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Fall 2021 · Vol. 50 No. 2 · pp. 201–214 

Caring about Humility

Chris D. Clements

Christian discipleship involves the development of moral character. In broad terms, Dallas Willard describes discipleship as “staying as close to Jesus as possible.” 1 While staying close to Jesus will include disciplines such as worship or prayer, staying close to Jesus will also involve putting on the character of Christ (Rom 13:14) and obeying his commands (John 14:15). It is in obeying Christ and putting on the character of Christ that the Christian moral life takes shape. Putting on the character of Christ includes practicing Christ-like humility.

Humility is accessible through the Holy Spirit and through keeping God’s command to care for others.

Staying close to Jesus in humility is both a radical calling and a subversive act. Christian humility is a practice that is not immediately intelligible within the logic of our secular age. In our contemporary context where personal authenticity is uncritically celebrated, the continued presence of Christian humility is a witness to the continuing reality of transcendence. 2 Humility is the basic posture through which Christian moral life takes shape. In humility we admit our failings, in humility we receive God’s grace, in humility we learn to allow the Holy Spirit to shape our Christian character. In humility we meet one another as persons made in the image of God. Yet humility is not easily acquired. Desiring humility does not come naturally, and even when desired we {202} may be unsure how to effectively elevate humility over competing desires.

The Scriptures speak of two categories of humble stature. There is the call for the believer to be humbled before the Lord (Prov 22:4; Col 3:12; Jas 4:6,10). Humility in this frame is a state of self-knowledge and knowledge of God where a person has rightly assessed their standing before God and moves into relationship with God. 3 The Scriptures also speak of humility as a social virtue since it enables Christians to have mutually respectful relationships with others as an appropriate response to meeting with God (Rom 12:16; Eph 4:2; 1 Pet 5:5).

It is this social aspect of humility that will be explored in this paper. Iris Murdoch describes social humility as the “self-less respect for reality and one of the most difficult and central of all virtues.” 4 Part of the difficulty of social humility is that it is complicated by a paradox: when we intend to act humbly we act self-consciously and therefore fail to act with sincere humility. 5 The self-conscious pursuit of humility makes acts of humility personal achievements, and the sense of having achieved humility makes humble acts humble in appearance only. Self-conscious acts of humility make a person proud of their virtue instead of nurturing an actual humble disposition.

Here I venture a personal story to illustrate. As a younger person I volunteered many of my summers at a Christian summer camp. As part of the camp’s discipleship training for young staff, I was assigned a mentor. My mentor sensed that I, perhaps along with a few other staff, harbored aspirations of personal recognition from the camp community that did not reflect Christ-like humility. Our mentor gathered us for a Bible study where we read, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others (Phil 2:3–4, NIV). These words convicted us. We agreed that we desired to live with Christ-like humility. Yet having read this, we discovered that none in our group (including our mentor) were immediately able to articulate how it is that we should inculcate this humility into our characters. More than simply performing humble acts to conceal inward striving, we desired to actually inhabit a humble disposition.

In this paper I venture a response to the problem I encountered as a camp counselor, a problem others might be discerning for themselves. We become humble not through self-conscious striving, but through acts that represent the care of Jesus. In this paper’s unfolding reflection, I consider whether looking to the interests of others (Phil 2:4) through acts of care is an avenue toward the humility the Scriptures exhort us to. To care for another is to maintain an empathetic stake in their {203} well-being. Well-being in the Christian tradition refers to a God-centered hope for a new creation that is being realized, in part, in the here-and-now. 6 In presenting care as a path that leads toward humility, I specifically suggest that humility comes not by focusing on the achievement of personal character but by attending to others and to Christ. Practicing care is not a technique or method of creating humility; it involves the right ordering of self through attention to God and others (Matt 25:40). In being rightly ordered, we become rightly humble.

In a brief literature review, I first trace the development of the concept of humility through the Christian virtue tradition. I argue that specifically Christian humility is a virtue characterized by right relationship with God and neighbor. In conversation with the thought of French ascetic Lanza del Vasto, I suggest that humility comes not through great efforts in contemplation or ruminating on one’s faults but through turning one’s focus beyond oneself. In conversation with Milan Kundera’s novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, I suggest that acts of care redirect one’s attention from self to other. And lastly, in conversation with the moral philosophy of Nell Noddings, I suggest that care is a practice that moral agents are able to choose. I draw on the work of these individuals to suggest that Paul’s commendation that we should look to the interests of others is essential to the development of a Christlike humility.


Humility and virtue have been carefully studied throughout the history of the Christian church. In this section, I survey key voices that have guided the church’s understanding of humility. The first detailed account of virtue in Western philosophy comes from Aristotle (384–322 BC). He believed that virtues were praiseworthy acts, which when practiced regularly offer a moral agent the possibility of living well. 7 Yet he does not address humility in his writings. His closest approximation to humility is magnanimity. The magnanimous person, says Aristotle, is one who is not swayed by vanity, honor, dishonor, wealth, or poverty; he is one who right appraises his self-worth. 8 This secure sense of self allows the magnanimous person to be generous with others. The virtue of humility as we understand it today was introduced to the Western world through Christian scriptures. The New Testament’s lists of virtues reflect a knowledge of the Stoic virtue tradition. 9 But exhortations to practice those virtues are not offered as pathways to living well. Rather, the virtues are repositioned as attributes of Christian character, developed in response to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Humility in the New Testament involves knowing one’s true position before God (Matt 5:3–5), and it enables faithful participation in Christian fellowship (John 13:14–15). 10 {204}

Some years later, in his letter to Dioscorus, Saint Augustine (354–430 AD) speaks of Christian piety as a path of humility. The way to piety, he says, “is first humility, second humility, third humility . . . [for] if humility does not precede and accompany and follow every good work we do . . . praiseworthy acts will be lost through the desire of praise itself.” 11

Later still, Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) argued that moral virtues were a “power of the soul” that “disposes to that which is best.” 12 Moral virtues include the cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, courage, and justice. Yet Thomas identifies a second category of virtue, which he calls theological virtue. Theological virtues are virtues of which God is the “efficient cause.” God “works in us without us” to shape Christian’s character. 13 The theological virtues are faith, hope, and charity. In Thomas’s thought, the virtue of humility occupies a middle ground between the moral virtues and theological virtues. 14 He argues that humility is not a virtue of civic responsibility, but should be “considered as a special virtue, regards chiefly the subjection of man to God, for Whose sake he humbles himself by subjecting himself to others.” 15 Thomas suggests that humility is first a right relation with God and, thereafter, right relation to neighbor. In this theological construal of humility, the humble person maintains a radical posture of selflessness in relating to others, based in Christ’s selfless address of the individual.

Like Thomas Aquinas before him, Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) maintained that there are two modes of humility. There is a higher “evangelical” humility that involves an awareness of personal insufficiency causing a person to turn to God. The second form is a “legal” or common humility that enables participation in an ordered and lawful society. To describe the higher form of humility, Edwards employs the language of beauty; evangelical humility arises from “a sense of the transcendent beauty of divine things in their moral quantities.” 16 Again, Edwards says virtues are “truly beautiful” acts undertaken in consent and agreement with God’s intention for human beings. 17 A truly beautiful act is performed by an actor who keeps in view “the primary and most essential beauty” of God. 18 The adequate response to the beauty of God is moral excellency. 19 In this way, Edwards makes humility a response to encountering the beauty of God.

Stanley Hauerwas and Charles Pinches have addressed the subject of the possible meaning of the Christian virtues for North American Christians. Hauerwas and Pinches have couched their discussion of humility within a broader conversation about obedience. Citing Thomas, the authors suggest that humility is due first to God and then to our neighbors. Yet Hauerwas and Pinches expand upon Thomas, arguing that {205} humility is not only a posture that brings human beings into relation with God but a posture that makes obedience to God possible. 20 The Christian tradition rejects the notion that humility produces a diminished view of self. Despair that masquerades as humility is not biblical humility. Instead, despair is alleviated and proper selfhood attained as a person comes to rest transparently in God. 21 It is in this transparent rest that the individual is free to be accountable to God for the selfhood they have been given. 22


Having given a brief account of humility within the Christian tradition, let me turn to the subject of how humility can be instilled in Christian character. While the Holy Spirit is at work to mold our character to reflect Jesus’s own, the Christian is also called to participate in this process (Phil 2:13). In this section I explore the thesis that choosing to care for others is an exercise in discipleship toward a humble social character. I begin by briefly accounting for patterns of caring humility I have seen in three Christian persons. Thereafter, I suggest, first, that developing humility requires us to look outside of ourselves to others, second, that care is one means of looking from self to other, and lastly, that in addition to being a moral emotion, a moral agent’s choice to care invites a set of actions that promote humble character.

Humility recognized in character

One place to begin considering humility is through observing those who exhibit humble traits. Although humble traits can be noticed in many persons, they tend to stand out most in those who have achieved standards of personal or professional excellence. While it ought not to be the case, a humble disposition may be less expected from those whose level of recognition affords them the choice to sidestep some common social courtesies. Here I identify three persons I have known reasonably well. Despite their achievements, each stand out in my experience as humble persons. I will give a short account of each.

The first is a political figure whom I got to know through shared membership in a Christian community. When I would happen to meet this individual by chance on the street or at the soccer pitch, we would consistently end up speaking together about the needs of the local community and how they might be addressed. Even with some prodding, this person would resist pivoting attention to personal achievements and would instead naturally settle into speaking with empathetic interest about others.

A second is a professor who took on an informal mentorship role with me while I was a younger student. When I was exploring how to {206} participate in the activities of the academy, this seasoned professor maintained regular contact with me. While this person’s curriculum vitae would have given them standing in any social circle in the academy, they chose to befriend students who felt (and quite probably were) out of their depth. If asked to think of a person who exhibits humility, this person immediately comes to mind.

Last is a camp director from a large and summer camp, well-respected within the Christian community. This person received regular speaking invitations, and their presence at events was always noticed and appreciated by attendees. Despite being much sought after, this person would carve regular time out of their weeks for study group mentorship with camp staff, both in the summer and offseason. Community naturally formed around this person, not because of their expertise (which they had), but because they offered people a sense of being visible and cared for.

Each of these is a person whose life illustrates Philippians 2. Each is someone who has imitated the character of Christ. In my mind, their humility is expressed in their capacity for sincere care. In the last part of this paper, with Scripture (Phil 2) and lived experience in mind, I consider whether care is in fact a prelude to humility.

Humility looks beyond the self

In these three continuing sections, I draw on authors outside of the North American evangelical community. There are two reasons for this. First, the authors used here are articulating truth about humility that is not being said in quite the same way within evangelical North America. Second, we in the North American evangelical community tend to elevate proclamation, the study of Scripture, and individual piety in our discipleship efforts. Less emphasis is given to socially bound expressions of piety, such as humility and care. The evangelical community is probably not immediately associated with care and humility in the public mind, and neither would we immediately self-identify as a group that has made important contributions to theologies of care and humility. On this account we might do well to consider outside voices who have taken specific interest in care and social humility.

In elevating voices from beyond evangelicalism, I am not suggesting that we do away with our tradition’s distinctives, but I am suggesting that if we are to speak about care and humility from an evangelical view, perhaps we should exercise humility by listening first to those who have given these virtues careful consideration. As part of my interaction with these conversation partners, I close each section with a brief account of {207} what each contributes to an evangelical understanding of humility and discipleship.

Lanza del Vasto (1901–1981), an Italian born French writer, helped develop philosophies and theologies of peace in post-war Europe. He wrote over thirty books in French, so the influence of his thought is muted in North America, where only four of his works have been translated into English. Del Vasto is known for drawing upon the Sermon on the Mount and the universalist moral thought of Gandhi and Kant in an effort to transform the Catholic church’s doctrines of just war into a theology of just and nonviolent conflict. 23 His writings address themes associated with peace, community, and humility.

In 1948, del Vasto founded a community in rural Tournier, France. Adhering to nonviolent principles, del Vasto’s community (called “The Ark”) subscribed to an anti-modern, anti-secular logic rooted in the Christian tradition. 24 In order to detach themselves from Western notions of progress, the community embraced practices like growing their own food, maintaining their own clothing, and protesting war and nuclear armament. Members of The Ark maintained that peaceful living cannot be secured by political revolution, war, or human misery. The community sought to witness to the truth that true peace is an outcome of the gospel of Jesus at work. 25 Part of the work of creating and maintaining a community of peace included articulating the place of humility in Christian fellowship.

In his anthology, Make Straight the Way of the Lord, del Vasto reflects on the actions of the church in making “ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17, NIV). He reasoned that it was the poor in spirit who would be prepared for the Lord. 26 Holding up the ideals of poverty and spirit, del Vasto reflects that “there can be no doubt that it was for the sake of the spirit that [the disciples] had chosen poverty.” 27 His interest in poverty leads him to be suspicious of other forms of wealth. Among these is what he terms “intellectual wealth.” Del Vasto maintains that gathering intellectual wealth “has the same effect as other wealth: it produces an immediate artificial satisfaction.” 28

Similarly, del Vasto doubts the adequacy of human agency for task of readying ourselves for the Lord. Forcing oneself to perform humble acts or rehearse one’s mistakes for the sake of humility leads to hypocrisy. Such acts do not come from a humble person but from one who is clever and determined. 29 Further, del Vasto maintains that humility cannot be secured through contemplation of God. A person cannot become humble “if one’s attention is constantly turned toward the grandeur of God” for such contemplation leads to “self-assurance and self-importance.” 30 This self-assured importance causes a person {208} to address God as an idea to be grasped, instead of a person to be encountered. The path to humility that del Vasto recommends is the practice of paying attention to creation. The created realm is “God’s overflowing abundance,” which when contemplated will lead a person to say that “I the infinitely small, magnify the infinitely great.” 31

If one is to be humble, a person’s attention should be directed beyond the self. Del Vasto’s suggestion that we must approach humility indirectly, by looking at something other than the self is welcome. Yet we may wish to break with del Vasto in his insistence that attention to the created order alone brings about humility. I suggest that the beginning of social humility also requires looking at one’s neighbor with a caring posture. I pick up this discussion in the next section by examining a fictional character who looks beyond himself through caring acts.

Care looks beyond the self

Tomas, a central character in Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), is a celebrated surgeon who has tried to create personal meaning out of pleasures, achievements, and courageous political acts. Tomas is concerned with himself, with his sense of well-being, with his success in romance, and with the meanings he constructs for himself. Despite his best attempts, these pursuits leave him with an unbearable meaningless (lightness) of being. But when a visiting love interest falls ill, he physically cares for the ailing woman and discovers that there is a world beyond the preoccupations that occupy his mind. The experience is a great surprise for Tomas, for in his caring posture he finds he has managed to look beyond himself.

Of course, humility is an activity of real, non-fiction persons. Yet fiction explores and interprets real life, allowing a reader to sympathize with characters and situations. In doing so, it can offer a type of data set that simulates real life. 32 In fiction, readers have an opportunity to reflect on what is true within their own contexts. Through Tomas and others in his book, Kundera has explored what gives life substance and purpose. In his exploration, Kundera’s characters find invented meanings unbearably weightless, while they find discovered meanings, such as caring for others in the daily cycles of life, to be fulfilling.

Having looked after Tereza, the woman who fell ill, Tomas finds himself longing for stable and meaningful human connection. He resigns his role as a prestigious doctor in France and follows Tereza as she moves back home to the communist Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. He works initially as a surgeon in the communist system, but when he cannot return to France he publicly criticizes the communist party. Party leadership do not abide this behavior and Tomas is expelled {209} to the life of a window washer in a rural farming village. While living in this small remote village, Tomas and Tereza care for their dog and their neighbors. Tomas believes the dog, in his other-centered approach to life, has been able to transcend the unbearable lightness of being. The dog finds humble meaning in the daily repetition of work, play, and small pleasures enjoyed with others.

While Kundera’s novel is not written for the edification of Christians, his thesis is useful for considering humility. Kundera’s humble life is the life that avoids never-ending self-interested striving by coming to appreciate small pleasures, such as caring for dogs and those we love. The characters in the novel struggle to find meaning when they are pursuing a kind of idealism Kundera calls “kitsch.” Kitsch, for Kundera, “excludes everything from its purview which is essentially unacceptable in human existence.” 33 Kitsch exists as the ideals of the French Revolution are extolled over the senseless slaughter of the revolution, when the communist ideal of equality is extolled without thought for the grinding poverty of citizenry, or as the ideals of the American dream are extolled over the real miseries of capitalism. 34 Kitsch is the unreflective idealism that is used to satisfy a quest for meaning. Kitsch is the self-absorption that maintains a blind eye to real conditions, and the humans that suffer them. Real meaning, for Kundera, comes through trading one’s self-absorbed ideals for daily actions worth repeating, for meeting others in care, for simple pleasures, and for the sharing of joy. 35

Tomas’s discovery of care and a world beyond his initial frame of reference is not described in Kundera’s novel as a theological event. The type of humility Tomas discovers is a secular humility marked by low concern for personal importance. 36 By contrast, radical Christian humility is a self-status with no concern for personal importance. In Kent Dunnington’s view, this type of radical humility can be adopted by the Christian, for the Christian is able to “trust that one’s well-being is entirely secured by the care of God.” 37

In his theological reflection on Kundera’s work, Stephen Schlosser observes that Tomas lives in a world without sacraments. Yes, Tomas found some meaning in actions that are worth repeating. But Schlosser maintains that this type of meaning can only offer us “enough [purpose] to anchor our shadows.” 38 A sacrament, says Schlosser, is “both the radical immanence of God and the absolute otherness of God held up together in a single grasp.” 39 At the heart of the sacrament is a communication of God’s grace through human practice. 40 For Tomas, acts of care were useful in allowing him to see beyond the self, whereas in the Christian view, care has a sacramental quality. Acts of care in the name of Jesus are more than psychological devices to evoke humility; {210} they orientate the actor to right relationship with God and the other. The outcome of this orientation is a disposition toward humble character.

Caring choices and moral agency

Finally, if care is to be held up as a path toward humility, it should be understood as a practice that can be chosen and not merely an innately compelled instinct. Instincts do motivate care, instincts such as a parental emotional attachment to a child or the feeling of investment in a friend’s well-being. But Christians are called to imitate Christ’s humility in their character broadly, not just in situations where care is compelled by instinct. The presence of intention in an act makes an actor morally responsible for the act. Although indirectly achieved, humility is a moral state for which an actor must be responsible.

A growing number of scholars have been maintaining that the starting point for ethical reflection is the human experience of caring. 41 These scholars approach care as a system of reasoning that can guide moral judgement. Some in the secular domain have spoken of care as the maintenance of principles of fairness. 42 In the Christian domain, we say that care addresses both other and Jesus himself. Because of this, Christian caring involves representing the care and hospitality of Christ. 43

Nell Noddings is a seminal theorist of the ethics of care. Her interest in care as an ethical category begins in her observation that through most of history ethical writing has been done by men. She argues that those who study ethics should also consider the moral understandings of women. Noddings points out that men’s moral intuitions tend to be shaped in the conceptual realm through abstract discussions about principled justice. 44 By contrast, women’s moral intuitions tend to recognize that moral decisions are “made in real situations” and guided by an “affective response” to immediate needs. 45 To omit the moral intuitions of women from consideration is to “suffer from impoverished and one-sided moral guidance” in which the moral instincts of roughly half the population are underattended. 46

Noddings maintains that care is empathically motivated, but she also suggests that care is an expression of one’s ethical self, motivated by ethical principle. 47 To account for this duality of care, Noddings points to the image of the teacher who cares for their students. Although students can be trying, a teacher is able to choose to address students in a caring manner because the teacher has practiced being a caring person and has chosen a caring course of action. An ethics of care as practiced by Christians will follow this example. In trying situations where humility is required, we chose care because we have practiced {211} care in other situations and have chosen care in the setting in which we currently find ourselves.

Noddings’s ethics of care are not constructed to be explicitly Christian. Her conception of care does not rest in Christ-like, selfless concern for others. She argues that the ethical requirement to care is satisfied if a person acts with care in order to solicit reciprocal acts of care. 48 She also suggests that the ethical requirement to care is satisfied if caring acts are also aimed at soliciting recognition. 49 What is to be drawn from Noddings, however, is that persons can choose to be guided by the logic of care even in situations where they are not immediately inclined to do so. Even in situations in which we would rather not practice the virtue, humility is accessible through the Holy Spirit and through keeping God’s command to care for others (Phil 2:3). In practicing care, we find an unexpected good internal to the practice in the orientation of the self to God and others, and, by extension, a disposition to social humility. By practicing care, we indirectly position ourselves before God and others in biblical humility.


This paper began by observing that striving for successes in humility is not directly compatible with a humble self. 50 In response I have suggested that humility can only be approached indirectly. The indirect pursuit of humility is to be chosen by choosing to care for others (Phil 2:3), specifically in situations in which we would not otherwise be inclined to do so.

The Christian call to humility is a radical call. It is a call that is profoundly difficult, for in humility we set aside our personal interests to address others and God. While we rely upon the Holy Spirit to conform our characters to the image of Christ, Christians are also called to participate in this process (Phil 2:12). In this paper I have discussed how we might go about participating in God’s work of forging a humble character in us. I have argued that care is a practice where we move our attention from ourselves to God and others. I have suggested that caring practices, offered in Jesus’s name, place us in right relationship with God and others. While we cannot become humble by achieving humility directly, we dispose ourselves to humility and the Spirit’s work by choosing to be people who represent the care and presence of Jesus in the situations in which we find ourselves. {212}


  1. Dallas Willard, “Spiritual Formation as a Natural Part of Salvation,” in Life in the Spirit: Spiritual Formation in Theological Perspective, ed. Jeffrey P. Greenman and George Kalantzis (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2010), 53.
  2. Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2007), 263, 415. Taylor describes how Christian virtues such as humility are thought to “contribute nothing,” or “even detract from human welfare” in a secular age (263). But the continued presence of theological virtue within our “modern moral order” brings about a dissonant experience of “cross-pressure,” hinting at the continued existence of transcendence in a secular age (304).
  3. James Kellenberger, “Humility,” American Philosophical Quarterly 47, no. 4 (Fall 2010): 331.
  4. Iris Murdoch, The Sovereignty of Good (London, U.K.: Routledge, 2013), 93.
  5. Brian Robinson, “I am so Humble! On the Paradoxes of Humility,” in The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Humility, ed. Mark Alfano, Michael P. Lynch, and Alessandra Tanesini (London, U.K.: Routledge, 2021), 28. Robinson interacts with Martin Luther and Teresa of Avila to articulate this paradox.
  6. Christoffer H. Grundmann, “To Have Life, and Have It Abundantly! Health and Well-Being in Biblical Perspective,” Journal of Religion and Health 53, no. 2 (Spring 2014): 560,
  7. Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, trans. David Ross (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2009) §1098a, §1101b. Aristotle argues that living well is an “activity of the soul exhibiting virtue” (1098a). Virtuous acts that make living well possible are recognized as good and praiseworthy acts (1101b).
  8. Aristotle, §1123b.
  9. J. Daryl Charles, “Vice and Virtue Lists,” in Dictionary of New Testament Background: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship, ed. Craig A. Evans, and Stanley E. Porter (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity, 2000), 1256. For example, virtues fitting a church elder (1 Tim 3:2-3) mirror the moral qualifications of Roman generals.
  10. David C. Searle, “Humility, Pride,” in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, ed. T. Desmond Alexander et al. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2000), 568–69.
  11. Augustine, Letters: Volume II (83–130), trans. Wilfrid Parsons (New York: Fathers of the Church, 1953), 282.
  12. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica (Omaha, NE: Amazon Kindle, 2018), I–II, q. 56, a. 3.
  13. Aquinas, I–II, q. 55, a. 4.
  14. Sheryl Overmyer, “Exalting the Meek Virtue of Humility in Aquinas,” The Heythrop Journal 56, no. 4 (Winter 2013): 654.
  15. Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II–II, q. 161, a. 1.
  16. Jonathan Edwards, “On Religious Affections,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, ed. Edward Hickman (Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth Trust, {213} 1974), 1:294.
  17. Jonathan Edwards, The Nature of True Virtue (Ann Arbor, MI: Ann Arbor Paperbacks, 1960), 2-3.
  18. Edwards, True Virtue, 9.
  19. Edwards, True Virtue, 102–103.
  20. Stanley Hauerwas and Charles Pinches, Christians among the Virtues: Theological Conversations with Ancient and Modern Ethics (South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997), 143.
  21. Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling; The Sickness unto Death, trans. Walter Lowrie (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013), 271.
  22. Søren Kierkegaard, Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard, ed. Charles E. Moore (Walden, NY: Plough, 1999), 21.
  23. Klaus-Gerd Giesen, “A Doctrine of Just and Non-Violent Conflict,” in The Poesis of Peace, ed. Klaus-Gerd Giesen, Carool Kersten, and Lenart Škof (London, UK: Routledge, 2017), 98,
  24. Frédéric Rognon, “Lanza del Vasto et la Modernité,” Revue d’histoire et de philosophie religieuses 83, no. 3 (2003): 329.
  25. Juan J. Morales and Georges Didier, “Lanza del Vasto Habla de Politica,” El Ciervo 24, no. 253 (Winter 1975): 19,
  26. Lanza del Vasto, Make Straight the Way of the Lord, trans. Jean Sidgwick (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974), 7.
  27. Del Vasto, 82.
  28. Del Vasto, 83.
  29. Del Vasto, 87.
  30. Del Vasto, 87.
  31. Del Vasto, 88.
  32. Keith Oatley, “Meeting of the Minds: Dialogue, Sympathy, and Identification in Reading Fiction,” Poetics 26, no. 5–6 (Summer 1999): 444.
  33. Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being (New York: Harper and Row, 1984), 248.
  34. Kundera, 257.
  35. Kundera, 5.
  36. Kent Dunnington, Humility, Pride, and Christian Virtue Theory (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 219), 72–75.
  37. Dunnington, 90.
  38. Stephen Schlosser, “Unbearable Lightness of Being: Re-sourcing Catholic Intellectual Traditions,” CrossCurrents 58, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 67. Available from
  39. Schloesser, 83.
  40. Bradley Nassif, “Orthodox Spirituality: A Quest for Transfigured Humanity,” in Bradly Nassif et al., Four Views on Christian Spirituality (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 38.
  41. Julie Rubio et al., “Woman Scholars in Christian Ethics: The Impact and Value of Family Care,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 27, no. 2 {214} (Winter 2007): 41–42,
  42. Daniel Engster, “Rethinking Care Theory: The Practice of Caring and the Obligation to Care,” Hypatia 20, no. 3 (Summer 2005): 62,
  43. Christine D. Pohl, Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999), 64–68.
  44. Nell Noddings, Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education, 2nd edition (Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 2003), 1.
  45. Noddings, 3.
  46. Noddings, 28.
  47. Noddings, 123–24.
  48. Noddings, 49.
  49. Noddings, 71.
  50. Dunnington, Humility, 82.
Chris D. Clements has a PhD in Christian Theology from McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton. He is Director of Youth Work at Columbia Bible College and has previously spent fifteen years in congregational youth ministry. He loves helping young people hear the call of Jesus through Scripture and Christian life together.

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