Ana Religious Studies Review The Ethics of the Faith: Right, Wrong, and the God of Abraham. By Ean W. Burchell. North...
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Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 41 • NUMBER 4 • OCTOBER 2015 tion, but this book seeks to change these long-entrenched perceptions. Without supplanting justiﬁcation by faith, Biermann convincingly draws from the Lutheran Confessions to demonstrate that cultivating Christian character is consistent with Lutheran theology. To do so, he adopts the reformers’ framework of three kinds of righteousness, which allows him to differentiate between imputed righteousness, the righteousness of believers being formed into Christ’s image, and the righteousness of all humans as God’s creatures. Whereas other Lutherans have struggled to integrate the different kinds of righteousness holistically, Biermann weds the three kinds of righteousness to a strong emphasis on God’s ordering of creation, which allows him to incorporate the various kinds of righteousness into a uniﬁed whole as essential component of God’s intention for humanity. Although primarily intended for parish ministers, the book will also prove useful for academics attempting to locate Lutheran theology vis-à-vis virtue ethics because the author makes a compelling case that should change future articulations of Lutheran ethics. If it fails to be persuasive, it will likely be because it does not deal extensively enough with Luther himself whose “exodus from virtue to grace” has pushed numerous Lutherans away from virtue ethics. Nevertheless, this work should prove inﬂuential within Lutheran and academic circles. Benjamin J. Burkholder Duquesne University controversy involving Christian support for 1970s gay liberation). The anthology avoids unproductive debates and models constructive conversations; essays point to the productive presence of religion in queer people’s lives and enable queerness and Christianity to speak back to each. Claudia Schippert University of Central Florida Gender Studies WOMEN’S BIBLE COMMENTARY: TWENTIETHANNIVERSARY EDITION. Edited by Carol A. Newsom, Sharon H. Ringe, and Jacqueline E. Lapsley. 3rd edition. Louisville, KY: W; estminster John Knox Press, 2012. Pp. xxxi + 648. $87.50. The twentieth-anniversary (3rd) edition of the Women’s Bible Commentary, originally formulated in 1989 and published in 1992, represents a more thoroughgoing reassessment of the primary work than was its 1998 expansion; every library should have a copy (perhaps best shelved alongside the second edition). In addition to adding 14 excellent new essays, 13 on individual biblical women (e.g., Eve, Judith, Mary) and their interpreters, the editors also incorporated interpretative visual material and commissioned new authors to rewrite more than half of the second edition essays. As anticipated by the editors, the replacement (unexplained in individual cases) of some but not all the older treatments is perhaps the most controversial aspect of the new edition; some authors replaced are preeminent in the broader ﬁeld. As the editors state, their principle “was to identify some of the most interesting younger women working in the ﬁeld . . . to write for the new edition.” Also potentially controversial is the decision not to include males doing feminist biblical scholarship, even though the editors “celebrate the diffusion of feminist methods into the practice of biblical studies.” Whether one agrees or not with the editors, the necessity of such decisions attests to the everincreasing vitality of scholarship on women and gender in the Bible. Because of this and its attendant updated bibliographies, the third edition of the Women’s Bible Commentary is an excellent and handy starting point for biblical scholars and informed amateurs looking to orient themselves to questions of gender in the Judeo-Christian scriptural traditions. Cory Crawford Ohio University/Universität Tübingen THE ETHICS OF THE FAITH: RIGHT, WRONG, AND THE GOD OF ABRAHAM. By Ean W. Burchell. North Charleston, NC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013. Pp. ix + 273. Paperback. $17.50. Burchell has taken on a herculean task in attempting to evaluate the ethics of the entire OT. He does so from the viewpoint of the modern atheist, applying the skepticism and critique that would be expected. Although he shows little evidence of any religious studies education (he states that the OT is a “foundational text” of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), he proceeds through the entire work, analyzing many of the available stories wherein a lack of ethics is displayed by Yahweh. The book moves easily through the OT, picking out verses which demonstrate the lack of ethics shown by Yahweh. The author does a good job of condensing the OT’s teachings, making the basic themes of each book he critiques reachable for any reader. The type of evaluation that he offers must be read and thoughtfully considered by any serious student of ethics based on the three Abrahamic religions. However, the author simply goes over previously well-plowed ground in criticizing the ethics of the OT, doing so in an uneven fashion. Burchell’s approach is distinctly non-scholarly (he offers not a single reference, no bibliography, nor index), and would have little value in ethical studies. There are other, better skeptical reviews of the ethics of the OT for use in the Academy. Paul Mueller Duquesne University Ethics A CASE FOR CHARACTER: TOWARDS A LUTHERAN VIRTUE ETHICS. By Joel D. Biermann. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014. Pp. vii + 204. $29.00. Lutheranism has long borne the opprobrium of being inherently opposed to virtue ethics and character habitua- 180 Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 41 A CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM: MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., YOUNG PEOPLE, AND THE MOVEMENT. • NUMBER 4 • OCTOBER 2015 and their applicability in the legal arena. It would also serve well anyone looking to relate law to the Bible. Paul Mueller Duquesne University By Rufus Burrow, Jr. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014. Pp. xxxviii + 331. $19.00. Rufus Burrow’s highly readable social history of the role of young people in the civil rights movement is a must read. A social ethicist and expert on the life and theology of Martin Luther King, Jr., Burrow examines the important but undertreated history of the critical participation of children and young people in the American civil rights movement. Burrow’s work is suffused with hope. The text not only demonstrates the success of the civil rights movement through the intrepid, often unassisted leadership of young people and students organizers who followed King but also shows King as a disciple of his young black and white, male and female contemporaries: he was inspired by their creative ideas, sense of urgency, and willingness to act at the risk—and sometimes sacriﬁce—of their own lives. In six chapters, Burrow traces the contributions of youth leaders from the Montgomery bus boycotts to sit-ins, freedom rides, the Birmingham Children’s Crusade, and the march from Selma to Montgomery in the movement for voting rights to ask “Where can we go from here?” in the present day. This monograph will interest specialists and nonspecialists alike, is a valuable resource for political theologians especially, and is suitable for use in undergraduate, seminary, and advanced high school classrooms. Christine E. McCarthy Fordham University HEALTH CARE AS A SOCIAL GOOD: RELIGIOUS VALUES AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY. By David M. Craig. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2014. Pp. ix + 268. Cloth, $49.95; paper, $29.95. Knowledgeable in both the academic study of religion and in the ﬁeld of economics, Craig offers a rare, and needed, perspective mediating the two domains of ethical analysis in Health Care as a Social Good. Using language of the social good, a reformulation of the common good, he identiﬁes mutual goals in health-care reform, particularly those that align with a religious, namely Christian, moral vision, and goals that are reasonable using secular economic theory. The social teachings of the Catholic church, notably Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum in 1891, employ economic language in discussing the responsibilities of the government and the church; however, a detailed, accessible, and religiously informed economic analysis of health care in the United States remains scarce. Craig examines the ways health-care discourse in the United States uses moral language—the political right using the language of health care as a private good, and the left using language of health care as a public good—in the current debate about health-care reform. He proposes the term “social good” as a third possibility, one grounded on a normative understanding of shared responsibility rather that an exclusively rights-based model. To examine the theological contours of medical ethics discourse, he analyzes the moral dimension of terms such rights, mercy, justice, and care, giving special attention to parsing the word “good” as it is used in political rhetoric about health care. Craig’s text serves as a valuable resource for those seeking to learn about the interconnections between religion, ethics, and economic theory in the highly politicized medical marketplace in the United States. Tara Flanagan Loyola University Chicago LAW AND THE BIBLE: JUSTICE, MERCY AND LEGAL INSTITUTIONS. Edited by Robert F. Cochran, Jr., and David VanDrunen. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2013. Pp. 269. Paperback. $24.00. This volume consists of a series of essays discussing how the law relates to the Bible and to modern political life. Each entry was authored by one person from the ﬁeld of law and another from the ﬁeld of theology or philosophy. The authors approach to the law generally stems from a very orthodox, Christian viewpoint. The topics addressed range from the biblical sources of the law to social justice to civil disobedience, with liberal use of scriptural citations to support the views expressed. The editors successfully incorporated topics germane to the modern world across the entire range of the Bible, progressing from the story of creation, through the politics and law of Israel to the NT kingdom of God and the behavior of the early Church. The most challenging essay dealt with the apocalyptic literature of the Bible, which seemed to have to stretch to put things into a modern perspective. The essays deal with many current topics, while avoiding the more controversial issues that may have different approaches depending on one’s denomination. This book would have applicability in a college course dealing with a brief overview of biblical ethics HAUERWAS: A (VERY) CRITICAL INTRODUCTION. By Nicholas M. Healy. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2014. Pp. ix + 142. $23.00. Rarely does a book this good come along that is equal parts fair, informed, and decisively critical. Healy argues that Stanley Hauerwas’s work is sharply ecclesiocentric, inadequately theological (in a “traditional” sense), and as a result, distorts major aspects of Christian teaching. All this proves detrimental to Hauerwas’s “general agenda” for the Christian life and calls into question the warrant for his more “particular agenda,” most notably his defense of paciﬁsm, the sharp “contrast identity” of the Christian church, 181 Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 41 his rejection of Constantinianism and liberalism, and so on. In an unprecedented move, Healy contends that Hauerwas cannot be understood or his shortcomings clearly identiﬁed without accounting for his constitutive relation to Friedrich Schleiermacher. The point here is to highlight aspects or tendencies within Hauerwas that are overshadowed or unnoticed, due to his style of writing and argument. Differences notwithstanding, Schleiermacher and Hauerwas both promote a sharp, “contrastive” turn to the church, displace traditional theology’s focus on God, and employ ecclesiocentric apologetic strategies that relegate the role of doctrine in the Christian life. Hauerwas is reticent about God and God’s acts, and this is borne out in his “thin” work on salvation, grace, virtues, tradition, and authority. Although Healy is unequivocal in his dissent from Hauerwas, he is always restrained, irenic, and gracious. It is an exemplary form of theological polemic, and is a starting place for all future research on Hauerwas’s complicated oeuvre. Hauerwas is more than a book about a social ethicist; it is a work of theology itself. Silas Morgan Loyola University, Chicago • NUMBER 4 • OCTOBER 2015 deﬁnitive criterion is advanced to adjudicate between the ethical paradigms, which would have greatly beneﬁtted the project. Benjamin J. Burkholder Duquesne University BEYOND SECULAR ORDER: THE REPRESENTATION OF BEING AND THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE. By John Milbank. Illuminations: Theory & Religion. Chichester, UK: Wiley Blackwell, 2013. Pp. ix + 288. Hardback, $97.95; paper, $39.95. As an extension of his previous social analysis of the sacred and the secular, Milbank examines metaphysical and political philosophy for similarities he claims originate from historically theological approaches and trends. Milbank systematically develops his argument by outlining four assumptions of modern philosophy and then discussing their connection with the notion of “pure nature.” Next, Milbank correlates these general ontological assumptions with more speciﬁc categories pertaining to political ontology and with associated political practices. As a result, he posits a new comprehensive theological understanding of human “being” and its relationship with human action. This book establishes a historical, ontological, and political foundation for Milbank’s proposed sequel involving the theory of divine government and its feasibility with respect to the potential political and secular corruption of theology. Due to current interest and discussion at the intersection of religious belief and its inﬂuence on politics and law, Milbank’s book offers an interdisciplinary perspective for scholars of philosophy, theology, and political science. Readers familiar with Milbank’s work will appreciate his focused prose while extensive footnotes referencing his previous work provide background information for others. Joyce Ann Konigsburg Duquesne University PRESERVATION AND PROTEST: THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR AN ECO-ESCHATALOGICAL ETHICS. By Ryan Patrick McLaughlin. Emerging Scholars. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014. Pp. xiii + 460. $49.00. McLaughlin makes a signiﬁcant contribution to the ﬁeld of eco-theological ethics by introducing a new taxonomy for plotting various ethical approaches based on two primary considerations. The ﬁrst evaluates the foundation of moral concern for the nonhuman world by distinguishing those that assume the nonhuman world possesses intrinsic value (cosmocentrism) from others that only afford the nonhuman world value because it supports or enhances human life (anthropocentrism). For the second, the nature of ethical injunctions are analyzed. Herein, views that result in the preservation of the current natural order (conservation) are distinguished from those that encourage a departure from the current state of affairs toward an eschatological vision (transﬁguration). After outlining the different views within this taxonomy—which contains a total of four separate paradigms—and supplying representative thinkers for each, the author spends the last part of the book advancing his provocative version of the ﬁnal paradigm, cosmocentric transﬁguration, by drawing upon the theological ethics of Moltmann and Linzey. Those interested in ecological ethics would beneﬁt from this particular volume, since it is an erudite engagement with the main voices in eco-theological ethics. In fact, those uninitiated in the ﬁeld might be overwhelmed by the internecine debates. Though the new taxonomy certainly has potential and although the author refrains from claiming his view is objectively superior even though he is critical of other views, no MINDING THE MODERN: HUMAN AGENCY, INTELLECTUAL TRADITIONS, AND RESPONSIBLE KNOWLEDGE. By Thomas Pfau. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2013. Pp. 728. $75.00. The long, slow sadness of forgetting ﬁlls the pages of Pfau’s Minding the Modern. According to Pfau, the advent of nominalism and voluntarism brought about an unexpected consequence for what was once a rich, humanistic tapestry: namely, the warp and woof of theoretical inquiry and practical reason has frayed to the point of disintegration, leaving the realm of humanistic theoretical inquiry in shambles. Modernity has forgotten what it means to be human, and as a result we are left with a cultural amnesia in regards to questions of how to approach human phenomena. As with many cartographies of modernity, Pfau covers enormous intellectual ground here. But by limiting his scope to the metamorphosis affecting the relationship between the will and the 182 Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 41 • NUMBER 4 • OCTOBER 2015 bystanders. Vasko identiﬁes privileged apathy as a Christian theological problem: traditional Christian ways of naming sin and grace have buttressed existing structures of violence and played a role in the social conditioning of privileged apathy to these structures. More signiﬁcantly, to remain a bystander is to miss God’s kin-dom vision—our salvation depends on the salvation of others. Vasko advances a doctrine of sin that deemphasizes guilt for individual disobedience, while accounting for collective personal responsibility for the structural dimensions of evil. She sees grace in the discomfort of divine confrontation by those who have suffered our injustice. Vasko thus prescribes the soteriological praxes of opening ourselves to this grace by “deep listening” to marginalized voices; embracing vulnerability and letting go of the façade of perfection; and cultivating the maturity to know what one stands for and to risk the consequences of standing up for one’s beliefs. The intended audience could have been more carefully considered—the erudite prose sometimes obscures the depth of spiritual insight. I could not hand this book to most parishioners at my church, though I would want to. But graduate and undergraduate theology classes meaning to explore contextual soteriology from the vantage point of the privileged should look no further. Joseph Morgan-Smith Duquesne University intellect, he sheds much needed light on how the once indissoluble, metaphysical link between human agency and responsible knowledge gradually became severed. This story has its sinners (the chief of whom is Ockham) and its saints (Augustine, Newman, and Coleridge), the latter being those who attempt to reinterpret and reinvigorate the ﬂat, amnesic views of humanistic scholarship posited by the former. This is, above all, a scholarly work of remembering: both what it once meant to be human and how those ancient possibilities might revitalize a contemporary area of decay. Jeff Appel University of Denver RELIGION, WAR, AND ETHICS: A SOURCEBOOK OF TEXTUAL TRADITIONS. Edited by Gregory M. Reichberg, Henrik Syse, and Nicole M. Hartwell. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Pp ix + 742. Hardback, $120.00; paper, $49.99; E-Book, $40.00. This collection offers a series of contributions from scholars of prominent world religions who address the just war tradition of their own respective faiths. Each essay provides comprehensive introductory remarks that serve both the novice and the researcher in need of a refresher or entrée into an unfamiliar tradition. The breadth of textual sources alone is impressive—a majority of each chapter contains primary and secondary source material that lays the foundation for modern understandings. However, it is also the scope and depth of the resources that makes this collection of great import. Scriptural sources serve as a common, though not universal, starting point followed by the historical development of the tradition through the tracing of both majority and minority voices; the reader feels as though she or he is a witness to these historically signiﬁcant conversations. While the editors make it clear from the outset, it is important for readers to know that unlike other texts less space is given to comprehensive discussions of a tradition’s paciﬁc proclamations. What remains to be said in this volume comes from the broad categories of advances in types of warfare (i.e., cyber or technological) and the strides made in the jus post bellum movement. However, these shortcomings should not deter students or teachers from reserving a place on the bookshelf for this tremendously informative collection. Christian M. Cintron Loyola University Chicago HIPPOCRATIC, RELIGIOUS, AND SECULAR MEDICAL ETHICS: THE POINTS OF CONFLICT. By Robert M. Veatch. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2015. $29.95. Faulkner advised that aspiring writers need to “kill their darlings,” axing those words and ideas that they become irrationally attached to when editing their work. Similarly resolute, Veatch intends to push the Hippocratic Oath, a darling in medical ethics, from its place of honor as the primary source of professional ethics for physicians. He describes the ethical code as offensive and peculiar, and expresses surprise that such a controversial rubric is regularly adopted without question. Furthermore, Veatch rejects the very idea that physicians can have a code of ethics that originates in their profession, and instead suggests that clinicians move beyond their attachment to Hippocratic vows to greater and more valid sources of biomedical ethics. Veatch turns to foundations of medical ethics grounded in religious claims and in secular humanism, giving special attention to the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights as a model for structuring normative claims. Developed from Veatch’s contribution to the Gifford lectures, this text offers a needed critique of the Hippocratic Oath in medical ethics, a code curiously excused from critical analysis. While his text is almost exclusively critical of medical ethics in the Hippocratic tradition, the dint of Veatch’s critique is necessary to counter the largely unquestioned moral authority granted the code. Tara Flanagan Loyola University Chicago BEYOND APATHY: A THEOLOGY FOR BYSTANDERS. By Elizabeth T. Vasko. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2015. Pp viii + 269. $17.12. Beyond Apathy confronts those who occupy sites of privilege with their complicity in oppressive structures, and with how remaining silent bystanders to these structures aids perpetrators. But more than that, this book is a devotional work that prescribes soteriological praxis for privileged 183