Judging and being judged: rehabilitating moral evaluation in comparative religious ethics.

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Authors
Robinson, Seth P.
Issue Date
2011-11-23T15:49:07Z
Type
Thesis
Language
en_US
Keywords
Comparative ethics. , Comparative religion , Moral evaluation , Undergraduate research. , Undergraduate thesis.
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Alternative Title
Rehabilitating moral evaluation in comparative religious ethics.
Abstract
Scholars of comparative ethics—who inquire into a crosscultural span of moral systems, both religious and secular—typically take a “neutral” approach to their subject matter that tries, through careful exercise of empathy, to get at accurate representations of others’ moral beliefs and practices. Such a methodology seems to command “Judge not, lest you be judged!”: take no moral stand, lest you be branded an intellectual imperialist. But what if empathy only smuggles the scholar’s own covert assumptions into interpretation under the guise of neutrality? What if we can’t help using the categories we’ve inherited from our respective traditions in order to make sense of others? In this study, I recommend that students of comparative religion junk their pretentions to empathy and seek instead a form of sympathetic understanding that makes explicit the norms and purposes each of us brings to cross-cultural comparison. I treat the process of casting off maladaptive methods and dissolving conceptual confusions as a kind of pragmatist therapy that aims to rehabilitate the practice of moral evaluation in comparative work without either marginalizing our lived experiences (ours and our subjects’) or relapsing into untenable epistemologies.
Description
iii, 166 leaves : illustrations (some color)
Bibliography: leaves 157-166.
Thesis -- Departmental honors in Religion.
Citation
Publisher
Wheaton College; Norton, Mass.
License
Journal
Volume
Issue
PubMed ID
DOI
ISSN
EISSN
Collections