The Ethics of Tainted Legacies
Human Flourishing after Traumatic Pasts
- ISBN: 9781009100359
- Published By: Cambridge University Press
- Published: July 2022
What do we do when a beloved comedian known as 'America's Dad' is convicted of sexual assault? Or when we discover that the man who wrote 'all men are created equal' also enslaved hundreds of people? Or when priests are exposed as pedophiles? From the popular to the political to the profound, each day brings new revelations that respected people, traditions, and institutions are not what we thought they were. Despite the shock that these disclosures produce, this state of affairs is anything but new. Facing the concrete task of living well when our best moral resources are not only contaminated but also potentially corrupting is an enduring feature of human experience. In this book, Karen V. Guth identifies 'tainted legacies' as a pressing contemporary moral problem and ethical challenge. Constructing a typology of responses to compromised thinkers, traditions, and institutions, she demonstrates the relevance of age-old debates in Christian theology for those who confront legacies tarnished by the traumas of slavery, racism, and sexual violence.