A Framework for Black Masculine Caring
Edited By Lisa Bass
Chapter Seven: African American Men of Faith Care: The Intersection of Religion, Gender, and the Ethic of Care
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African American Men OF Faith Care
The Intersection of Religion, Gender, and the Ethic of Care
PAUL F. BITTING
This chapter addresses an ethical theory regarding how those who care about morality can most sensitively know and evaluate their sense of the ethic of caring. This ethical theory developed out of feminist literature and has challenged the dominant and traditional approaches to ethical thought (Gilligan, 1982). Since our ethical values make up each of our personal constitutions, the work I address here is of considerable importance. Ethical thought is arguably too important to be left to the professional ethicists alone and, since everyone is an ethicist in his or her own fashion, it is critical that all people consider the topic of ethics as it relates to their own lives, behaviors, and perceptions. Still, the ethicist should provide a service to all those whom they can reach, and that service is theory. Without theory, the alternative is fiat and caprice at the level of individuality and the absence of harmony at the cultural level. Life is a series of ethical choices that we must each make on a continual basis—there is no area of deliberate human behavior that lacks an ethical dimension. This is especially true for those who would be leaders in an educational environment, because education is inherently a moral endeavor, as Fenstermacher (1990) noted:
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