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May 1, 2020
9781626168008
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May 1, 2020
9781626168015
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May 1, 2020
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Moral Agency within Social Structures and Culture

A Primer on Critical Realism for Christian Ethics

Christian ethics has addressed moral agency and culture from the start, and Christian social ethics increasingly acknowledges the power of social structures. However, neither has made sufficient use of the discipline that specializes in understanding structures and culture: sociology. In Moral Agency within Social Structures and Culture, editor and contributor Daniel K. Finn proposes a field-changing critical realist sociology that puts Christian ethics into conversation with modern discourses on human agency and social transformation.

Catholic social teaching mischaracterizes social evil as being little more than the sum of individual choices, remedied through individual conversion. Liberation theology points to the power of social structures but without specifying how structures affect moral agency. Critical realist sociology provides a solution to both shortcomings. This collection shows how sociological insights can deepen and extend Catholic social thought by enabling ethicists to analyze more precisely how structures and culture impact human decisions. The book demonstrates how this sociological framework has applications for the study of the ecological crisis, economic life, and virtue ethics.

Moral Agency within Social Structures and Culture is a valuable tool for Christian ethicists who seek systemic change in accord with the Gospel.

About the Authors

Daniel K. Finn is a professor of theology and the William E. and Virginia Clemens Professor in Economics and the Liberal Arts at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. His books include Consumer Ethics in a Global Economy: How Buying Here Causes Injustice There (Georgetown University Press, 2019), Christian Economic Ethics: History and Implications, and The Moral Ecology of Markets: Assessing Claims about Markets and Justice.

Reviews

"Faced with a world of dizzying complexity, even the most thoughtful participants in social decision making rely on unchallenged assumptions and implicit biases. We all stand to benefit from adopting an explicit meta-ethical approach to life in society. By providing a primer on the methodology of critical realism with such remarkable clarity, this ground-breaking volume supplies a much-needed foundation for constructive ethical reflection and responsible moral agency. Each chapter contains rich insight and vivid illustrations that will lead the reader reliably through the many thickets of the heavily contested ethical terrain we all face today." — Thomas Massaro, SJ, Professor of Moral Theology, Fordham University

"This is a primer in the best sense. It is an easy-to-read introduction to an important social theory that holds significant promise for Christian social ethics. In clear prose, the authors explain the basics of critical realism and illustrate in a variety of ways why it is relevant to Christian ethics. Finn and his colleagues are to be commended for advancing the conversation between theologians and social scientists in such an informed and helpful manner." — Kenneth R. Himes, OFM, Professor of Theological Ethics, Boston College

"Moral Agency Within Social Structures and Culture: A Primer on Critical Realism for Christian Ethics, edited by Daniel Finn, is a splendid and foundational work on critical realism... as a sociological analysis of the role of social structure and culture [and] their impact on human agency, including moral agency.... This is an important and foundational work which sociologists and ethicists will find truly enlightening, provocative, and helpful. I very highly recommend it." — John Coleman, SJ, Casassa Professor of Social Values, Emeritus, Loyola Marymount University



"This thorough but accessible introduction to critical realism is rich with concrete illustrations that offer the reader a good sense of how its theoretical perspective stands to deepen and refine social analysis in Christian ethics. A must read for scholars interested in questions about agency and structure." — Christina McRorie, assistant professor of theology, Creighton University
Georgetown University Press

9781626168008 : moral-agency-within-social-structures-and-culture-finn-archer-cahill
Hardback
136 Pages
$89.95 USD
9781626168015 : moral-agency-within-social-structures-and-culture-finn-archer-cahill
Paperback / softback
136 Pages
$29.95 USD
9781626168022 : moral-agency-within-social-structures-and-culture-finn-archer-cahill
Electronic book text
136 Pages
$29.95 USD

Other Titles by Daniel K. Finn

Consumer Ethics in a Global Economy

Daniel K. Finn
Dec 2019 - Georgetown University Press
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Other Titles by Lisa Sowle Cahill

The Critical Calling

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Feb 2006 - Georgetown University Press
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Theological Bioethics

Lisa Sowle Cahill
Nov 2005 - Georgetown University Press
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Consumer Ethics in a Global Economy

Daniel K. Finn
Dec 2019 - Georgetown University Press
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$34.95 USD - Electronic book text

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The Structures of Virtue and Vice

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Feb 2021 - Georgetown University Press
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Naming Our Sins

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May 2019 - The Catholic University of America Press
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The Vice of Luxury

David Cloutier
Jan 2016 - Georgetown University Press
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The Origins of War

Matthew A. Shadle
Apr 2011 - Georgetown University Press
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Radical Sufficiency

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Reimagining Human Rights

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