Item description for Shared Morality, A: A Narrative Defense of Natural Law Ethics by Craig Boyd...
Overview The contemporary ethical and moral landscape is one of confusion and cacophony. Theories of ethics are often presented in terms of the horns of a dilemma in our postmodern world. On the one hand, ethical relativism is deemed both descriptive and prescriptive; on the other hand, moral absolutism is foundational. In reality, other options exist. Craig A. Boyd presents the alternative of natural law morality in A Shared Morality: A Narrative Defense of Natural Law Ethics. Throughout this text, Boyd traces the history of natural law morality from the Greeks, the Bible, and church history. Not only does Boyd explain this theory but he also compares it to and critiques it with other theories of morality: divine command theory, analytic ethics, sociobiology, and postmodernism. Readers will be surprised at Boyd's conclusion that natural law and virtue ethics complement one another. Natural law morality, in short, provides the basis of human morality by recognizing universally known features of human nature; these features can manifest themselves in myriad ways, depending on environment, culture, and custom. This groundbreaking work will find a home in the bookshelves of college and seminary professors as well as students of philosophy, theology, and ethics.
1. Introduction 2. The Narrative Of Natural Law 3. The Scientific Challenge: Sociobiology And Evolutionary Psychology 4. The Religious Challenge: Divine Command Ethics 5. The Cultural Challenge: Postmodernist Relativism 6. The Philosophical Challenge: Analytical Philosophy 7. Natural Law And The Virtues
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Studio: Brazos Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.8" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Nov 30, 2007
Publisher Baker Publishing Group
ISBN 1587431629 ISBN13 9781587431623
Availability 0 units.
More About Craig Boyd
Craig A. Boyd (PhD, St. Louis University) is professor of philosophy and director of faith integration at Azusa Pacific University. He has published numerous journal articles and presented at many scholarly conferences.
Craig A. Boyd has an academic affiliation as follows - Saint Louis University.
Reviews - What do customers think about Shared Morality, A: A Narrative Defense of Natural Law Ethics?
Natural Law's Necessary Resuscitation May 3, 2008
Craig A. Boyd manages to resuscitate the theory of natural law. He manages not only to repel the criticisms of natural law but he also creates a more robust theory by taking into account the insights of other fields of study.
Morality is Boyd's first book, having written many papers at the intersection of theology, science, and ethics. Morality brings together Boyd's interdisciplinary interests to defend a theory of natural law integrated with a theory of virtue, a partnership Craig argues has been lacking in contemporary ethics (NOTE: characteristic of his interdisciplinary habits, Craig does not limit himself to Christian ethics). In short, Craig argues that neither natural law theory nor virtue theory are complete without one another.
Craig realizes that he has his work cut out for him. With the exception of some politically conservative theorists seeking to build up a religionless theory of universal human rights, natural law has largely fallen into disrepute, at least among academics. Craig identifies four challenges to natural law: sociobiology and evolutionary psychology (the scientific challenge); divine command ethics (the religious challenge); postmodernist relativism (the cultural challenge); and analytical philosophy (the philosophical challenge). He devotes a chapter to each, chronicling their respective critiques of natural law, responding to those critiques and appropriating them into his own theory.
Personally, I found the chapters on sociobiology/evolution and postmodernism the most helpful. The others are certainly important but as someone who works with non-academic people in the local church, these two topics pop up most frequently. People aren't really talking about postmodernism in the Sunday School classes I've witnessed, but they do talk about "moral relativism" which is part and parcel of postmodernism.
In any case, A Shared Morality is a wonderful invitation to the rich tradition of natural law. Though it is written for academic audiences, the informed lay reader should find it readable though challenging (isn't that what good books do?).
Timely and Well-Written Mar 18, 2008
Boyd's book is profound, timely, and irenic. He lays out the structure of natural law theory in an accessible and informative way. His sophisticated understanding of philosophy, especially the thought of Thomas Aquinas, shines brightly.
Perhaps the most important part of the book is Boyd's wrestling with contemporary objections to natural law. To those who think recent work in critical theory, postmodernism, or science has undermined the power of natural law, Boyd shows otherwise.
But Boyd is not afraid to draw from constructive elements of contemporary natural law objections. For this reason, he proposes a more robust version of natural law than what readers may have imagined possible. And along the way, Boyd shows the importance of natural law theory for a cogent approach to understanding and appropriating the virtues.