The Moral Gap: Kantian Ethics, Human Limits, and God's Assistance / Edition 1

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This book is about the gap between the moral demand on us and our natural capacities to meet it. John Hare starts with Kant's statement of the moral demand and his acknowledgement of this gap. Hare then analyses Kant's use of the resources of the Christian tradition to make sense of this gap, especially the notions of revelation, providence, and God's grace. Kant reflects the traditional way of making sense of the gap, which is to invoke God's assistance in bridging it. Hare goes on to examine various contemporary philosophers who do not use these resources. He considers three main strategies: exaggerating our natural capacities, diminishing the moral demand, and finding some naturalistic substitute for God's assistance. He argues that these strategies do not work, and that we are therefore left with the gap and with the problem that it is unreasonable to demand of ourselves a standard which we cannot reach. In the final section of the book, Hare looks in more detail at the Christian doctrines of atonement, justification, and sanctification. He discusses Kierkegaard's account of the relation between the ethical life and the Christian life, and ends by considering human forgiveness, and the ways in which God's forgiveness is both like and unlike our forgiveness of each other. The book is intended for those interested in both ethical theory and Christian theology.
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Editorial Reviews

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"[T]he book is a very welcome addition to the slender body of literature seeking to understand the scope and limits of moral reason and willing to draw on Kant's groundbreaking efforts in this regard."--Religious Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198269571
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Series: Oxford Studies in Theological Ethics Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Lexile: 1370L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 8.37 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I: Kantian Ethics
1. Kant and the Moral Demand
2. God's Supplement
3. Moral Faith
Part II: Human Limits
4. Puffing up the Capacity
5 Centrality.
6. Reducing the Demand
7. Substitutes for God's Assistance
Part III: God's Assistance
8. Repentance
9. Forgiveness
10. God's Assistance
Index of Biblical Passages
General Index

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