Everyday Ethics

Moral Theology and the Practices of Ordinary Life

Michael Lamb and Brian A. Williams, Editors

"Everyday Ethics goes beyond its immediate responsive purpose by taking part in, and providing methodological reflections upon, a movement by Christian moral theologians who engage more deeply with the work and tools of anthropology."
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What might we learn if the study of ethics focused less on hard cases and more on the practices of everyday life? In Everyday Ethics, Michael Lamb and Brian Williams gather some of the world’s leading scholars and practitioners of moral theology (including some GUP authors) to explore that question in dialogue with anthropology and the social sciences. Inspired by the work of Michael Banner, these scholars cross disciplinary boundaries to analyze the ethics of ordinary practices—from eating, learning, and loving thy neighbor to borrowing and spending, using technology, and working in a flexible economy. Along the way, they consider the moral and methodological questions that emerge from this interdisciplinary dialogue and assess the implications for the future of moral theology.

Table of Contents

Contextualizing Everyday Ethics: Moral Theology Meets Anthropology and the Social Sciences
Michael Lamb and Brian A. Williams

Part I: Evaluating Banner's Proposal: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Meaning and Method

1. Toward an Ethics of Social Practice
Molly Farneth

2. Engaging the Everyday in Womanist Ethics and Mujerista Theology
Stephanie Mota Thurston

3. Social Anthropology, Ethnography, and the Ordinary
Morgan Clarke

4. "The Everyday" against the "and" in "Theology and Social Science"
Brian Brock

Part II: Practices of Everyday Ethics: Extending the Proposal

5. Forming Humanity: Practices of Education Christianly Considered
Jennifer A. Herdt

6. Charity, Justice, and the Ethics of Humanitarianism
Eric Gregory

7. The Elimination of the Human within the Technological Society
Craig M. Gay

8. On New New Things: Work and Christian Thought in Flexible Capitalism
Philip Lorish

9. The Everyday Ethics of Borrowing and Spending: Evaluating Economic Risk and Reward
Justin Welby

10. Sharing Tables: The Embodied Ethics of Eating and Joining
Rachel Muers

Part III: Everyday Ethics: A Future for Moral Theology?

11. The Tasks of Christian Ethics: Theology, Ethnography, and the Conundrums of the Cultural Turn
Luke Bretherton

12. Sacramental Ethics and the Future of Moral Theology
Charles Mathewes

13. Confessions of a Moderately (Un)Repentant Sinner
Michael Banner

Everyday Ethics: A Bibliographic Essay
Patrick McKearney

List of Contributors


"This is a fresh, insightful and highly stimulating contribution to debates about the nature of Christian ethics and the relation between theology and the social sciences. The book responds to Michael Banner’s important recent proposal that theological ethics be grounded in an “everyday ethics” schooled by social anthropology. Banner’s intervention is one of the most fruitful and creative contributions to the field in the last decade and, as such, both merits and needs contextualization and critical interpretation. This collection offers precisely that, serving as an excellent ‘companion’ to Banner, while also extending his insights into new areas and complementing and challenging it with a range of new perspectives. Much more than a dialogue with a single thinker, the book turns out to be an authoritative guide into many of the contemporary concerns and possibilities of theological ethics as a whole."—Jonathan Chaplin, Independent researcher and writer; Member, Cambridge University Divinity Faculty

"Everyday Ethics goes beyond its immediate responsive purpose by taking part in, and providing methodological reflections upon, a movement by Christian moral theologians who engage more deeply with the work and tools of anthropology."—Religion and its Publics


Michael Banner Luke Bretherton Brian Brock Morgan Clarke Molly Farneth Craig M. Gay Eric Gregory Jennifer Herdt Michael Lamb Philip Lorish Charles T. Mathewes Patrick McKearney Stephanie Mota Thurston Rachel Muers Justin Welby Brian A. Williams

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Michael Lamb is Director of the Program for Leadership and Character and Assistant Professor of Politics, Ethics, and Interdisciplinary Humanities at Wake Forest University.

Brian Williams is Dean of the Templeton Honors College and Assistant Professor of Ethics and Liberal Studies at Eastern University.

264 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-62616-706-3
Oct 2019

264 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-62616-707-0
Oct 2019

264 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-62616-708-7
Oct 2019

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