Virtue Ethics and Wisdom Tradition: Exploring the Inclusive Guidance of the Quran
GVER, Vol. 3 No. 1, (2001)
The paper elaborates the meaning and measures of Virtue Ethics as a distinct form of moral discourse centered on cultivating an ethic of identity or character. In construing this ethic, Virtue Ethics engages in a moral discourse different from the prevalent discourses on ethics. While the discourse on Virtue Ethics remains grounded in the Aristotelian tradition of moral inquiry, the paper considers this to be a restrictive scope for advancing the meaning of the ethic of identity. The paper argues the need to enlarge the scope of inquiry by considering the wisdom traditions as sources from which virtues could be drawn. It identifies scriptures as a neglected source of wisdom, and relies on the Quran as an exemplary source for the understanding and cultivation of an inclusive ethic of identity. The paper explores the Quranic meaning of inclusion - both in terms of consciousness and conduct. Such a meaning is crucial for responding to the diversity that the emerging global consciousness and global context entails.