The Gitfing God: A Trinitarian Ethics of Excess / Edition 1

The Gitfing God: A Trinitarian Ethics of Excess / Edition 1

by Stephen H. Webb
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA

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The Gitfing God: A Trinitarian Ethics of Excess / Edition 1

Theories of generosity, or gift giving, are becoming increasingly important in recent work in philosophy and religion. Stephen Webb seeks to build on this renewed interest by surveying a distinctively modern and postmodern approach to the issue of generosity, and then developing a theological framework for it. He analyzes two basic forms of such theories: theories of excess, which emphasize the extravagance of the giving act, and theories of exchange, which look at giving as a form of reciprocity. Excess, which Webb calls "squandering", is disconnected from considerations of morality and community. Similarly, giving as exchange reduces generosity to mere calculations of the market. Webb contends that for this reason, in many ways, society has become suspicious of charity and generosity. This cynicism has led to quick and easy judgments that, in turn, have led to a new orthodoxy with its own troubling consequences. Webb argues that we need to recover the generosity that our culture obscures behind this monologue on self-interest, and that theology, as a form of critical thought, can play a helpful role. Through the example of a trinitarian God, who is the Giver, the Given, and the Giving, he demonstrates how giving can be born of excess but bound by a community of responsibility and mutuality - other-oriented without being self-negating. He maintains that the generosity of God's grace, properly understood, can reorient our own idea of the gift and must be correlated to our own practices of exchange and reciprocity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195102550
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 05/28/1996
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.55(h) x 0.75(d)
Lexile: 1330L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Giving and Thinking3
1.The Return of the Gift13
Between Excess and Exchange14
Style and Function16
The Gift of Marcel Mauss32
Marshall Sahlins and the Recovery of Abundance36
Pierre Bourdieu and the Total Critique of Giving39
Richard Titmus and the Social Utility of Giving41
Lewis Hyde and the Community of the Gifted43
Against Gratitude49
Emerson and the Denial of Debt55
Nietzsche and Self-Giving58
Derrida and the End (lessness) of Giving67
3.The Theo-Economics of God83
Giving the Given Gift84
Calvin and the Labor of Gratitude94
Karl Barth and God's Freedom98
Charles Hartshorne and God's Reciprocity104
Sallie McFague and God's Embodiment108
Mark C. Taylor and God's Radical Immanence111
Peter C. Hodgson and God's Persuasive Dialectics116
4.How Giving Works123
Giving and Being129
Giving and Saving133
God the Giver139
God the Given141
God the Giving146

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