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The Economy of the Gift: Paul Ricoeur's Significance for Theological Ethics

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Abstract:

Paul Ricoeur's understanding of the relations of faith, love, and hope suggests a unique approach to theological ethics, one that holds fresh promise for bringing together considerations of the good (teleology) and the right (deontology) around the notion of an “economy of the gift.” The economy of the gift articulates Ricoeur's distinctively dialectical understanding of the relation of the human and the divine, and the resulting dialectical moral relation of the self and the other. Despite our fallen condition, Ricoeur suggests, we are called by the divine to embrace the radical possibility of the reconciliation of human goods under the requirement of accountability to human diversity and otherness.

Keywords: Paul Ricoeur; evil; faith; hope; love

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/0384-9694.00079

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy and Religion, Rutgers University

Publication date: 2001-06-01

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