The Gifting God: A Trinitarian Ethics of Excess (Oxford by Stephen H. Webb

By Stephen H. Webb

Theories of generosity, or reward giving, have gotten more and more very important in fresh paintings in philosophy and faith. Stephen Webb seeks to construct in this renewed curiosity through surveying a distinctively sleek and postmodern method of the difficulty of generosity, after which constructing a theological framework for it. He contends that during some ways society has turn into suspicious of charity and generosity. This cynicism has resulted in speedy and simple judgments, that, in flip, have resulted in a brand new orthodoxy with its personal troubling results. Webb believes that we have to get better the generosity that our tradition obscures in the back of this monologue on self-interest, and that theology, as a sort of serious concept, can play a worthwhile function. during the ebook, Webb argues for a conception of giving that's other-oriented with no being self-negating. He continues that the generosity of God's grace, adequately understood, can reorient our personal thought of the reward and needs to be correlated to our personal practices of trade and reciprocity.

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Extra resources for The Gifting God: A Trinitarian Ethics of Excess (Oxford studies in anthropological linguistics)

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To escape this binary logic, we need to find a pivot for excess and reciprocity by placing giving in a larger (and religious) context, demonstrating that giving is a response to a prior giving, empowered by an initial excess that nonetheless leads to mutuality and reciprocity by directing our giving toward a harmonious horizon. We need not only a broader language about giving but also an institutional setting in which the gift can function as both provocation and demand, initiating gratitude and encouraging reciprocity.

It seems that in our human situation we must either give recklessly (even anonymously), without regard for purpose or consequences, or we must give in a calculating fashion, either in the exchange of commerce or in the exchange between friends. To escape this binary logic, we need to find a pivot for excess and reciprocity by placing giving in a larger (and religious) context, demonstrating that giving is a response to a prior giving, empowered by an initial excess that nonetheless leads to mutuality and reciprocity by directing our giving toward a harmonious horizon.

Moreover, the excessive acts of the innkeeper are encouraged by a promise of repayment, with a small subsidy or downpayment offered in advance. So, although the Samaritan is traditionally identified as the paragon of generosity, the innkeeper, too, is magnanimous; the innkeeper must trust that his expenditures will be reimbursed, and in the meantime what he spends is more than the situation requires. The message of this story is ambiguous: Is it possible to overspend without expecting some compensation in the end?

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