Title

Toward A Relational Ethic

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2019

Published In

Moral And Spiritual Leadership In An Age Of Plural Moralities

Abstract

We confront today two major but opposing movements in ethical posture, both with corrosive consequences. On the one side, global conditions lend themselves to an increasing commitment to fundamentalist beliefs in right and wrong. The outcome is increasing global conflict. At the same time, with increasing secularism there is a dwindling of ethical deliberation of any kind. The result is an erosion of moral order. It is against this backdrop that I explore the potentials of relational ethics. If we locate the origins of all claims to the good within relational process, it is essential to nurture, protect, and enhance the process itself. From this meta-ethical standpoint, we must foster means of bridging the divides between conflicting moral traditions, and build institutions that develop and nurture the relational process. Four central components of a relational ethic are explored: Caring communication emphasizes the importance of fostering practices for sustaining and enriching the relational process. An emphasis on conscience encourages the valuing and protection of all moral standpoints. Creativity is important in its emphasis on the importance of generating new and more inclusive or multicultural ways of life. Finally, a value is placed on continuation, meaning that a relational ethic will invite us into an unending process of building and restoring relational process.

Published By

CRC Press

Editor(s)

H. Alma and I. ter Avest

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