Moral Creativity: Paul Ricoeur And The Poetics Of Possibility

Hardcover | July 29, 2005

byJohn Wall

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In Moral Creativity, John Wall argues that moral life and thought are inherently and radically creative. Human beings are called by their own primordially created depths to exceed historical evil and tragedy through the ongoing creative transformation of their world. This thesis challengesancient Greek and biblical separations of ethics and poetic image-making, as well as contemporary conceptions of moral life as grounded in abstract principles or preconstituted traditions. Taking as his point of departure the poetics of the will of Paul Ricoeur, and ranging widely into criticalconversations with Continental, narrative, feminist, and liberationist ethics, Wall uncovers the profound senses in which moral practice and thought involve tension, catharsis, excess, and renewal. In the process, he draws new connections between sin and tragedy, practice and poetics, and moralityand myth. Rather than proposing a complete ethics, Moral Creativity is a meta-ethical work investigating the creative capability as part of what it means, morally, to be human. This capability is explored around four dimensions of ontology, teleology, deontology, and social practice. In each case,Wall examines a traditional perspective on the relation of ethics to poetics, critiques it using resources from contemporary phenomenology, and develops a conception of a more original poetics of moral life. In the end, moral creativity is a human capability for inhabiting tensions among others andin social systems and, in the image of a Creator, creating together an ever more radically inclusive moral world.

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In Moral Creativity, John Wall argues that moral life and thought are inherently and radically creative. Human beings are called by their own primordially created depths to exceed historical evil and tragedy through the ongoing creative transformation of their world. This thesis challengesancient Greek and biblical separations of ethic...

John Wall is Assistant Professor of Religion at Rutgers University. He is author of numerous articles in religious ethics and co-editor of Paul Ricoeur and Contemporary Moral Thought (2002).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:244 pages, 6.3 × 9.41 × 0.91 inPublished:July 29, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195182561

ISBN - 13:9780195182569

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"John Wall is dealing here with one of the most urgent philosophical questions of our time. He manages to combine a lively, anecdotal, engaging syle with a lucid sense of argument and a wide range of scholarly reference. Ricoeur is his guiding spirit but by no means an exclusive one. This ismuch more then a critical monograph or missionary declaration of intent. It is a deeply reflective, personally engaged, intellectually robust journey into the very meaning of 'creativity' in its cultural, ontological, aesthetic and ethical dimensions.-- Richard Kearney, author of The God Who May Be:A Hermeneutics of Religion and On Paul Ricoeur: The Owl of Minerva