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In "Common Objects of Love" Oliver ODonovan, widely respected as one of todays wisest and most articulate Christian ethicists, takes readers on a journey of thought. Yet this journey, he warns, does not circle comfortably around its subject like a pleasant afternoon stroll, but sets out for a far country. The purpose of the journey is to trace what unifies a multitude of human agents into a community of action and experience sustained over time.^The books central theme, which arises out of Augustines idea that we know only as we love, is that moral reflection, or the identification of objects of love, has effect in organized community. This perspective provides a fruitful resolution to the traditional Aristotelian dichotomy of theoretical and practical reason and directs us as to how we may think from truths of Christian faith to conclusions in Christian action. ODonovans interest in this theme lies especially with its political possibilities, as he explores how love is key to the organization and coherence of political society.^Beginning with some lighthearted puzzles about teaching ethics, ODonovan explores a series of related historical and current issues -- the iconoclastic controversy of the ninth century, the nature of ethical deliberation, the deleterious role of publicity in late-modern liberal society, and more -- and he offers some reflections on the events of September 11, 2001. It is with John of Patmos, finally, that ODonovan brings his journey of thought to an evangelical conclusion, one that rests on the narrative of the fall and redemption of society and of the vindication of created order in the coming of Gods kingdom.^Originating as the 2001 Stob Lecturesdelivered at Calvin College and Seminary, "Common Objects of Love" provides a thought-provoking look at social and political behavior as it is -- or should be -- informed by Christian love.
Widely respected as one of today's wisest and most articulate Christianethicists, Oliver O'Donovan here explores the nature of personaland political behavior as it is or should be informed by Christianlove.
This profound look at contemporary life focuses on how moralreflection upon common objects of love has an effect on organizedcommunity in grandest terms, political society itself. O'Donovanbegins with some lighthearted puzzles about teaching ethics andends with an intense critique of the role of publicity in late-modernliberal culture. Showing, as Augustine believed, that weknow only as we love, O'Donovan takes readers on a journey ofthought through a series of current and historical issues rangingfrom the iconoclastic controversy of the ninth century to theterrible events of September 11, 2001.
Based on the 2001 Stob Lectures at Calvin College, this volumewill help readers learn how to think "from truths of Christian faithto conclusions in Christian action."
Prof. Oliver O'Donovan PhD DPhil FBA is Professor of Christian Ethics and Practical Theology at New College, University of Edinburgh. He was Regius Professor of Moral & Pastoral Theology and Canon of Christ Church at the University of Oxford from 1982 until 2006, before which he taught at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford (1972-7) and at Wycliffe College, Toronto (1977-82).
He is a past President of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics. Ordained as a priest of the Church of England, and has served on the General Synod. He has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 2000.
He is the author of The Problem of Self-Love in Saint Augustine (Yale 1979); Begotten or Made? (Oxford University Press, 1984); Resurrection and Moral Order (Eerdmans, 1986); On the Thirty-Nine Articles (Paternoster, 1986); Peace and Certainty (Eerdmans, 1989); The Desire of the Nations (Cambridge University Press, 1996): Common Objects of Love (Eerdmans, 2002); The Ways of Judgment (2005) and The Word in Small Boats: Sermons from Oxford (Eerdmans, 2010)