Towards a Moral Psychology

I have been citing Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind a good bit these days. On a variety of issues, ranging from the recent election to the current discussion about the church’s engagement/retreat from secular society (see the Benedict Option for one example), Haidt’s theory of moral foundations provides what I believe to be highly nuanced and generally applicable categories by which we can understand and evaluate public moral discourse.

Haidt is not a Christian, and I don’t affirm every decision he makes (for instance, he seems committed to the tiresome trope of speculating about the hypothetical evolutionary situation that lead to a certain moral development), but whenever I read him, I find him insightful and challenging. In other words, I have a lot of those “Yep. Wow.” moments.

This discussion between Haidt and pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City can serve as a helpful introduction for Christians who want to see what all the hype is about.

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