Our relationship to future generations raises fundamental issues for ethical thought, to which a Christian theological response is both possible and significant. A relationship to future generations is implicitly central to many of today’s most public controversies—environmental protection, genetic research, and the purpose of education, to name but a few—but it has received little explicit or extended consideration.
In Living for the Future, Rachel Muers argues that to consider future generations as ethically significant is not simply to extend an existing ethical framework, but to rethink how ethics is done. Doing intergenerationally responsible theology and ethics means paying attention to how people are formed as theological and ethical reasoners, how social practices of deliberation about the good are maintained and developed, and how all of this relates to an understanding of the world as the sphere of God’s transforming action. In other words, an intergenerationally responsible theological ethics will pay attention to the ethics, and the spirituality, of “ethics” itself.
Her account of the ethical relation to future generations centers on three key concepts: “choosing life” (Deut. 30:19), “keeping the sources open,” and “sustaining fruitful contexts.” These concepts are developed theologically and in engagement with extra-theological conversations on intergenerational responsibility.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Save more when you purchase this book as part of the T&T Clark Studies in Ethics collection.
Rachel Muers has initiated a new subfield of theological ethics: ‘the Ethics of Intergenerational Responsibility.’ Muers renews the Enlightenment’s call for us to reason for the sake of future generations. Then she reminds us that the Enlightenment is indebted to previous as well as future generations. The result is a much more radical call: back to the scriptural as well as philosophic sources of modern ethics and forward to a vision of how ‘God constitutes intergenerational communities.’ It is at once a maternal, theocentric, and eco-centric vision. A thoroughly refreshing approach. Living for the Future should become a primary source for future work on intergenerational matters.
—Peter Ochs, Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia
Living for the Future is a timely and compelling inquiry into the subject of intergenerational responsibility that calls Christian people to practices of hope ‘for the third and fourth generation.’ By developing maternal ways of thinking sensitive to asymmetrical relations with future generations, Rachel Muers offers a deeply considered exploration of moral issues entailed in safeguarding the future. This book is insightful, biblically-informed, and fully engaged with the realities of today’s world. Muers writes the best kind of systematic theology—exegetical, provocative, and clear.
—Esther D. Reed, head of theology and religion, University of Exeter
Creative and timely insights.
Rachel Muers is lecturer in theology in the University of Leeds. She is author of Keeping God’s Silence: Towards a Theological Ethics of Communication. She also coedited The Modern Theologians.