Battling for Truth in the Beloved Community

Rebekah L. Miles

in The Bonds of Freedom

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780195144161
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834495 | DOI:

Series: An American Academy of Religion Book

 Battling for Truth in the Beloved Community

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An examination is made of Sharon Welch's political realist position. Welch, in contrast to Ruether, locates moral norms and the divine in particular human communities, and all moral claims are radically relative to those particular contexts. Appeals to an experience or reality that transcends our interactions in communities are illusory justifications of our own relative positions, since only within community interaction can we transcend ourselves as we see the limitations of our understandings through the criticism of others. Welch is a political realist in the sense that she is suspicious of the power interests hidden behind truth claims, and she is cynical in her skepticism of any substantive grounding for moral claims. It is shown that each of these proposals undercuts a crucial aspect of feminist moral judgment and, thus, does not lessen, but rather unintentionally supports, further domination.

Keywords: divine presence; domination; feminism; human communities; moral claims; moral norms; political realism; relative political realism; transcendence; Sharon Welch

Chapter.  13590 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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