Grace, the Moral Gap, and Royce's Beloved Community

Grace, the Moral Gap, and Royce's Beloved Community JSP California State University, Bakersfield It has recently been suggested that our contemporary technological culture needs receptivity to grace and a way to make Christianity relevant to contemporary persons (Borgmann 2003). Josiah Royce did address religion's relevance to modern man and he has a unique doctrine of grace (Royce 1968 [1913]). In addressing religious experience Royce also successfully analyzed two related, important philosophical problems in ethical theory: the "moral gap," i.e., the presumed radical distance between the normative moral demand and the abilities of human persons to adequately meet that demand, and the question "why be moral?"1 Religious experience is understood by Royce in terms of a triad of objects: the ideal, the need, and the Deliverer (Royce 1968 [1913], 1912). In explicating Royce's understanding of this triad, I will argue that he, unlike other philosophers, neither reduces the moral demand nor exalts human capacity; and that he uses a doctrine of grace rather than seeking a naturalistic means to bridge the moral gap. The Moral Demand The doctrine of grace addresses the question of how seemingly flawed human beings can meet the moral and/or spiritual demand placed upon them. In the Christian tradition the demand is that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Speculative Philosophy Penn State University Press

Grace, the Moral Gap, and Royce's Beloved Community

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by the Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1527-9383
Publisher site
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Abstract

JSP California State University, Bakersfield It has recently been suggested that our contemporary technological culture needs receptivity to grace and a way to make Christianity relevant to contemporary persons (Borgmann 2003). Josiah Royce did address religion's relevance to modern man and he has a unique doctrine of grace (Royce 1968 [1913]). In addressing religious experience Royce also successfully analyzed two related, important philosophical problems in ethical theory: the "moral gap," i.e., the presumed radical distance between the normative moral demand and the abilities of human persons to adequately meet that demand, and the question "why be moral?"1 Religious experience is understood by Royce in terms of a triad of objects: the ideal, the need, and the Deliverer (Royce 1968 [1913], 1912). In explicating Royce's understanding of this triad, I will argue that he, unlike other philosophers, neither reduces the moral demand nor exalts human capacity; and that he uses a doctrine of grace rather than seeking a naturalistic means to bridge the moral gap. The Moral Demand The doctrine of grace addresses the question of how seemingly flawed human beings can meet the moral and/or spiritual demand placed upon them. In the Christian tradition the demand is that

Journal

The Journal of Speculative PhilosophyPenn State University Press

Published: Aug 23, 2004

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