Good, Doing Good, and the Goods
When we explore the goodness of any thing, we encounter it through a complex network of interactions: there is the good of its occurrence, the good it does for us and those who enjoy it, the good it may elicit from us in response. Philosophical accounts have discussed whether the good is one or many, whether it is a “description”, whether it is primarily attached to things, states of affairs or actions, and whether it is ontologically prior to evil. Theology has a strong interest in these discussions, since it speaks in four ways of the good, none of them dispensable: the goodness of God, the goodness of his action, the goodness conferred on his creation, and the goodness commanded of it.
||Oliver O’Donovan (PhD University of Oxford) is British Anglican priest and academic, known for his work in the field of Christian ethics. He has also made contributions to political theology, both contemporary and historical. He was Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford from 1982 to 2006, and Professor of Christian Ethics and Practical Theology at the University of Edinburgh from 2006 to 2013.