Elizabeth Agnew Cochran

Receptive Human Virtues

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This book offers a new reading of Jonathan Edwards’s virtue ethic that examines a range of qualities Edwards identifies as “virtues” and considers their importance for contemporary ethics. Each of Edwards’s human virtues is “receptive” in nature: humans acquire the virtues through receiving divine grace, and therefore depend utterly on Edwards’s God for virtue’s acquisition. By contending that humans remain authentic moral agents even as they are unable to attain virtue apart from his God’s assistance, Edwards challenges contemporary conceptions of moral responsibility, which tend to emphasize human autonomy as a central part of accountability.
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356 printed pages
Original publication
2010

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