Ethics After Babel: The Languages of Morals and Their Discontents

Jeffrey Stout, Author Beacon Press (MA) $0 (338p) ISBN 978-0-8070-1402-8
To understand the messages of, say, a Jerry Falwell, Elie Wiesel or Mario Cuomo, we first have to understand the moral language in which they frame them asserts this Princeton professor of religion. But Stout (The Flight from Authority) is no moral relativist. His ``modest pragmatism'' throws down a gauntlet to nihilists and skeptics who, in his opinion, are cowed by the sheer diversity of modern society. As he reflects on the role of institutions and beliefs in shoring up the moral framework of our fragile republic, he drives home his central message: religious ethics, far from being something we can ignore, are the litmus test of any secular philosophy. Finding academic theology bankrupt, Stout engages instead in a debate with moral philosophers. His own pragmatism offers scant metaphysical comfort, yet it points the way to a better society. This weighty tome will repay the careful reader. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 353 pages - 978-0-227-67914-2
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-691-07081-0
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