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THEO 8502 Mercy & Justice (Spring: 3 )


Course Description

This course explores the meaning of mercy, particularly in its relationship to justice. It examines four major topics: (1) mercy in its relationship to retributive justice, focusing on mercy or clemency in the case of criminal sentencing, as well as broader questions of retribution for wrongdoing, such as whether there can or should be criteria for the exercise of mercy, whether mercy can be exercised unjustly, and the relationship of forgiveness to mercy; (2) mercy in its relationship to distributive justice, focusing on the corporal works of mercy and issues such as the relationship of justice and private charity; (3) mercy in its relationship to social justice, or the social face of mercy; and (4) divine justice and mercy, focusing on the way theologians have attempted to reconcile God’s mercy and God’s justice. Readings for the course will be interdisciplinary, including philosophical, theological, and legal materials.


Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Cathleen Kaveny

Prerequisites: Ph.D. students; MA students by instructor's permission.

Cross listed with: LAWS8502

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Last Updated: 05-Aug-15