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Natural LawA Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Trialogue$
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Anver M. Emon, Matthew Levering, and David Novak

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198706601

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198706601.001.0001

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Response to Anver M. Emon’s “Islamic Natural Law Theories”

Response to Anver M. Emon’s “Islamic Natural Law Theories”

(p.196) Response to Anver M. Emon’s “Islamic Natural Law Theories
Natural Law

David Novak

Oxford University Press

This Response enters into a dialogue with Chapter 3 regarding whether persons outside of one's own religious community can act in a way that Jews or Muslims can recognize the ethical value of their actions. Both the author of Chapter 3 and the author of this Response reject the view that assumes non-Muslims or non-Jews are incapable of ethically significant action, but that all authentic morality can only come from historical revelation. This Response sees analogues in the Jewish tradition to the three kinds of natural law thinking Chapter 3 locates in Islam. The first kind is the view that whatever God decrees is good ipso facto. The second kind is the view that created nature already contains sufficient value for humans to discover what is good for humans to do, irrespective of historical revelation. The third kind is the view that while nature does contain value to guide ethically significant action, it is still not sufficient for a complete morality for humans.

Keywords:   ethical value, created nature, revelation, natural law, Jews, Muslims, morality

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