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Justice: Rights and Wrongs
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Table of Contents

Preface vii Introduction 1 PART I The Archeology of Rights 19 CHAPTER ONE: Two Conceptions of Justice 21 CHAPTER TWO: A Contest of Narratives 44 CHAPTER THREE: Justice in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible 65 CHAPTER FOUR: On De-justicizing the New Testament 96 CHAPTER FIVE: Justice in the New Testament Gospels 109 PART II Fusion of Narrative with Theory: The Goods to Which We Have Rights 133 CHAPTER SIX: Locating That to Which We Have Rights 135 CHAPTER SEVEN: Why Eudaimonism Cannot Serve as Framework for a Theory of Rights 149 CHAPTER EIGHT: Augustine's Break with Eudaimonism 180 CHAPTER NINE: The Incursion of the Moral Vision of Scripture into Late Antiquity 207 CHAPTER TEN: Characterizing Life- and History-Goods 227 PART III Theory: Having a Right to a Good 239 CHAPTER ELEVEN: Accounting for Rights 241 CHAPTER TWELVE: Rights Not Grounded in Duties 264 CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Rights Grounded in Respect for Worth 285 CHAPTER FOURTEEN: The Nature and Grounding of Natural Human Rights 311 CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Is a Secular Grounding of Human Rights Possible? 323 CHAPTER SIXTEEN: A Theistic Grounding of Human Rights 342 CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Applications and Implications 362 EPILOGUE: Concluding Reflections 385 General Index 395 Index of Scriptural References 399

Promotional Information

Wolterstorff's Justice is the most impressive book on justice since Rawls' A Theory of Justice. In a fresh and vigorous manner, Wolterstorff defends a conception of justice as inherent rights and argues for its superiority to a conception of justice as right order. The sweep of the book is breathtaking, ranging from a detailed discussion of justice in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament to medieval, early modern, and contemporary theories of justice. Wolterstorff's most provocative thesis is that all existing secular as well as most religious attempts to ground a theory of justice fail. Even those who are skeptical about his theistic grounding of justice will be challenged by the clarity, rigor, and thoroughness of his arguments. -- Richard J. Bernstein, New School for Social Research The work of a first-rate philosopher at the top of his game, this book sets forth a distinctive and challenging theory of justice formulated in explicitly scriptural and Christian terms, yet in conversation with the leading alternatives in the Anglophone world. Not only does this book reflect the clarity and acuity of thought that characterize Wolterstorff's work, it also reflects the humane sensibilities of someone who has thought and felt deeply about these matters for a long time. -- Jean Porter, University of Notre Dame

Promotional Information

Wolterstorff's Justice is the most impressive book on justice since Rawls' A Theory of Justice. In a fresh and vigorous manner, Wolterstorff defends a conception of justice as inherent rights and argues for its superiority to a conception of justice as right order. The sweep of the book is breathtaking, ranging from a detailed discussion of justice in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament to medieval, early modern, and contemporary theories of justice. Wolterstorff's most provocative thesis is that all existing secular as well as most religious attempts to ground a theory of justice fail. Even those who are skeptical about his theistic grounding of justice will be challenged by the clarity, rigor, and thoroughness of his arguments. -- Richard J. Bernstein, New School for Social Research The work of a first-rate philosopher at the top of his game, this book sets forth a distinctive and challenging theory of justice formulated in explicitly scriptural and Christian terms, yet in conversation with the leading alternatives in the Anglophone world. Not only does this book reflect the clarity and acuity of thought that characterize Wolterstorff's work, it also reflects the humane sensibilities of someone who has thought and felt deeply about these matters for a long time. -- Jean Porter, University of Notre Dame

About the Author

Nicholas Wolterstorff is the Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology at Yale University and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His many books include "Until Justice" and "Peace Embrace".

Reviews

"[T]his book is a formidable achievement, intellectually rigorous yet emotionally engaged, and combining meticulous conceptual analysis with a rich historical grasp of the roots of our moral culture. Its arguments offer a serious challenge to the complacency of contemporary secularism, implying as they do that our culture of rights could only have come into existence supported by a metaphysical framework that exhibits each human being, whatever their flaws and defects, as loved redemptively by God."--John Cottingham, Times Literary Supplement "Nicholas Wolterstorff's Justice: Rights and Wrongs is a magisterial book. In it ... Wolterstorff has gotten justice right. This, in case the thrust of my terse comment wasn't plain enough, is a very high praise."--Miroslav Volf, Books & Culture "For all of us who aspire to, or even just admire, the perhaps not so outrageous vocation of Christian scholarship, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Justice is an inspiration."--Richard W. Garnett, First Things "Wolterstorff draws on a wide range of philosophical/theological/ethical material. He does a magnificent job of developing a sustained argument for the thesis that the only solid foundation for grounding human rights is biblical theism."--F. G. Kirkpatrick, Choice "In Justice: Rights and Wrongs, Nicholas Wolterstorff reaches far back into biblical tradition and Greek philosophy to trace a distinctive vision of justice based on the worth that God confers on each person. For Wolterstorff, respect for human worth entails respect for human rights; this marks an important turn away from the tendency in recent theology to dismiss talk about rights as an Enlightenment innovation that is alien to Christian ethics."--Robin Lovin, Christian Century "Justice is a seminal contribution to Christian ethics and useful riposte to those modern Gibbons to sneer at the idea that Christians have anything useful to say about the things that matter."--Nick Spencer, Third Way Magazine "Justice: Rights and Wrongs is magisterial in scope, incisive and inventive in its argument. Wolterstorff stakes out a novel position in contemporary debates with an undeniable analytical rigor... Wolterstorff's philosophical arguments ... stand on their own two feet and genuinely break new ground in the field. Indeed, this text merits and should attract a very wide readership."--Stephen Lake, Philosophy in Review "Wolterstorff has made ... a tremendous contribution ... to our philosophical acuity and theological discernment on these matters... [R]ender him his due for an erudite and sophisticated account of why rights are not wrong."--John D. Carlson, Journal of Politics and Religion

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