Testing the sufficiency of virtue ethics as theistic theory through a reading of the book of Amos

Fettes, Carol (2018) Testing the sufficiency of virtue ethics as theistic theory through a reading of the book of Amos. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The ancient theory of virtue ethics has been rejuvenated in recent years, and many believe that this ‘new’ approach to ethical theory might not only revitalise the sometimes stale and often intractable nature of contemporary moral debate, but also serve as a viable alternative to traditional normative theories. This thesis aimed firstly to test this claim, and secondly, to construct a modified version which would not only be useful for the theist, but could also serve as a heuristic device for reading the text of the Old Testament. The method employed to conduct this investigation was to identify and critique the essential features of a virtue-based theory, and then suggest theological interpretations of each based on the text of the OT. These interpretations would be subsequently tested through a canonical reading of the Book of Amos. It was found that an Aristotelian form of virtue ethics admitted the closest parallels with the biblical text, and provided the best framework for the construction of a theistic version. But it was also found that virtue ethics, in all its contemporary forms, was unable to justify an account of right action, and so explain the source of normativity. We concluded that, while a theistic version of virtue ethical theory could indeed provide a useful heuristic device for reading the biblical text, virtue ethics alone could not provide a viable alternative to traditional normative theories. However, it was suggested that this shortcoming could be rectified through a partnership with a modified natural law theory.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Virtue ethics, theistic ethical theory, Old Testament ethics, Amos.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies
Supervisor's Name: Clague, Ms Julie
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Ms Carol Fettes
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-9097
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2018 14:52
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2018 07:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/9097

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