Shalom and the Ethics of Belief: Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Theory of Situated Rationality

By Nathan D. Shannon

An exploration of the epistemology of the philosopher and theologian Nicholas Wolterstorff, showing how they link to his writings on eschatology and ethics.

ISBN: 9780227175514


Shalom and the Ethics of Belief explores Nicholas Wolterstorff’s theory of “situated rationality” from a theological point of view and develops a doxastic, or belief-based, ethic based upon the theology of Wolterstorff’s neo-Calvinist, Kuyperian background, which emerges in terms of his biblical ethic and eschatology of shalom. Two epistemological aspects are discussed in Nathan D. Shannon’s account of Wolterstorff’s philosophical writings; the picture of the belief-forming self present in the work of Thomas Reid, and the connection between belief and obligation. Situated rationality, the sum of Wolterstorff’s decades-long work on epistemology and rationality, is argued to be a shalom doxastic ethic – a Christian, common grace ethic of belief pluralism. Wolterstorff incorporates the ethics of belief within the full scope of a person’s socio-moral accountability, an accountability that ultimately flows from the teleology of the world as intended by its creator and from the inherent value of humans as bearers of the divine image. Shannon’s treatment of belief as grounded in the eschatological, ethical vision of shalom provides a comprehensive and novel account of how Wolterstoroff’s Christianity informed and influenced his philosophical writings.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 216

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Nathan D. Shannon (PhD, VU Amsterdam) is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Torch Trinity Graduate University, Seoul, Korea.


Foreword by Nicholas P. Wolterstorff

1. Nicholas P. Wolterstorff, Christian Philosopher
2. Situated Rationality and the Doxastic Self
3. Situated Rationality and Practices of Inquiry
4. The Comprehensive Ethic of Shalom
5. Theory and Praxis: Shalom Theorizing and Scholarship
6. A Shalom Doxastic Ethic and the Status of Christian Belief



Endorsements and Reviews

In this important book, Nathan Shannon offers a reliable exposition of the themes that unify Nicholas Wolterstorff’s rich contribution to philosophical and theological inquiry. But Shannon does more. In explaining Wolterstorff’s complex system with admirable clarity, Shannon adds new insights of his own to our understanding of shalom-centered life and thought.
Richard Mouw, Professor of Faith and Public Life, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA