Power Vs. Authority: An Exploration of Christian Virtues as Moral Authority

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Coutts, Conor
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2018-04-20
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Power Vs. Authority: An Exploration of Christian Virtues as Moral Authority
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We live in an age that is both desperate for moral authority while simultaneously not knowing what genuine moral authority is. Authority from merely a standard of wealth and political office is not morally legitimate but instead merely powerful. I seek to differentiate between power and authority, asserting that it is through a sense of sacrifice and a disregard for popularity that moral authority is attained. Looking to the Abrahamic faiths that assert such a sacrifice and humility, the life of Christ and subsequent Christian tradition serve as an ideal practice of this. Such a practice of authority and how it is interpreted is significantly influenced by art and mass media, therefore I will analyze two films that display the struggle between power and authority and described by what means the authoritative figure has to go through to triumph. Through engagement with the experiences in film, a necessity of community arises, and how communities choose power over authority largely comes from the decision to either serve the self or serve the other.
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