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Grammar Of Responsibility, A Hardcover – April 1, 1996
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From Library Journal
Moran (culture and communication, New York Univ.) is widely known for his many writings on religious education. In the tradition of popular philosophy, he asks what it means to speak of "responsibility" and makes an important distinction between being responsible to and being responsible for. In language accessible to all readers, he considers some current arguments about responsibility, e.g., the responsibility of present-day Germans for the Holocaust or Americans for Hiroshima, and tries to clarify the issue of language as an entry into clarifying the moral issues themselves. He treats not only interhuman issues, including how we are responsible to/for the past and the future and how corporate entities like businesses can be said to be responsible, but also of responsibility to/for the environment. Moran's work is a reasoned and reasonable consideration of an important but often misunderstood topic.?Augustine J. Curley, Newark Abbey, N.J.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Millions of self-help disciples have learned to recite the phrase, "Take responsibility for your own life." But those willing to join Moran in analyzing, rather than reciting, this slogan will soon discover its deceptiveness, even dangerousness. For in modern speech, the word responsibility frequently hides numerous ambiguities and unresolved cultural tensions. By tracing the linguistic and philosophical history of the word, Moran establishes the preconditions for its meaningful use in contemporary contexts. In the first instance, we must recognize the impossibility of identifying what or whom we are responsible for until we have first established what or whom we are responsible to. Raising questions of great urgency, Moran resists the temptation to supply simple answers. Drawing from Aristotle and the apostle Paul, from Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky, he defines responsibility as a spiritual posture characterized by a willingness to listen, to open ourselves to the various and conflicting voices in the world around us. A challenging and rewarding text for larger collections. Bryce Christensen
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