Moral Struggle and Religious Ethics: On the Person as Classic in Comparative Theological Contexts / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $91.98
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 25%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $91.98   
  • New (5) from $91.98   
  • Used (2) from $171.48   


Moral Struggle and Religious Ethics offers a comparative discussion of the challenges of living a moral religious life. This is illustrated with a study of two key thinkers, Bonaventure and Buddhaghosa, who influenced the development of moral thinking in Christianity and Buddhism respectively.
• Provides an important and original contribution to the comparative study and practice of religious ethics
• Moves away from a comparison of theories by discussing the shared human problem of moral weakness
• Offers an fresh approach with a comparison of the understanding of the problem of moral weakness between the two key thinkers, Bonaventure and Buddhaghosa
• Written by a highly respected academic in the dynamic and fast-growing field of comparative religious ethics.

Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Clairmont has given us a significant contribution to comparative ethics and comparative theology more broadly. Best of all, Clairmont reflects in depth on the current discussion concerning the hermeneutics of comparison. I strongly recommend this book."
Rev. James L. Fredericks, Ph.D. Loyola Marymount University

"Over the past several years, comparative religious ethics has emerged as a centrally important interdisciplinary line of research, crossing the boundaries among religious studies, history, anthropology, and ethics. David Clairmont's book offers a strikingly original contribution to this emerging field."
Jean Porter, John A. O'Brien Professor of Theological Ethics, University of Notre Dame

"David Clairmont is one of a new generation of scholars who possess the requisite philological and philosophical skills to undertake serious comparative study of thinkers from radically different traditions. This work shows what we have been missing up to now. It offers meticulous comparisons between them on issues such as sacramental and meditative practices, understandings of the cultivation of virtue, and the nature and purpose of religious and ethical languages, and he has acute and thought-provoking things to say on all of them. This book is part of a new era in religious ethics."
Charles Mathewes, University of Virginia

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444336825
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/15/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David A. Clairmont is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He is the co-author of American Religions and the Family: How Faith Traditions Cope With Modernization and Democracy (2007).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Figures.


List of Abbreviations.


Part I Questions and Contexts.

1 Person as Classic: Questions, Limits, and Religious Motivations.

Persons, Limits, and Religious Classics.

Classics: questions and limits in thought and action.

Religious ethics: interpreting limited persons.

The model of person as classic.

Classic Persons: Ideas, Practices, and Questions.

Bonaventure as mediator of classic ideas and practices.

Buddhaghosa as mediator of classic ideas and practices.

Moral struggle as classic question.

2 Context: The Symbolic Religious Cosmologies of Roman Catholicism and Therava-da Buddhism.

Moral Struggle in Greek, Roman, and Christian Philosophy.

Weakness of will and volition in classical philosophy.

Law, love, and wisdom in Christian scriptures.

Love, sin, and self-examination in Patristic theology.

Natural law and rational appetite in medieval theology.

Moral Struggle in Indian and Buddhist Philosophy.

Universal dharma and individual dharma in the Vedas and epics.

Self and world in the

Moral perfection in the Buddhist Nika-yas.

The Symbolic Religious Cosmology of the Trinity.

Trinitarian doctrine.

Trinitarian symbolism.

Trinitarian exemplarity.

The Symbolic Religious Cosmology of Buddhist Abhidhamma.

Constitution of persons: aggregates, characteristics, and ultimate realities.

The nature of reality and the structure of causality.

Intention, volition, and personal continuity in Buddhist Abhidhamma.

Abhidhamma and Trinity as Comparative Contexts and Categories.

3 Context: Material Simplicity in Christian and Buddhist Life.

Historical Introduction to Material Simplicity.

Poverty and avarice in Bonaventure's Europe.

Simplicity and sponsorship in Buddhaghosa's Ceylon.

Bonaventure on Material Simplicity.

Material sufficiency in institutional life.

Voluntary poverty in individual life.

Buddhaghosa on Material Simplicity.

Wealth, giving, and the sacrifice of purification.

On the twofold nature of materiality.

Material Simplicity and the Problem of Moral Struggle.

Part II Ideas, Practices, and Persons.

4 Bonaventure and Buddhaghosa: From Ideas to Practices.

Bonaventure's Continuity with Medieval Debates on the Nature of Will.

Buddhaghosa's Manual of Practical Abhidhamma.

Bonaventure on the Connection Between Sacrament and Virtue.

Buddhaghosa on the Connection Between Morality and Meditation.

5 Bonaventure and Buddhaghosa: From Practices to Persons.

Bonaventure on Prayer.

Buddhaghosa on Meditation.

Bonaventure on Moral Exemplars.

Buddhaghosa on Moral Exemplars.

Comparing Persons in the Process of Struggle: Two Notions of Person as Classic.

6 Personal Horizons: Moral Struggle, Religious Humility, and the Possibility of a Comparative Theological Ethics.

Bonaventure and Buddhaghosa on Personal Struggle.

Comparative Theology and Comparative Ethics: A Religious-Interpretive Work.

The Methodological Struggles of Comparative Persons: Five Roads of Return.

Struggles for a Comparative Horizon: Religious Humility and the Problem of Conversion.

Appendix: Some Common Buddhist Lists, Their Relation, and Their Significance in Abhidhamma.



Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)