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New Book: Peter Singer & Christian Ethics

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 - 12:00am
Peter Singer & Christian Ethics

The first book to emerge from last year's McDonald Centre conference on Peter Singer has just been published by Cambridge University Press. Available from Amazon UK and Amazon USA. No living philosopher is most controversial than Peter Singer. In this book, Charlie Camosy, who is currently Visiting Fellow at the McDonald Centre, offers a critical, but constructive reading of Singer's arguments on animal rights, euthanasia, poverty, and abortion. He finds important and surprising areas of common ground between Singer and Christian ethics, but he also does not hold back in pressing Singer where his views are lacking. The book is a model of the McDonald Centre's vision that Christians can in public engage generously, rigorously, and candidly, even with views that they do not share.

From the back cover:

Interaction between Peter Singer and Christian ethics, to the extent that it has happened at all, has been unproductive and often antagonistic. Singer sees himself as leading a 'Copernican Revolution' against a sanctity of life ethic, while many Christians associate his work with a 'culture of death.' Charles Camosy shows that this polarized understanding of the two positions is a mistake. While their conclusions about abortion and euthanasia may differ, there is surprising overlap in Christian and Singerite arguments, and disagreements are interesting and fruitful. Furthermore, it turns out that Christians and Singerites can even make common cause, for instance in matters such as global poverty and the dignity of non-human animals. Peter Singer and Christian ethics are far closer than almost anyone has imagined, and this book is valuable to those who are interested in fresh thinking about the relationship between religious and secular ethics.

More information is available from Cambridge University Press and Facebook. Camosy is a regular contributor to the blog, Catholic Moral Theology.