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preface

1. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
KC Choi, MT Dávila

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presidential address

2. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
James F. Keenan, SJ

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Social trust is the basic resource for our institutions and is notably maintained by leaders who have what I call a vulnerable style and a vigilant capacity to recognize ethical challenges on the horizon. The essay follows five steps: a meditation on social trust, an introduction to the notion of style, and a proposal for a vulnerable style so as to become collectively capacious for recognition. Then it turns to the two institutions under examination at the 2022 annual meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics (SCE): the church and the academy. The essay examines both the church on racial justice through exemplars of vulnerable style and the academy on needed recognition of the precarity of our community colleges. So as to advance an interest in diversifying our styles of communicating within the SCE, the essay provides a meditation, an academic account, an academic proposal, a narrative, and a case.
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symposium: ethics of the church

3. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
MT Dávila

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Examining the ethics of the church as an institution necessarily asks what can serve as criteria or ultimate aims for the functioning of institutions responsible for nourishing and supporting Christian witness in society. For liberation theology and ethics, orthopraxis—righteousness in the practices both within and outside the church for the sake of becoming the church of the poor—becomes such criteria. Becoming a church of liberation, the church of the poor, allows us to evaluate the church as an institution or polis with a particular common good that ought to be shaped for and put at the service of prophetic Christian witness. Recent crises and challenges in the life of the Christian churches in the United States help ground this proposal in the author’s specific context.
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4. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Darlene Fozard Weaver

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Moral diversity occasions conflicts which ecclesial institutions need or simply choose to address, yet there is dearth of scholarship on Catholic Church ethics and on moral diversity. When confronting moral diversity, the institutional Catholic Church tends to prioritize concerns about cooperation with evil, moral confusion, and scandal. These concerns can express genuine love for neighbors, but they can also forego opportunities for deeper engagement, witness, and formation. An ethics of the institutional Church needs to work through such distinctions, connect them to institutional policies, positions, and procedures, and foster moral maturity, prudence, and solidarity in our ecclesial communities and beyond.
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5. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Traci C. West

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To examine the institutional ethics of the church there must be a focus on how the mutually reinforcing interplay of cultural and political values of white supremacy and heteropatriarchy are so effectively perpetuated by Christians through their church bodies. Analysis of this institutional process includes an illustration from the United Methodist Church 2019 quadrennial global assembly and a moment of LGBTQI protest against the Church’s enactment of the “traditional plan” banning equality across sexual orientations and gender identities by limiting ordination and full access to pastoral care to cisgender heterosexuals. A transformative vision of institutional ethics of the church requires disruption of the church’s commitment to preserving social domination.
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selected essays

6. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Ted A. Smith

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The kind of theological schools that prevail in the US today emerged as hubs of networks of voluntary societies in the early national period. Through a brief history of Lyman Beecher and Lane Theological Seminary, I show both the power of these networks of voluntary associations to connect free individuals and their role in the project of white Protestant settlement. Now every part of those networks is eroding. Critics who blame this erosion on narcissistic individuals understate the individualizing powers of neoliberal orders. We cannot scold people back into community. Instead, we should begin with ideals that exist, in however ideological a form, in the present. Drawing on thinkers like Theodor Adorno, Ulrich Beck, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, bell hooks, Alicia Garza, and Rowan Williams, I argue for a critical redemption of “authenticity” that could reorient theological schools and renew forms of sociality to which they are connected.
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7. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
James F. Caccamo

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Despite the moral aspirations of their mission statements, universities often base technology decisions on technical and financial considerations. This paper will explore what it would be like to prioritize ethical considerations in the selection and deployment of technology in higher education. Using the example of a mission grounded in the principles of integral human development and justice (drawing on sources in the Catholic tradition), it will sketch out a six-point framework for considering technologies: enhancement of access to educational opportunities; implementation of structures to support teaching and learning; persistence of embodied corporate interaction; upholding the dignity of work and workers (students, faculty, administrators, and staff); transparency; and maintaining free spaces for exploration and innovation.
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8. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Elisabeth Rain Kincaid, David A. Clairmont

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Socially responsible investment (SRI) has become a major intervention in global investment practices that responds to the power of institutional investors to affect corporate practice. While SRI grew out of the decisions made by churches to curtail investment in so-called “sin stocks” (companies which profited from alcohol, tobacco and gambling), little work has been done to explain why such a dramatic difference in investment strategy would occur or how it ought to impact the investment decisions of individual Christians and their faith communities. This paper explores how social institutions with a religious character determine how to balance the risk of inflicting harm on those institutions with responsibility for transforming the economic order through making investment decisions. Using data collected from shareholder proposals in corporate proxy filings and interviews with investment managers, we develop a typology of theologically grounded approaches to risk and responsibility.
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9. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
David Kwon Orcid-ID

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By examining the recent #ChurchToo movement in South Korea, this paper argues that treating clergy sexual abuse is not only a matter of seeking justice but also a matter of struggling for recognition. Understanding human subjectivity and agency as embedded in social recognition is key to examining the issue of sexual violence. To this end, this paper does two things. First, I show that the Hegelian theories of recognition provide the Korean church with a useful tool through which they can analyze the current #ChurchToo movement occurring globally, and particularly in Korea. Second, given the role that the ethics of recognition plays in political activism, I suggest that the hashtag activism of #ChurchToo must transform into a political assembly in the street that helps the church break free from the grip of oppressive social norms, structures, and ritualized patterns that rend women and minority genders’ bodily lives more precarious.
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10. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Cristina L. H. Traina

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In a proleptically queer mode, Avery Cardinal Dulles’s Models of the Church argued that the church—a mystery—must bear multiple simultaneously true, dynamic, indispensable, yet inadequate labels. If so, one theological test of our ethics is their ability to sustain ecclesiological multiplicity. The anti-trans* policies of some US dioceses and of the Congregation for Catholic Education (CCE) document “‘Male and Female He Created Them’” embrace Dulles’s institution model to the point of exclusive authoritarian institutionalism, while other CCE documents, embracing open-ended, loving dialogue across difference, favor his communion and community of disciples models without discarding the other dimensions of church. Dulles’s belief in the dynamism and temporality of ecclesiological models is permission to replace the institution model, which is vulnerable to abuse, with a kenotic model drawn from queer theology that installs apophasis and self-criticism as indispensable elements of ecclesiology. Ethics of sexuality and gender must pass this ecclesiological test.
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11. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Emmy Corey

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This paper analyzes ethnographic and historical data to emphasize the importance of framing health as collective wellbeing. Exploring missionary medical campaigns during the colonial period in East Africa, I connect the institutional legacy of Euro-American Protestant missions on the contemporary frameworks of US global public health provisions at my research site, Mwana Mwema Program. At this network of faith-based, USAID clinics in Kenya that provide treatment for children living with HIV, practitioners care for the wider community within a global health system that bases donor funding on epidemiological criteria. This narrow framing conflicts with practitioners’ notions of healing as collective wellbeing and can exacerbate communal divisions. I argue that Mwana Mwema’s notion of collective wellbeing offers a healthcare framework that faith-based providers can embrace. It yields more holistic care for entire communities and offers an opportunity for those of us in the United States to rethink our notions of health.
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12. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Xavier M. Montecel

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The connection between liturgy and ethics has been an explicit subject of interest among Christian theologians since the second half of the twentieth century. However, most calls for a substantive integration of worship and Christian morality have proceeded in a single direction. Liturgy provides the foundations of an ecclesial ethic that is directed primarily outward as a witness to the world. A troubling consequence of this general approach to linking liturgy and ethics is that the church, situated in an iconic or kerygmatic role, rarely turns its ethical attention inward. In this essay, I offer a reading of the relationship between liturgy and ethics that may begin to overcome these limitations. In dialogue with Orthodox theologians Alexander Schmemann and Vigen Guroian, I propose a renewed emphasis on the eschatological dimension of eucharistic liturgy that, when theorized through the lens of virtue ethics, can yield a more dynamic, inward-facing ecclesial ethic.
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book reviews

13. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Tisha M. Rajendra

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14. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Matthew Gaudet

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15. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Carmen González

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16. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Matthew Bersagel Braley

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17. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
James T. Bretzke, SJ

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18. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Jamin Hübner

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19. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Jaeha Woo

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20. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Virginia W. Landgraf

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