Receptive Human Virtues: A New Reading of Jonathan Edwardss Ethics

Paperback | January 31, 2011

byElizabeth Agnew Cochran

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This book offers a new reading of Jonathan Edwards’s virtue ethic that examines a range of qualities Edwards identifies as “virtues” and considers their importance for contemporary ethics. Each of Edwards’s human virtues is “receptive” in nature: humans acquire the virtues through receiving divine grace, and therefore depend utterly on Edwards’s God for virtue’s acquisition. By contending that humans remain authentic moral agents even as they are unable to attain virtue apart from his God’s assistance, Edwards challenges contemporary conceptions of moral responsibility, which tend to emphasize human autonomy as a central part of accountability.

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This book offers a new reading of Jonathan Edwards’s virtue ethic that examines a range of qualities Edwards identifies as “virtues” and considers their importance for contemporary ethics. Each of Edwards’s human virtues is “receptive” in nature: humans acquire the virtues through receiving divine grace, and therefore depend utterly on...

Elizabeth Agnew Cochran is Assistant Professor of Theology at Duquesne University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.49 inPublished:January 31, 2011Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:027104845X

ISBN - 13:9780271048451

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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

1. An Ethic of Receptive Human Virtues

2. Love as Necessary and Volitional: Edwards’s Account of True Virtue in God

3. Charity as a Human Virtue: The Moral Accountability of a Necessary Nature

4. Humility as a Human Virtue: Imaging God’s Mercy Through Creaturely Capacities

5. Virtuous Repentance: Apprehending and Approving God’s Moral Excellence

6. Justice and Partial Loves: The Natural Goodness of Incomplete Virtues

Conclusion Virtues, Accountability, and Dependence: Edwards’s Significance for Contemporary Christian Ethics

Notes

Works Cited

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Cochran presents a creative, concise, and lucid account that deserves serious consideration by historians, theologians, and ethicists.”

—B. M. Stephens, Choice