Moral life gathers its shape, force and meaning in relation to an underlying sense of reality, imaginatively conceived. Significant contemporary writing in philosophy appeals to the concept of ’transcendence’ to explore what is deepest in our moral experience, but leaves this notion theologically unspecified. This book reflects on the appeal to transcendence in ethics with reference to the Resurrection of Jesus. Bachelard argues that the Resurrection reveals that the ultimate reality in which human life is held is gracious, forgiving and reconciling, a Goodness that is ’for us’. Faith in this testimony transforms the possibilities of moral life, both conceptually and in practice. It invites our participation in a goodness experienced non-dualistically as grace, and so profoundly affects the formation of the moral self, the practice of moral judgement and the shape of moral concepts. From this perspective, contemporary philosophical discussion about 'transcendence' in moral thought is cast in a new light, and debates about the continuity between theological and secular ethics gain a thoroughly new dimension. Bachelard demonstrates that placing the Resurrection at the heart of our ethical reflection resonates with the deepest currents of our lived moral experience and transfigures our approach to moral life and thought.
'Far more than a discrete proposition, the resurrection of Jesus entails an imaginative world to be inhabited and cultivated-a world that would transform our moral stances by reframing the horizons and desires that shape and often distort our views of transcendence, self and neighbor, and death. Sarah Bachelard’s Resurrection and Moral Imagination powerfully evokes such a world, yet does so by showing how the distinctive features of Christian imagination open up to and are deepened by sustained conversation across philosophical and theological boundaries. While skillfully conducting this conversation, Bachelard’s own keen insights provide the reader with a rich sense of the Christian’s resurrection ethic as a wisdom ethic.’ Brian Robinette, Boston College, USA ’More than any other book I have read, Resurrection and Moral Imagination brings the kind of moral philosophy first developed in the English-speaking world by Iris Murdoch, into critical dialogue with theology. In prose of enviable simplicity, with sensitivity, depth and sometimes startling originality, Bachelard explores the ways each needs the other.’ Raimond Gaita, University of Melbourne, Australia ’Innovative, lucid and sensitive, this is a genuinely fresh look at what is distinctive about the Christian moral vision, worked out in conversation with a variety of sympathetic but more secular voices, including Rai Gaita and Iris Murdoch. Sarah Bachelard is a really significant new voice in theological ethics.’ Rowan Williams, Magdalene College, Cambridge, UK ’...game-changing vision... [Bachelard’s] prose is refreshing and crystal clear, deceptively simple, open, conciliatory, non-fluffy and imaginative. Her focus on practice is astute and her engagement with the secular timely. This book is a major contribution to theological ethics and deserves sustained engagement.’ The Tablet ’This book is likely to become a classic and it establishes the author, in Rowan Williams’ word