmos
Chapter Four: The Meaning of Sin
Chapter Five: The Meaning of Faith
Bibliography
ON MY RELIGION
Index
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