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Ethics and Biblical NarrativeA Literary and Discourse-Analytical Approach to the Story of Josiah$
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S. Min Chun

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199688968

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688968.001.0001

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(p.226) Conclusion
Ethics and Biblical Narrative

S. Min Chun

Oxford University Press

The importance of Old Testament narrative ethics and the validity of the approach proposed in this book can be summarized in terms of contingency in life. When ethics is understood in terms of applying principles to a moral dilemma, contingency in life is a challenge to it. When contingency is accepted as a real part of the moral life, understanding of ethics should be changed so that it may be coped with properly. Understanding ethics in terms of having practical wisdom that one can use for ethical improvisation in the face of ever-changing situations comes into play here. The particularities in Old Testament narrative, not the general principles distilled from it, are useful features that make the reader perceptive to the complexity of life and train the reader in practical wisdom. This type of ethical enterprise is achieved through reading Old Testament narrative as literature with attention to its discourse features.

Keywords:   contingency, Old Testament ethics, narrative ethics, practical wisdom, ethical improvisation

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