Beyond Virtue Ethics

cover art
 
280 pp., 6 x 9
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781647123116 ()

280 pp., 6 x 9
Paperback
ISBN: 9781647123123 ()

eBook
ISBN: 9781647123130

E-Inspection
Request E-Inspection


May 2023
Sales Rights: WORLD

Moral Traditions series

EXPLORE THIS TITLE

Description
Table of Contents
Reviews


Beyond Virtue Ethics
A Contemporary Ethic of Ancient Spiritual Struggle
Stephen M. Meawad
A contemporary model of spiritual struggle shifts the emphasis from virtue's acquisition to its pursuit

Beyond Virtue Ethics offers a distinctive approach to virtue ethics, arguing not simply for the importance of "struggle" to virtue ethics, but that "struggle" itself is a manifestation of virtue. In doing this, Stephen M. Meawad offers a way of thinking about virtue not simply as a perfected state, but as a state that is to a greater or lesser degree a manifestation of the ideal itself, which is not attainable.

Meawad affirms the concept of the unity of virtues—that is, the idea that a virtue is not a virtue unless united with other perfected virtues—which is found in God. Insofar as humans grow in unity with God, they too participate in the unity of virtues, although always to an imperfect extent. Meawad rejects a division between ethics and spirituality and provides two concrete examples of this suggested model. The first is the application of this model to the body and its implications for contemporary sexual ethics. The second is a reintegration of ethics and Scripture through the contemporary application of an ancient Patristic divine reading.

This book establishes for readers a contemporary model of spiritual struggle, defining it as the exertion of effort in all conceivable dimensions—physical, emotional, psychological, and intellectual—with the intent to attain a semblance of, knowledge of, and intimacy with Jesus Christ.
Stephen Meawad is an assistant professor of theology in the Department of Theology and Philosophy at Caldwell University.
David Cloutier, Darlene Weaver, and Andrea Vicini, SJ
Reviews
"The return of virtue ethics is now six decades in the making, and yet, in all that time, very little has engaged the rich tradition of thinking on virtue in Orthodox Christianity. This book fills that gap. With a grounding in deification and with an emphasis on virtue as struggle rather than achievement, it offers a paradigm shift for understanding the meaning of virtue in the ethical and spiritual life."—Aristotle Papanikolaou, professor of theology, Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture, co-founding director, Orthodox Christian Studies Center,

Table of Contents
PART I: SITUATING THE ETHIC
Introduction: Ethics, Anthropology, and Patristics
From Ancient to Modern: Creating Space for the Church Fathers
Chapter Overview
1. Which Virtue Ethics? Which Problems?
An Orthodox Christian Ethic Politeia?
Aristotle, Aquinas, and Virtue Ethical Problems
The Virtuous Agent and the Unity of the Virtues
Perfectionism and (Un)attainability
Moral Luck and Moral Effort
Self-Centeredness and Self-Effacement
Grace and Works
Grace and Virtue
Works and Antinomianism
A Contemporary Consensus Between Grace and Works
Conclusion

PART II: DEVELOPING THE ETHIC
2. A Case for Spiritual Struggle
Why "Spiritual Struggle"?
Struggle Against Base Desires: the Self as Co-operator with God's Grace
Struggle as Communal Confrontation of External Oppression
Struggle as Purgative, Virtuous Struggle with God
Conclusion

3. Onward and Upward: The Perpetual Godwardness of Spiritual Struggle
Gregory's Theological Integration
Epektasis: Immutable and Infinite Perpetuity of Godward Progress
Anagogy: Godward Progress as Ascent in Goodness, Virtue, and Perfection
The Stages of Godward Spiritual Struggle
Conclusion

PART III: APPLYING THE ETHIC
4. Asceticism as Godward Spiritual Struggle Applied to the Body
First Stage: Controlling Impulses Gone Awry
Second Stage: Angelification and Restoration
Third Stage: Liturgical Transformation and Divine Indwelling
Liturgy as Interiorizer
Particular Instantiations of Interiorization
Conclusion

5. Sacred Reading as Godward Spiritual Struggle Applied to Scripture
First Stage: Vulnerability, Christ, and Community
Vulnerability
Christo-centricity
Communal Exegesis
Second Stage: Embodiment, Prayer, and Virtue
Prayerful Embodiment of Scripture
Virtuous Reading
Third Stage: Full Immersion and a New Creation
Conclusion

6. Conclusion: Embodied Ethics and Inevitable Tensions
Bibliography