Musings in Moral Theology (1)

www.internetmonk.com | 7/29/2017 | Chaplain Mike
I chose the title The Righteous Mind to convey the sense that human nature is not just intrinsically moral, it’s also intrinsically moralistic, critical, and judgmental.

Sacrifice—the purity impulse—marks off a zone of holiness, admitting the “clean” and expelling the “unclean.” Mercy, by contrast, crosses those purity boundaries. Mercy blurs the distinction, bringing clean and unclean into contact. Thus the tension. One impulse—holiness and purity—erects boundaries, while the other impulse—mercy and hospitality—crosses and ignores those boundaries.

Books - Years - Partisan - Times

The two most important books I’ve read over the past few years, especially for these partisan and divisive times in which we live, are:

Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality, by Richard Beck.

Posts - Beck - Book - April

I did two posts on Beck’s book back in April of 2014:

In another post in which I mentioned what I learned from his book, I wrote:

Puzzle - Pieces - Place - Convictions - Sense

Many puzzle pieces fell into place when I began to realize how many “theological convictions” have roots in one’s own sense of that which attracts and repels. These impulses run deeper than cognition and analysis. This book (and others) helped me see that my opinions are often more visceral than rationally-based.

In fact, the message of both these books is this: rationality is overrated when it comes to developing our...
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