Joshua Hordern

in Political Affections

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646814
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744181 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theological Ethics


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Chapter 2 outlines a theological approach to affections as a basis for the explicitly political argument of later chapters. In contrast to Aristotle's account in which pathe are not integrated convincingly into moral reasoning, Jean Yves Lacoste argues for affections as the half-light and the beginning of moral understanding. Elaborating Lacoste's phenomenological approach, the chapter describes affections as attracted, participative understandings of God's created moral order vindicated by Jesus Christ. The argument explores how affections become intersubjective aspects of politics, enduring stably through culturally mediated memory. In conversation with Robert Adams, Oliver O'Donovan, and Eric Gregory, such stability is contrasted with the neo-Aristotelian appeal to virtue and it is argued that, while personal virtue has a real if fragile quality, focussing on virtue formation typically obstructs penitence in affection and political practice. The final passage of the chapter frames affections eschatologically by exploring Jonathan Edwards' doctrine of excellency.

Keywords: participation; intersubjective; virtue; memory; stability; eschatology; Aristotle; Edwards; Lacoste

Chapter.  28476 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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