counsel of perfection
- (Christianity) Advice in the gospel of Matthew on ways to strive for perfection
- (Christianity, specifically) The virtues of obedience, chastity, and charity, especially in monastic vows.
2005, Nicholas Capaldi, Business and Religion: A Clash of Civilizations?, page 137:
- Many of the recommendations of Jesus are aimed at those who wish to join his circle of disciples to live a rigorous life. Often they are counsels of perfection, and not aimed at ordinary believers who live their everyday life in their family, in their work, and in their prayers.
- (by extension) Noble, but impractical advice.
1919, Harold Joseph Laski, Authority in the Modern State, page 55:
- To a practical statesman that will seem perhaps a counsel of perfection; and, certainly, it is a counsel that, at every stage, will encounter acute difficulties of practical operation.
1988, Albert R. Jonsen, The Abuse of Casuistry: A History of Moral Reasoning:
- Lessius qualified his position on killing in self-defense for defense of honor by noting that although it is permissible to kill for these reasons, it is a moral counsel of perfection to allow oneself to be killed rather than to kill.
2008, Norman K Denzin, Michael D Giardina, Qualitative Inquiry and the Politics of Evidence, page 69:
- In the end, their “Recommendations for Designing and Evaluating Qualitative Research” concludes with another counsel of perfection: “These guidelines amount to a specification of the ideal qualitative research proposal [original emphasis].