Preview Response

Justice / Theology

Ryan McAnnally-Linz

Associate Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture

Lecturer in Humanities at Yale College


Wolterstorff’s rights-based account of justice has significant bearing on the ethics of home-making and home-maintenance, particularly in a world where there are millions who have no house to call home, no land that will treat them as belonging, or highly insecure habitations. It pushes in the direction of asking what, if any, quality of home is due to a human being and to whom the correlative duty of providing such a home belongs.

I find myself wondering whether a rights-based account of justice inevitably brings together justice and debts, and if so, whether one or the other of the two tends to take the lead. That is, does this construal of justice push toward a paradigm of justice as "paying one’s debts" and of the moral agent as perpetually indebted? All of this has implications for my work on gratitude to God.