The Practice of Christian Ethics: Mindfulness and Faith

Parsons, Susan F.
November 2012
Studies in Christian Ethics;Nov2012, Vol. 25 Issue 4, p442
Academic Journal
The central thrust of this article is to prompt new consideration of how faith and reason are understood to be at work in the discipline of theological ethics. To bring into question contemporary assumptions, a close reading of Aristotle is undertaken to illuminate his understanding of phronesis as a uniquely self-involving way of thinking that is transformative of the thinker. Phronesis, which may be translated as mindfulness, is shown to distinguish what is essential to ethical thinking. This philosophical preparation may clear a way for theology likewise to be understood anew. Kierkegaard’s reflection on Abraham’s experience of faith in Fear and Trembling discloses how theology is the working out by means of phronesis of the salvation disclosed to faith in the believer’s soul. In these two phenomena—mindfulness and faith—lies what is essential to the practice of Christian ethics.


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