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Peter Singer and Christian Ethics: Beyond Polarization
by Charles C. Camosy
Cambridge, 284 pages, $29.99

Peter Singer has long argued that we need a revolution in our ethical thinking every bit as radical as the Copernican revolution in cosmology. One of the central tasks of this revolution is the rejection of both the prohibition on killing the innocent and of the Christian idea of the sanctity of human life on which it is based.

The metaphor of the Copernican revolution is never an encouraging one for those seeking common ground, but in Peter Singer and Christian Ethics Charles Camosy, an assistant professor of theology at Fordham, tries.

He believes that while there are real conflicts between a Christian approach to ethics and Singer’s utilitarian philosophy, the extent of the disagreement between them has been greatly exaggerated”an unfortunate result of the kind of mutual misunderstanding that is all too common in our polarized culture. Camosy attempts to show that if Christian ethicists are willing to engage Singer in a charitable and fair-minded spirit, they will find that their “disagreements are actually quite narrow and interesting.”

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