Skip to main content

JUDGING OTHERS: History, Ethics, and the Purposes of Comparison

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)



The most interesting and perilous issue at present in comparative religious ethics is comparative ethical judgment—when and how to judge others, if at all. There are understandable historical and conceptual reasons for the current tendency to prefer descriptive over normative work in comparative religious ethics. However, judging those we study is inescapable—it can be suppressed or marginalized but not eliminated. Therefore, the real question is how to judge others (and ourselves) well, not whether to judge. Instead of bringing supposedly universal moral scoring systems to bear on reified “traditions” and “cultures,” it would be better to focus on the precise details of particular practices, motifs, and theories in various settings, and compare them with an eye to substantive issues of current ethical concern.

Keywords: comparative ethics; description; evaluation; interpretation; judgment; objectivity; religious ethics

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Religious StudiesIndiana UniversitySycamore Hall 2301033 E. 3rd StreetBloomington, IN 47405812.855.8089, Email:

Publication date: 2008-09-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more