The Gifting God: A Trinitarian Ethics of Excess by Stephen H. WebbThe Gifting God: A Trinitarian Ethics of Excess by Stephen H. Webb

The Gifting God: A Trinitarian Ethics of Excess

byStephen H. Webb

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

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Theories of generosity, or gift giving, are becoming increasingly important in recent work in philosophy and religion. Stephen Webb seeks to build on this renewed interest by surveying a distinctively modern and postmodern approach to the issue of generosity, and then developing a theologicalframework for it. He contends that in many ways society has become suspicious of charity and generosity. This cynicism has led to quick and easy judgments, that, in turn, have led to a new orthodoxy with its own troubling consequences. Webb believes that we need to recover the generosity that ourculture obscures behind this monologue on self-interest, and that theology, as a form of critical thought, can play a helpful role. Throughout the book, Webb argues for a theory of giving that is other-oriented without being self-negating. He maintains that the generosity of God's grace, properlyunderstood, can reorient our own idea of the gift and must be correlated to our own practices of exchange and reciprocity.

About The Author

Stephen H. Webb is at Wabash College.
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Details & Specs

Title:The Gifting God: A Trinitarian Ethics of ExcessFormat:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 8.54 × 5.71 × 0.75 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019510255X

ISBN - 13:9780195102550

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Theories of generosity, or gift giving, are becoming increasingly important in recent work in philosophy and religion. Stephen Webb seeks to build on this renewed interest by surveying a distinctively modern and postmodern approach to the issue of generosity, and then developing a theological framework for it. He analyzes two basic forms of such theories: theories of excess, which emphasize the extravagance of the giving act, and theories of exchange, which look at giving as a form of reciprocity. Excess, which Webb calls "squandering", is disconnected from considerations of morality and community. Similarly, giving as exchange reduces generosity to mere calculations of the market. Webb contends that for this reason, in many ways, society has become suspicious of charity and generosity. This cynicism has led to quick and easy judgments that, in turn, have led to a new orthodoxy with its own troubling consequences. Webb argues that we need to recover the generosity that our culture obscures behind this monologue on self-interest, and that theology, as a form of cri

Editorial Reviews

"Stephen Webb's The Gifting God is an insightful and broad study of the contemporary debates about the possibilities and limits of giving and generosity...I would recommend this book as a map for anyone interested in contemporary theology, philosophy, and social theory."--The Cresset