Professor William Greenway has published a new book, Agape Ethics: Moral Realism and Love for All Life (Cascade, 2016). In line with earlier efforts to articulate a wholly reasonable faith—A Reasonable Belief (WJK, 2015), For the Love of All Creatures (Eerdmans, 2015), and The Challenge of Evil (WJK, 2016)—in Agape Ethics, Greenway develops a compelling argument for the transcending reality of agape and for a spirituality awakened to the sacred value of all life.
Greenway writes, “Consider intense moments when you have been seized by joy, or, in different contexts, by anguish for another person or a cat or dog or perhaps even for a squirrel or possum struck as it dashed across the road: whether glorious or haunting, these are among the most profound and meaningful moments in our lives. Agape Ethics focuses our attention on such moments with utter seriousness and argues they reveal a spiritual reality, the reality of agape.”
Dr. Greenway is professor of philosophical theology and has served on the faculty since 1998. His teaching focuses upon contemporary conversations among theology and philosophy and church and society, and he is especially interested in theology and ecology and spiritually. He has been a fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in the UK.
Peter Paris, past president of the Society of Christian Ethics, praises the book: “Agape Ethics will be warmly welcomed by theologians, ethicists, philosophers, and all who have ever longed for a theory of morality and ethics that would be inclusive of both human and non-human life. Scholars will be pleased with Greenway’s endeavor to paint a compelling portrait of the way modern science, philosophy, and theology have diminished the moral realm of life by their … claim that reality pertains only to that which science can explain.”
Hak Joon Lee, Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary says, “Inspired by Emmanuel Levinas’ moral philosophy, Greenway presents a thoughtful and plausible case for a new agape ethics … as a constructive alternative to the ethical relativism of postmodernity, the ethical extremism of religious radicals, and the ethical foundationalism of modernity.”
Janet Parker, United Church of Christ pastor and expert in feminist and ecological ethics, calls “Agape Ethics … a tour de force in meta-ethics and philosophical spirituality. Greenway extends Emmanuel Levinas’ insights on responsibility to the Other into the domain of animal well-being, and builds a compelling case for agape as an irreducible moral-spiritual reality. Greenway … opens a path to dimensions of joy, meaning, and belonging at the heart of the moral-spiritual dimension of life.”
Professor Greenway will unfold core themes from his books at his inauguration to full professor on April 25, 2017. The service, at 4:00 p.m. in Shelton Chapel, is open to the public.