Formation of the Moral Self

Formation of the Moral Self

by J. A. Ven, Johannes Van Der Ven
     
 
Moral concerns about contemporary Western society have been loudly and widely expressed, by experts and ordinary people alike, centering on such basic questions as these: What is good? What is right? What is wise? and What is purposive?

The aim of this volume, the first in the Studies in Practical Theology series, is not to make a moral diagnosis per se of

Overview

Moral concerns about contemporary Western society have been loudly and widely expressed, by experts and ordinary people alike, centering on such basic questions as these: What is good? What is right? What is wise? and What is purposive?

The aim of this volume, the first in the Studies in Practical Theology series, is not to make a moral diagnosis per se of what ails Western society. Rather, it seeks to translate the widespread moral concern throughout the West into the quest for moral education. Johannes van der Ven interprets these kinds of moral questions from the point of view of developmental, learning, and teaching processes as they take place in the family, schools, associations, and congregations; and he describes, analyzes, and evaluates these processes as carefully as possible.

In the course of his study, van der Ven provides a foundational understanding of the process of moral development and the structures of education that help initiate it. He distinguishes between two modes of informal moral education (discipline and socialization) and five modes of formal education (transmission, development, clarification, emotional formation, and character formation). He argues that the common denominator of all seven modes is "moral communication," which can be defined as the ongoing process of moral exchange and understanding in the search for truth—a search that leads to nothing less than the formation of the moral self.

Editorial Reviews

Ethics
"A careful examination and evaluation of the purposes, modes, and processes of moral education.... Deeply informed by Habermas's communicative action theory and by Ricoeur's theory of the moral self, van der Ven develops an interactionist paradigm of moral education.... The treatment of hot-button topics such as values clarification, multiculturalism, and relativism is sophisticated and balanced, and always placed within deeper frameworks of analysis.... This is an excellent book which should be in every moral educator's library. It will raise the level of debate considerably."
Religious Studies Review
Van der Ven accomplishes two valuable tasks in his rather dense work. First he presents a fairly seamless, if singular, approach to moral education. Second, he puts forward this new synthesis as a workable approach in the context of a liberal, Westernized, democratic, pluralistic society.... The text should provide a valuable point of departure for all who feel that public moral education is both valuable and possible in the contemporary society.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802844392
Publisher:
Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:
03/28/1998
Series:
Studies in Practical Theology
Pages:
423
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.23(h) x 0.88(d)

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