Religious luck and religious virtue

Charlotte Katzoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Following Linda Zagzebski's discussion of the paradoxical implications of moral luck for Christian morality, I explore the role of religious luck in two accounts of divine election - that of Paul the Apostle and that of the sixteenth-century Jewish thinker, Rabbi Judah Loeb of Prague. On both accounts, special religious status is conferred unrelated to the deserts of the beneficiary. What sense does it make to ascribe religious worth to someone if it simply came his way? Both accounts appeal to the notion of religious virtue to answer this question. On Rabbi Judah's account, like ethical virtues, religious virtues inhere within the essence of their bearer and thus belong to him necessarily; on Paul's they are accidental, a matter of luck. Thus Paul's account, more than Rabbi Judah's, suffers from the paradox troubling Zagzebski.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-111
Number of pages15
JournalReligious Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


Dive into the research topics of 'Religious luck and religious virtue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this