By John Rawls
John Rawls by no means released something approximately his personal non secular ideals, yet after his dying texts have been found which shed striking gentle at the topic. a quick Inquiry into the which means of Sin and religion is Rawls’s undergraduate senior thesis, submitted in December 1942, prior to he entered the military. at the moment Rawls was once deeply non secular; the thesis is an important paintings of theological ethics, of curiosity either in itself and thanks to its relation to his mature writings. “On My Religion,” a brief assertion drafted in 1997, describes the historical past of his spiritual ideals and attitudes towards faith, together with his abandonment of orthodoxy in the course of international conflict II.
The current quantity contains those texts, an advent via Joshua Cohen and Thomas Nagel which discusses their relation to Rawls’s released paintings, and an essay by means of Robert Merrihew Adams which locations the thesis in its theological context.
The texts reveal the profound engagement with faith that types the history of Rawls’s later perspectives at the significance of setting apart faith and politics. in addition, the ethical and social convictions that the thesis expresses in spiritual shape are similar in illuminating how one can the critical principles of Rawls’s later writings. His notions of sin, religion, and neighborhood are concurrently ethical and theological, and prefigure the ethical outlook present in A conception of Justice.
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Additional info for A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith: With "On My Religion"
Despite some points of agreement,37 Rawls’s conception of Christian love also differs fundamentally in content from Nygren’s conception of Agape. For Rawls’s conception is not constrained by Nygren’s conception of divine grace. Rawls does emphasize the “givenness” of Christian love as “a fruit of faith which is given to us by the Word bursting in upon us” (251). He holds that the establishment of community is a gift of God, and impossible without God’s grace (231). But Rawls does not see that as excluding our activity in establishing community.
The mention of “concrete process” is reminiscent of Leon’s view, described by Rawls (150), that appetition seeks concrete processes. And the classific ation of “hating, envying, despising, priding oneself over the other and so on” as belonging to the sphere of personal relations is part of Leon’s conception of egotism, which Rawls describes and accepts as his own (150–151). In his taxonomy of 37 38 Theological Ethics of the Young Rawls motives, in fact, Rawls is closer to Leon than to any other of his sources.
32. 140. Introduction fessions and moral positions, and that was not itself dependent on a comprehensive philosophical or religious view. Like all of his work, this proposal has attracted strong opposition. But its motivation, like the motivation of his liberalism in general, does not come from devaluing religion, but from an understanding of its ultimate importance. Rawls tells us that “of the many texts I have read on religion few have struck me as much as Bodin’s views as expressed in his Colloquium of the Seven” (266).
A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith: With "On My Religion" by John Rawls