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Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love: Divine Commands and Moral Obligations

Overview

"C. Stephen Evans interprets Kierkegaard as presenting a form of divine command theory of moral obligation, similar to accounts developed by Robert Adams and Philip Quinn. The account understands the relation humans have with a loving God as making possible the greatest human good, and as creating those unique obligations we designate as moral. God's commands should be obeyed, not because of fear of divine punishment, but out of love and gratitude for the good that God has bestowed on humans in creating them and giving them eternal life with God
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Overview

"C. Stephen Evans interprets Kierkegaard as presenting a form of divine command theory of moral obligation, similar to accounts developed by Robert Adams and Philip Quinn. The account understands the relation humans have with a loving God as making possible the greatest human good, and as creating those unique obligations we designate as moral. God's commands should be obeyed, not because of fear of divine punishment, but out of love and gratitude for the good that God has bestowed on humans in creating them and giving them eternal life with God as their intended destiny." A host of interpretive issues are addressed, including the relation of Kierkegaard himself to the pseudonymous 'characters' to whom many of his books are attributed. After exploring the implications of this Kiekegaardian ethic, the heart of which is to be found in Works of Love, Evans defends it by showing its advantages over such contemporary secular rivals as evolutionary naturalism, social contract theories, and moral relativism. His concluding chapter responds to fundamental objections often posed against such a religiously grounded ethic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199206049
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/12/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

C. Stephen Evans is Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Baylor University.

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Table of Contents

1 God and moral obligation : is a link possible? 1
2 The ethical as a 'stage' of existence : either/or and radical choice 34
3 'The ethical' in Fear and trembling 61
4 The ethical task as the human task 85
5 Divine commands as the basis for moral obligation 112
6 The humanistic character of commanded love 140
7 Divine commands : how given and to whom? 156
8 Who is my neighbour? : can love be a duty? 180
9 Neighbour-love, natural loves, and social relations 203
10 Contemporary meta-ethical alternatives : evolutionary naturalism 223
11 Contemporary meta-ethical alternatives : humanistic naturalism 250
12 Contemporary meta-ethical alternatives : relativism and nihilism 280
13 Conclusions : divine command morality in a pluralistic society 299
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