Integrity, Vulnerability, and Temporality
Keywords:Integrity, Vulnerability, Process Theology, Augustine, Children, dementia, traumatic brain injury, memory
This paper asks how to account for vulnerable integrity in the temporal dynamism of human lives without relying on a subtractive vision of integral human nature, borrowing from presumed past or future rationality and maturity, or depending on an external attribution of dignity. Illustrating the challenges with vignettes from the author’s life, it argues inductively that human integrity includes morally inviolable vulnerability to others with whom we are in interdependent relationship and without whom we cannot develop or maintain our selves. Others reside at the core of our integrity, for better and for worse, and we reside at theirs. Augustine’s accounts of memory, time, and the narrative self; Whiteheadian process thought’s understanding of continuity through change; and feminist theories of narrative all provide theological and philosophical justifications for this vision of integrity. John Wall’s and Johan Brännmark’s non-foundational approaches to integrity and human rights lead us to the same conclusion without entailing theological anthropological claims, ensuring its relevance in a pluralist culture.
Abraham, Susan. “Purifying Memory and Dispossessing the Self: Spiritual Strategies in the Postcolonial Classroom.” Spiritus 13 (2013), pp. 56–75.
Augustine, Saint. The Confessions. Translated by Maria Boulding, O.S.B. New York: New City Press, 2019 (1997).
Augustine, Saint. The Trinity. Second edition. Translated by Edmund Hill, O.P. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2015 (1991).
Babbitt, Susan E. “Collective Memory or Knowledge of the Past: ‘Covering Reality with Flowers’” in Embodiment and Agency, pp. 234-249. Edited by Sue Campbell, Letitia Meynell, and Susan Sherwin, University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 2009.
Benz-Schwarzburg, Judith, Susana Monsó and Ludwig Huber. “How Dogs Perceive Humans and How Humans Should Treat Their Pet Dogs: Linking Cognition with Ethics.” Frontiers in Psychology (16 December 2020), https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.584037
Brännmark, Johan. “Patients as Rights Holders.” Hastings Center Report 47:4 (2017), pp. 32-39.
Brännmark, Johan. “Respect for Persons in Bioethics: Towards a Human Rights-Based Account.” Human Rights Review 18 (2017), pp. 171–187.
Breyfogle, Todd. “Memory and Imagination in Augustine's Confessions.” New Blackfriars 75:881 (1994), pp. 210-223.
Campbell, Sue. “Inside the Frame of the Past: Memory, Diversity, and Solidarity.” In Embodiment and Agency, pp. 211-233. Edited by Sue Campbell, Letitia Meynell, and Susan Sherwin. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 2009.
Carse, Alisa L. “Vulnerability, Integrity, and Human Flourishing,” in Health and Human Flourishing: Religion, Medicine, and Moral Anthropology, pp. 33-52. Edited by Carol Taylor, CFSN, and Roberto Dell’Oro. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2006.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1993. https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
Copeland, M. Shawn. “A Response to Constance FitzGerald.” CTSA Proceedings 64 (2009), pp. 43-46.
Condon, Matthew G. “The Unnamed and the Defaced: The Limits of Rhetoric in Augustine's Confessiones.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 69:1 (2001), pp. 43-63.
Cory, Therese Scarpelli. “Diachronically Unified Consciousness in Augustine and Aquinas.” Vivarium 50 (2012), pp. 354-381.
Doud, Robert E. “The Biblical Heart and Process Anthropology.” Horizons 23:2 (1996), pp. 281-95.
FitzGerald, Constance. “From Impasse to Prophetic Hope: Crisis of Memory.” CTSA Proceedings 64 (2009), pp. 21-42.
Haker, Hille. “Vulnerable Agency: Human Dignity and Gendered Violence,” in Towards a Critical Political Ethics: Catholic Ethics and Social Challenges, pp. 135-167. Basel: Schwabe Verlag, 2020.
Häyry, Matti. “European Values in Bioethics: Why, What, and How to be Used?” Theoretical Medicine 24 (2003), pp. 199–214, DOI: 10.1023/A:1024814710487.
Harris, Harriet. “Can I be Judged If I Don’t Remember My Sins? Questioning What Is Significant about Life after Death.” Studies in Christian Ethics 29:3 (2016), pp. 315-322.
Hoerl, Christoph. “Episodic Memory, Autobiographical Memory, Narrative: On Three Key
Notions in Current Approaches to Memory Development.” Philosophical Psychology 20:5 (2007), pp. 621–640.
Holland, Suzanne. “The Integrity Conundrum.” In Health and Human Flourishing: Religion, Medicine, and Moral Anthropology, pp. 103-115. Edited by Carol Taylor and Roberto Dell'Oro. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2006.
Holton, Richard. “Memory, Persons and Dementia.” Studies in Christian Ethics 29:3 (2016), pp. 256-260.
Keller, Catherine. “The Apophasis of Gender: A Fourfold Unsaying of Feminist Theology.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 76:4 (2008), pp. 905-933.
Lännström, Anna. “Locke's Account of Personal Identity: Memory as Fallible Evidence.” History of Philosophy Quarterly 24:1(2007), pp. 39-56.
Lehrner, Amy, and Rachel Yehuda. "Cultural Trauma and Epigenetic Inheritance," Development and Psychopathology 30 (2018), pp. 1763–1777. doi:10.1017/S0954579418001153
Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. 1689. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/locke-the-works-vol-1-an-essay-concerning-human-understanding-part-1
“Lost Cause Myth.” The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook. May 13, 2020. https://inclusivehistorian.com/lost-cause-myth/.
Luther, Martin. Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians. Translated by Theodore Graebner. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1949). https://www.projectwittenberg.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/gal/web/gal-inx.html#cts.
Mackenzie, Catriona. “Personal Identity, Narrative Integration, and Embodiment,” in Embodiment and Agency, pp. 100-125. Edited by Sue Campbell, Letitia Meynell, and Susan Sherwin. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 2009.
Miller, Julie B. “To Remember Self, to Remember God: Augustine on Sexuality, Relationality, and the Trinity,” in Feminist Interpretations of Augustine, pp. 243-279. Edited by Judith Chelius Stark. State College, PA: Penn State University Press, 2007.
Mohrmann, Margaret E. “On Being True to Form.” In Health and Human Flourishing: Religion, Medicine, and Moral Anthropology, pp. 89-102. Edited by Carol Taylor, CFSN, and Roberto Dell’Oro. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2006.
Pratt, Scott L. “Kathleen Wallace and the Network Self: Identity, Autonomy, and Responsibility.” Metaphilosophy 51:5 (October 2020), pp. 657-663.
Rendtorff, Jacob Dahl. “Integrity, Concept of,” in Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics (1 January 2015), online at https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-319-05544-2_250-1 (accessed 7 November 2022).
Rendtorff, Jacob Dahl. “Update of European Bioethics: Basic Ethical Principles in European Bioethics and Biolaw.” Bioethics Update 1 (2015), pp. 113-129.
Ricoeur, Paul. Time and Narrative, Volumes 1-3. Translated by Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984-1988.
Rivera, Joseph. “Figuring the Porous Self: St. Augustine and the Phenomenology of Temporality.” Modern Theology 29:1 (2013), pp. 83-103.
Roberts, Austin J. “Pneumatterings: The New Materialism, Whitehead, and Theology.” Process Studies 44.1 (2015), pp. 4-23.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Emile. Translated by Barbara Foxley. London: J.M. Dent, 1993.
Siakel, Daniel Robert. “The Dynamic Process of Being (a Person): Two Process Ontological Theories of Personal Identity.” Process Studies 43:2 (Fall-Winter 2014), pp. 4-28.
Stewart-Kroeker, Sarah. “ ‘Scattered in Times’: An Augustinian Meditation on Temporal Fragmentation, Imagination, and Climate Change.” Journal of Religious Ethics 48.1 (2020), pp. 45-73.
Sulmasy, Daniel P., O.F.M. “Dignity and the Human as a Natural Kind.” In Health and Human Flourishing: Religion, Medicine, and Moral Anthropology, pp. 71-87. Edited by Carol Taylor and Roberto Dell'Oro. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2006.
Swinton, John. “Dementia and the Memory of the Body: Moving Beyond the Autobiographical Self.” St. Mark’s Review 232:2 (2015), pp. 38-49.
Teske, Roland B. “Augustine’s Philosophy of Memory.” In Cambridge Companion to Augustine, pp. 148-158. Edited by Eleonore Stump and Norman Kretzmann. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. Second and revised edition. 1920. https://www.newadvent.org/summa/.
Wall, John. “Can Democracy Represent Children? Toward a Politics of Difference.” Childhood 19:1 (2011), pp. 86-100.
Wall, John. Ethics in Light of Childhood. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2010.
Wall, John. “Fallen Angels: A Contemporary Christian Ethical Ontology of Childhood.” International Journal of Practical Theology 8:2 (2004), pp.160–184.
Wall, John. “From Childhood Studies to Childism: Reconstructing the Scholarly and Social Imaginations.” Children’s Geographies 20:3 (2019), pp. 1-14.
Wall, John. “Human Rights in Light of Childhood.” International Journal of Human Rights 16 (2008), pp. 523-543.
Welton, W., S.I. “The Human Being as Substance and as Actual Entity.” Gregorianum 73:2 (1992), pp. 317-328.
Welz, Claudia. “The Future of the Past: Memory, Forgetting, and Personal Identity.” In Impossible Time: Past and Future in the Philosophy of Religion, 191-212. Edited by Marius Timmann Mjaaland, Ulrik Houlind Rasmussen, and Philipp Stoellger. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Cristina Traina
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.