Foundations of an African Ethic

Overview

In this groundbreaking book, Bénézet Bujo, a leading voice in African Christian theology, offers an informed critique of Western ethics and lays the theoretical groundwork for a new African ethic. By skillfully drawing on themes from African life such as marriage, therapy, and art, Bujo exposes the shortcomings of the philosophical anthropology implicit in Western ethics, comparing Western theories of natural law, discourse ethics, and communitarianism with the African emphasis on community and remembrance. He ...

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Overview

In this groundbreaking book, Bénézet Bujo, a leading voice in African Christian theology, offers an informed critique of Western ethics and lays the theoretical groundwork for a new African ethic. By skillfully drawing on themes from African life such as marriage, therapy, and art, Bujo exposes the shortcomings of the philosophical anthropology implicit in Western ethics, comparing Western theories of natural law, discourse ethics, and communitarianism with the African emphasis on community and remembrance. He then considers whether African ethics can account for central Western values such as autonomy, freedom, and individual identity. Finally, he considers how African ethics both challenges the Church and contributes to its richness, suggesting that an African palaver ethic can integrate the best features of communitarianism and discourse ethics. This timely contribution to African theology will be of special interest to students of religion, comparative and non-Western philosophy, anthropology, and African studies, as well as those intrigued by ongoing debates about universal ethical norms.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824519056
  • Publisher: Crossroad Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword to the English Edition
Preface
Abbreviations
Pt. 1 Fundamental Questions of African Ethics
1 Starting Point and Anthropology 3
The Problem of the cognatus sum 3
Questioning Natural-Law Thinking 11
Virtue and Morality 24
2 Ethics and Anamnesis 34
The Significance of Praxis and Poiesis for Ethical Conduct 34
The Palaver between Communitarianism and Discourse Ethics 45
Pt. 2 Identity and the Understanding of Freedom
1 Western Christian Ethics and African Anthropology 75
Individual Responsibility in "Autonomous" Moral Theology 76
Individual Responsibility in African Ethics 85
2 Sin and Freedom of Conscience 107
Sin and Conscience in Classic Catholic Moral Theology 108
Sin and Conscience in the African Context 120
3 Critical Observation: The Challenge of Inculturation 131
Community and Structural Sin 131
The Magisterium and the Authority of the Palaver 143
Concluding Remarks 161
Notes 169
Select Bibliography 201
Index 211
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