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Comparative Religious Ethics: A Narrative Approach to Global Ethics / Edition 2

Comparative Religious Ethics: A Narrative Approach to Global Ethics / Edition 2

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This popular textbook has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect recent global developments, whilst retaining its unique and compelling narrative-style approach. Using ancient stories from diverse religions, it explores a broad range of important and complex moral issues, resulting in a truly reader-friendly and comparative introduction to religious ethics.
  • A thoroughly revised and expanded new edition of this popular textbook, yet retains the unique narrative-style approach which has proved so successful with students
  • Considers the ways in which ancient stories from diverse religions, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the lives of Jesus and Buddha, have provided ethical orientation in the modern world
  • Updated to reflect recent discussions on globalization and its influence on cross-cultural and comparative ethics, economic dimensions to ethics, Gandhian traditions, and global ethics in an age of terrorism
  • Expands coverage of Asian religions, quest narratives, the religious and philosophical approach to ethics in the West, and considers Chinese influences on Thich Nhat Hanh’s Zen Buddhism, and Augustine’s Confessions
  • Accompanied by an instructor’s manual (coming soon, see which shows how to use the book in conjunction with contemporary films

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781444331332
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 05/10/2011
Series: Wiley Desktop Editions Series
Pages: 374
Sales rank: 640,723
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Darrell J. Fasching is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida where he has previously served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and as Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. His published books include The Ethical Challenge of Auschwitz and Hiroshima (1993) and The Coming of the Millennium (1996). He is also a co-author (with John Esposito and Todd Lewis) of World Religions Today (2006) and Religion and Globalization (2008).

Dell deChant is Senior Instructor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Religious Studies at the University of South Florida. He is the author of a number of titles, including Religion and Culture in the West: A Primer (2008), and The Sacred Santa: Religious Dimensions of Consumer Culture (2002).

David M. Lantigua is a Ph.D. candidate in Moral Theology/Christian Ethics at the University of Notre Dame. He is a contributor to Hispanic American Religious Cultures (2009), and has published in Aporia, undergraduate philosophy journal. For the spring of 2011 he has received a grant for dissertation research in Salamanca, Spain, to investigate the topics of religious rights, just war, and the limits of toleration among sixteenth-century Spanish theologians and jurists.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Part I Religion, Ethics, and Stories of War and Peace 1

1 Religion, Ethics, and Storytelling 3

Storytelling: from Comparative Ethics to Global Ethics 4

Religion: the Sacred and the Holy 9

The Deep Structures of the Sacred and the Holy and Their Mediations 19

The Awakening of Ethical Consciousness: the Power of Religious Stories, East and West 20

The Great Religious Stories of the World – an Overview 30

A Postscript on Religious Language 36

Questions for Discussion 39

Sources 40

2 Stories of War and Peace in an Age of Globalization 41

Tales of Madness: from Auschwitz to Hiroshima 42

Auschwitz and Hiroshima: the Formative Religious Events of the Postmodern World 45

Techno-Bureaucratic Rationality and the Demise of Ethical Consciousness 51

Doubling and the Myth of Life through Death: the Spiritual Logic of Mass Death in the Twentieth Century 56

The Way of All the Earth: Global Ethics and Tales of Divine Madness 63

Questions for Discussion 72

Sources 73

Part II War and Peace: Ancient Stories and Postmodern Life Stories 75

Introduction: Ethics after Auschwitz and Hiroshima 77

3 Gilgamesh and the Religious Quest 85

The Story of Gilgamesh 86

Urbanization, Doubling, Death, and the Possibility of Ethical Reflection 91

The Quest – the Way of the Virtues 94

Questions for Discussion 99

Sources 99

4 The Socratic Religious Experience: from the Birth of Ethics to the Quest for Cosmopolis 100

The Story of the Trial of Socrates 101

The Socratic Invention of Ethics – the Way of Doubt 105

The Polis and the Quest for Cosmopolis: the Classical Era 109

The Story of Augustine’ s Confessions – Faith as a Surrender to Doubt 116

The Augustinian-Kantian Quest for a Global Ethic 126

Questions for Discussion 135

Sources 136

5 Hindu Stories – Ancient and Postmodern 137

Cosmic Story: the Myth of Liberation 138

Formative Story: Arjuna and Krishna 143

Life Story: Mohandas K. Gandhi and the Way of Brahmacharya 148

Comparative Reflections: the Paradoxes of War and Peace 159

Questions for Discussion 163

Sources 164

6 Buddhist Stories – Ancient and Postmodern 165

Formative Story: Siddhartha 166

The Cosmic Story Revised: the Myth of Liberation 173

Life Story: Thich Nhat Hanh, the Way of Mindfulness and the Dao of Zen 181

Comparative Reflections: Gandhi and Thich Nhat Hanh 196

Postscript: the Virtues of the Quest in Gilgamesh, Augustine, and Siddhartha 199

Questions for Discussion 203

Sources 203

7 Jewish Stories – Ancient and Postmodern 205

Cosmic Story: the Myth of History 206

Formative Story: the Audacity of Job 213

Life Story: Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Way of Audacity 223

Comparative Reflections: Heschel, Gandhi, and Thich Nhat Hanh 229

Questions for Discussion 232

Sources 233

8 Christian Stories – Ancient and Postmodern 234

Formative Story: Jesus of Nazareth 235

The Cosmic Story Revised: the Incarnation of the Word 242

Life Story: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Way of the Cross 247

Comparative Reflections: King, Heschel, Gandhi, and Thich Nhat Hanh 257

Questions for Discussion 260

Sources 260

9 Islamic Stories – Ancient and Postmodern 262

Formative Story: Muhammad 263

Cosmic Story: Further Revisions of the Myth of History 269

Life Story: Malcolm X and the Way of Pilgrimage 275

Comparative Reflections: Just War or Non-Violence? – Malcolm X’s Argument with the Gandhian Tradition 286

Questions for Discussion 295

Sources 296

Part III The Path to Global Ethics – the Way of All the Earth 297

Introduction 299

10 Feminist Audacity and the Ethics of Interdependence 300

The Feminist Challenge to the Myths of Life through Death 301

The Feminist Alternative: Interdependence and the Ethics of Care 305

Life Story: Joanna Macy and Buddhist Ecofeminism 311

Life Story: Rosemary Ruether and Christian Ecofeminism 316

Conclusion 324

Questions for Discussion 325

Sources 326

11 Cosmopolis: the Way of All the Earth 327

Globalization and the Story of Babel: from Ethnocentrism to Interdependence 327

Ecofeminism: from the Social Ecology of Conscience to the Social Ecology of Justice 330

The Way of All the Earth 343

Questions for Discussion 347

Sources 348

Index of Names and Terms 349

Index of Subjects 355

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"It is indeed a very rare thing to have the opportunity and privilege to work with a book that engages, challenges and provokes the student to wrestle with the fundamental ethical questions of our time. Comparative Religious Ethics is such a book. Intellectually rigorous, profoundly insightful and beautifully written, it is an invaluable resource for the instructor and student alike."
Louise M. Doire, College of Charleston

"Comparative Religious Ethics invites the reader to comprehend the ethical teachings of the world's religions by means of narratives drawn from those traditions and from human historical experience. The stories range from Gilgamesh to Gandhi and from Hiroshima to globalization. Beneath the engaging narratives lies an approach rich in theoretical insights from the study of comparative religion and ethical theory."
Ronald M. Green, Dartmouth College

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