Just Love: Transforming Civic Virtue (Paperback)Ann Mongoven (author)
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Once upon a time, civic virtue described an ethic of political involvement for all citizens. As American democracy evolved, however, the public and private spheres separated. The latter became domesticated and disengaged from public life by an ideology based on gender and a "disinterested love" of neighbor. Private passion was to be isolated from public reason, private love from public justice. But it need not be so. Drawing on examples of ordinary heroes, Ann Mongoven argues for a transformed civic virtue that articulates "just love": passionate care for fellow citizens as such. By connecting theory to practice, Mongoven dramatizes the challenges raised through tangible political examples and lets ordinary heroes suggest the path toward civic renewal.
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Number of pages: 438
Weight: 626 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 26 mm
By engaging John Rawls and other ethicists who prize impartial standpoints in ethics and politics, Mongoven (Michigan State) shows how the work of caring for particular others in activities such as parenting forms individuals to participate in civic life. Proposing a notion of 'disciplined vulnerability,' this volume argues for citizens who can recognize moral traditions, but employ and translate them as they navigate tensions between autonomy and relatedness and between smaller communities and the general polis. The work of Mothers against Drunk Driving, an organization founded on the passion of parental love, serves as an important exemplar. This book also presents an overlong tour of liberal theory that seems to detract from its carefully constructive case. The appendix contains case studies showing how the book's argument functions in real politics, allowing Mongoven to ground her case in a way that is too rare in contemporary political theory. This interesting but occasionally meandering book makes important contributions to the debates about the tensions between love and justice, particularity, and impartiality. It models engagement across the disciplines of theology, ethics, and political theory. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and faculty/researchers. -- Choice A. W. Klink
, Duke University, March 2010
"[A] convincing case for re-introducing the concept of friendship into the currency of current political philosophy.... Mongoven show[s] the significance of political friendship for a just society of equals, where the civic virtues of ordinary moral heroes are finally rendered visible." -Res Publica
"Mongoven's proposal... succeeds in making the work of 'ordinary moral heroes'... recognizable as important contributors to civic virtue." -Lucinda Peach, American University
"The appendix contains case studies showing how the book's argument functions in real politics, allowing Mongoven to ground her case in a way that is too rare in contemporary political theory. This interesting... book makes important contributions to the debates about the tensions between love and justice, particularity, and impartiality....Recommended. -A.W. Klink, Duke University" -, March 2010
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