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Christian Faith, Justice, and a Politics of Mercy


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Table of Contents

Table of Contents Preface Chapter 1: Re-enfranchising Benevolence Part I: Philosophical Inquiry Chapter 2: Benevolence as a Private Virtue Chapter 3: Benevolence as a Public Virtue Part II: Theological Inquiry Chapter 4: Benevolence and Justice Chapter 5: Benevolence and Mercy Chapter 6: Benevolence and Compassion Part III: Moral Integrity Chapter 7: Benevolence as Historical Praxis Chapter 8: Benevolence and a Politics of Mercy

About the Author

James E. Gilman is professor emeritus of philosophy and religion at Mary Baldwin College. He is the author of Fidelity of Heart: An Ethic of Christian Virtue and Faith, Reason and Compassion: A Philosophy of the Christian Faith.


Gilman's argument is impressive in both its breadth and detail. * Journal of Church and State *
Clear, careful, and balanced. I know of no other book which so well integrates theories of justice with a treatment of mercy, compassion, and benevolence as actually necessary to achieve justice. It is a very fresh take on the topic. -- John A. Coleman S.J., University of San Francisco
This book powerfully advocates for the reestablishment of benevolence in both private and public life. "Mercy trumps justice," and only mercy as benevolence can redeem either our heart or our society from prior injustices. Insightful and innovative. -- Ted Peters, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
This is an impressive, erudite, yet easily understood argument that the idea of mercy as benevolence has been privatized in American political thinking and subordinated to the idea of justice in much Christian ethical reasoning-with unfortunate consequences for our public wellbeing. It prompts a greatly needed discussion for generations to come. -- Edward LeRoy Long Jr., Drew University
Simply put, Gilman's wide-ranging, highly lucid account of "merciful benevolence" is a must read! By disclosing the interpretive range and power of one of the most underappreciated ethical categories in our time, it makes an original contribution to the field of Christian Ethics. Perhaps more significantly, it re-frames wider discourse about how we ought to treat one another. -- Jack A. Hill, Texas Christian University

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