Morals or Metaphysics: The Place of Charity in Christian Thought

Oct 7, 2015
Swift Hall, Common Room
1025 E 58th St,
Chicago, IL 60637
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Gary A. AndersonUniversity of Notre Dame

cosponsored by the Theology and Religious Ethics Workshop and the Early Christian Studies Workshop

When modern persons think about assistance for the poor the two major categories that tend to dominate are the motivations of the donor (altruism) and the effects of the donation (social justice).  Though both of these attributes were part of classical Christian thinking, they stood on a deeper foundation: a description of the type of world God had made. And so, charity was as much about metaphysics as it was morality.

Gary A. Anderson is the Hesburgh Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He holds a PhD from Harvard University. An expert in all aspects of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible theology and history, Anderson’s research focuses on the reception of the Bible in early Judaism and Christianity, the book of Genesis, the Pentateuch, and the book of Tobit. He has won numerous awards including grants from the American Philosophical Society, Lilly Endowment, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Hebrew University. He is author of the critically acclaimed Sin: A History and most recently Charity: The Place of the Poor in the Biblical Tradition.