Comparative Religious Ethics

Comparative Religious Ethics

by Christine Gudorf


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The study of comparative religious ethics is at a critical juncture, given the growing awareness of non-Christian ethical beliefs and practices and their bearing on social change. Christine Gudorf is at the forefront of rendering comparativeand competingreligious beliefs meaningful for students, especially in the area of ethics.

Unlike other texts, Gudorf's work focuses on common, everyday issuesincluding food and diet, work, sex and marriage, proper dress, anger and violence, charity, family, and infirmity and the elderlywhile drawing out ethical implications of each and demonstrating how different religious traditions prescribe rules for action. An introductory chapter reviews standard ethical theory and core elements of comparative religious analysis. Each chapter opens with a riveting real-life case and shows how religious ethics can shed light on how to handle the larger issues, without determining for the reader what a proper ethical response might be.

Helpful pedagogy, including summaries, questions, and list of readings, along with special chapter features, charts and photographs and a glossary, combine to make this new text most suitable for the wide array of courses in comparative religious ethics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800698614
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date: 01/01/2013
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Christine E. Gudorf is professor of religious studies at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. She is past president of the Society of Christian Ethics and was on the editorial boards of the Journal of Religious Ethics and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. She has received numerous Fulbright grants for research in Indonesia and is the author of several books, including Christian Ethics: A Case Method Approach, 3rd edition, and coedited Ethics in World Religions: A Cross-Cultural Casebook.

Table of Contents

Photo acknowledgments viii

Introduction: Comparative Religious Ethics and the Contemporary Search for Meaning 1

Dealing with Bias 2

Growth of Agnosticism and Secularism 5

Private Religion 7

Beyond Secularization Theory 9

Audience for This Text: Seeker-Skeptics 11

Chapter 1 Ethics and Spirituality in Religion 15

Virtue Ethics 16

Deontological, or Rule-Based, Ethics 17

Teleological, or Consequentialist, Ethics 24

Contemporary Rethinking of Traditionally Accepted Moral Rules 29

Asking the Virtue Question 31

Consequentialism in Social Ethics 32

Shorthand Rules in Religion 35

Choosing an Ethical Method 37

Chapter 2 Religions on Food, Fasting, and Feasting 41

Framing the Issues 41

Religious Treatment Concerning Food, Fasting, and Feasting 43

New Ethical Questions on Food, Fasting, and Feasting 54

Case Study: Food 61

Discussion Questions 63

For Further Reading 63

Films 64

Chapter 3 Religions on Making Work Human 67

Framing the Issues 67

Religious Treatment Concerning Human Work 73

New Ethical Questions on Human Work 87

Case Study: Work 92

Discussion Questions 94

For Further Reading 94

Films 95

Chapter 4 Religions on Body Covering, Appearance, and Identity 97

Framing the Issues 98

Religious Treatment Concerning Body Covering, Appearance, and Identity 102

New Ethical Questions on Body Covering, Appearance, and Identity 109

Case Study: Body Coverings and Decoration 114

Discussion Questions 115

For Further Reading 116

Websites on Ethical Buying 116

Chapter 5 Religions on Sexuality and Marriage 119

Framing the Issues 119

Religious Treatment Concerning Sexuality and Marriage 127

New Ethical Questions on Sexuality and Marriage 136

Case Study: Arranged Marriage 146

Discussion Questions 149

For Further Reading 150

Films 150

Chapter 6 Religions on Making and Keeping Families 155

Framing the Issues 156

Religious Treatment Concerning Making and Keeping Family 163

New Ethical Questions on Making and Keeping Family 168

Case Study: Family and Friends 179

Discussion Questions 180

For Further Reading 181

Films 181

Chapter 7 Religions on Anger and Violence 185

Framing the Issues 185

Religious Treatment Concerning Anger and Violence 187

New Ethical Questions on Anger and Violence 198

Case Study: Anger and Violence 205

Discussion Questions 205

For Further Reading 208

Films 208

Chapter 8 Religions on Charity and Beggars 211

Framing the Issues 212

Religious Treatment of Charity and Beggars 213

New Ethical Questions on Charity and Beggars 219

Case Study: Charity and Beggars 227

Discussion Questions 228

For Further Reading 229

Films 229

Glossary 231

Index 245

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