Moral Struggle and Religious Ethics: On the Person as Classic in Comparative Theological Contexts

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9781444336825: Moral Struggle and Religious Ethics: On the Person as Classic in Comparative Theological Contexts
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Moral Struggle and Religious Ethics offers a comparativediscussion of the challenges of living a moral religious life. Thisis illustrated with a study of two key thinkers, Bonaventure andBuddhaghosa, who influenced the development of moral thinking inChristianity and Buddhism respectively.

  • Provides an important and original contribution to thecomparative study and practice of religious ethics
  • Moves away from a comparison of theories by discussing theshared human problem of moral weakness
  • Offers an fresh approach with a comparison of the understandingof the problem of moral weakness between the two key thinkers,Bonaventure and Buddhaghosa
  • Written by a highly respected academic in the dynamic andfast-growing field of comparative religious ethics

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Moral Struggle and Religious Ethics examines the need thatdrives us from the comforts of our own religious traditions tolearn about those that are unknown and even irreconcilablydifferent. It takes as its theme a problem common throughoutreligions: that religious people do not always behave morally.

Clairmont presents a fresh approach in his discussion of thechallenges involved in living a moral life by offering an in-depthreading of the work of the two important religious figures:Bonaventure, a 13th century Roman Catholic priest and teacher inthe Franciscan order, and Buddhaghosa, a 5th-century TheravadaBuddhist monk. These two men offer crucial insights into thedevelopment of moral thinking in Christianity and Buddhismrespectively. Clairmont's comparison is centered on the struggle ofboth men to make sense of human moral weakness and their moralreflections on appropriate interaction with the world aroundthem.

In focusing on the shared human problem of moral failure,Clairmont demonstrates that we are only able to fully understand areligious tradition through open-minded and respectful comparisonto others. At a time over-shadowed by the potential of religiousviolence, it demonstrates that inter-religious conversation servesto advance the well-being of the human community.

About the Author:

David A. Clairmont is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He is the co-author of American Religions and the Family: How Faith Traditions Cope With Modernization and Democracy (2007).

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