Ethnography as Christian Theology and Ethics

Ethnography as Christian Theology and Ethics

By: Christian Scharen (editor), Aana Marie Vigen (editor)Paperback

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This book is a primary resource in the new and growing field of Christian Ethnography. In response to a variety of critical intellectual currents (post-colonial, post-modern, and post-liberal), scholars in Christian theology and ethics are increasingly taking up the tools of ethnography as a means to ask fundamental moral questions and to make more compelling and credible moral claims. Privileging particularity, rather than the more traditional effort to achieve universal or at least generalizable norms in making claims regarding the Christian life, echoes the most fundamental insight of the Christian tradition - that God is known most fully in Jesus of Nazareth. Echoing this 'scandal of particularity' at the heart of the Christian tradition, theologians and ethicists involved in ethnographic research draw on the particular to seek out answers to core questions of their discipline: who God is and how we become the people we are, how to conceptualize moral agency in relation to God and the world, and how to flesh out the content of conceptual categories such as justice that help direct us in our daily decisions and guiding institutions.

About Author

Dr. Christian Scharen is Assistant Professor of Worship and Practical Theology at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN. He is an international leader working at the intersection of ethnography and theology, he is the author of five books and several scholarly articles, a number of which directly draw on ethnographic work and Christian Ethics. Dr. Aana Marie Vigen is Assistant Professor of Ethics at Loyola University, Chicago. She is author of a highly-regarded book on healthcare inequality that draws on ethnographic research and Christian theology and ethics, as well as several articles.


Part I (80 pp - 20 pages per chapter) - co-authored by Christian Scharen and Aana Marie Vigen; 1. The Ethnographic Turn in Theology and Ethics; 2. What is Ethnography?; 3. Critiques of the Use of Social Science in Theological Ethics; 4. Theological Justifications for Turning to Ethnography; Part II (270 pages, 30 pages per chapter) - Case Studies; 5. Robert P. Jones, President of Public Religion Research, Washington D.C.; 6. Peter R. Gathje, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, Memphis Seminary, Memphis, TN.; 7. Emily Reimer-Barry, Assistant Professor of Ethics, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA.; 8. Karey Harwood - Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC; 9. Todd Whitmore, Associate Professor of Theology, Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, IN.; 10. Melissa Browning, (ABD), Loyola University, Chicago, IL.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781441155450
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 272
  • ID: 9781441155450
  • ISBN10: 1441155457

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