The Love of Power

  • William Schweiker
Part of the New Approaches to Religion and Power book series (NARP)


In the following pages I want to address a question at the intersection of authority, power, and religion. How can and ought we to speak about moral authority, that is, the authority of norms, ideals, and values in the responsible life. The focus of my reflections is the “sources of normativity,” as Christine Korsgaard has called it.1 In contrast to Korsgaard and many others as well, my argument does not center on the values that individuals or communities make and impose on the world, the stance of the “love of power” as denoted in the title of these reflections. Rather, moral normativity, I contend, has to be understood with respect to responsibility toward what makes us human. To ask about the sources of normativity is then just to ask about the character of the claim that moral responsibility makes on persons and even communities. Responsibility designates the practice of the moral life. The account of responsibility outlined below is set within a theological context, and so is the relation between the God of Christian faith and the moral space of human life. The task of theological ethics, accordingly, is to articulate and analyze the structures of lived reality in relation to the divine and thereby to interpret the ultimate environment within which we must responsibly orient our lives.


Social Contract Moral Normativity Moral Life Moral Authority Christian Faith 
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Copyright information

© Joshua Daniel and Rick Elgendy 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Schweiker

There are no affiliations available

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