Religious Studies | Comparative Religious Ethics
R770 | 3670 | Ann Mongoven


Can we compare and judge ethical norms across religious traditions?
Can we avoid comparing and judging ethical norms across religious
traditions?  How can we compare and judge ethical norms across
religious traditions?  Is there any universal morality?  If not, are
there any checks on ethical relativism?  This seminar takes up such
questions by addressing issues in practical ethics that have been
understood differently across religious and cultural boundaries, and
by exploring theoretical approaches to the study of comparative
religious ethics.  We will explore issues such as healing, dying, and
abortion in cross-cultural context as we consider various
methodological approaches to comparative challenges. We will
experiment with Kantian, historical, linguistic, anthropological,
aesthetic, narrative, and virtue approaches to meeting challenges of
comparative ethical discussion. The course seeks a “reflective
equilibrium” in which our attempts to discuss real issues inform our
theoretical explorations and vice-versa.