Boundaries, Balance, and Faculty Psychology

in Friends of the Unrighteous Mammon

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780226137063
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226137087 | DOI:
Boundaries, Balance, and Faculty Psychology

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This chapter argues it would be impossible to overstate the importance of the pastoral moralists' focus on limits and boundaries. They brought up the subject almost obsessively and at key points in their texts and sermons. Orville Dewey was particularly concerned with the subject. He wrote an entire discourse “On the Uses of Labor and the Passion for a Fortune”, and followed it with one “On the Moral Limits of Accumulation”. On first glance this would appear to be typical of Victorian principles and priorities. The unseemly and animal “passions” need “restraints” or “limits” imposed on them so that they do not harm others or the self. This is not an entirely inaccurate reading of this passage, but there are deeper intellectual contexts here that complement such an interpretation and provide a richer understanding of the pastoral moralists' unique vision.

Keywords: pastoral moralists; Orville Dewey; passions; restraints; limits; self

Chapter.  3667 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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