John Wall

in Moral Creativity

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780195182569
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835737 | DOI:

Series: AAR Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion Series


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Michelangelo’s painting “The Creation of Adam” suggests a double image of humanity as a reflection of its Creator and in turn a creator of meaning and worlds in its own right. Human creativity has been acknowledged in Western philosophy and theology as a part of the sciences and the arts, but not generally as necessary to ethical thought or practice. To understand moral creativity today means to confront longstanding assumptions resulting from ancient Greek and biblical separations of ethical from poetic activities (such as imitation and idolatry), which are only intensified in modernist and Romantic reductions of human creativity to the mere expression of inner subjectivity. The alternative possibility is a postmodern religious affirmation of humankind as ultimately capable, in the image of God the Creator, of the ongoing creation of ever more radically inclusive moral worlds in response to the tragic tensions that actually make up selfhood, relations to others, and systems of society.

Keywords: capability; Creator; ethics; humanity; image of God; inclusive; poetics; postmodern; tension; tragedy

Chapter.  11788 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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