Leading Lives That Matter: What We Should Do and Who We Should Be

Overview

Leading Lives That Matter draws together a wide range of texts -- including fiction, autobiography, and philosophy -- offering challenge and insight to those who are thinking about what to do with their lives. Instead of giving prescriptive advice, Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass approach the subject of vocation as an ongoing conversation. They include in this conversation some of the Western tradition's best writings on human life -- its meaning, purpose, and significance -- ranging from ancient Greek poetry to ...
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Overview

Leading Lives That Matter draws together a wide range of texts -- including fiction, autobiography, and philosophy -- offering challenge and insight to those who are thinking about what to do with their lives. Instead of giving prescriptive advice, Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass approach the subject of vocation as an ongoing conversation. They include in this conversation some of the Western tradition's best writings on human life -- its meaning, purpose, and significance -- ranging from ancient Greek poetry to contemporary fiction. Including Leo Tolstoy's novella The Death of Ivan Ilych as an extended epilogue, this volume will help readers clarify and deepen how they think about their own lives.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Congregations
"Humanizes the sometimes daunting task of self-discovery and the work required to live a life of purpose."

Critique
"We recommend Leading Lives That Matter to parents, pastors, Sunday school teachers, and small group leaders. The book is centered on a topic of perennial importance and instead of purporting to tell us how to live meaningfully, it invites us to join a conversation in order to develop wisdom in living."

Amy and Leon Kass
-- University of Chicago
"Leading Lives That Matter speaks directly to the universal desire and urgent need to know what one should do and who one should be. Its broad range of texts, each aptly chosen and engagingly introduced, arms readers with a richer, more deeply textured vocabulary for thinking about these matters and with stunning models and examples of lives wonderfully lived."

Miroslav Volf
-- Yale Divinity School
"We are overwhelmed, we are self-absorbed, we feel melancholy emptiness -- most of us and more often than we like. Yet we long for our lives to contribute to something truly great, something that transcends our individual selves. Here is an excellent tool that helps us reflect on how our lives acquire depth and weight, that offers guidance about who we should be and what we should do if we are to lead lives that truly matter."

Sharon Daloz Parks
-- author of Leadership Can Be Taught
"An elegantly crafted anthology and a treasure trove for the soul. Nuggets of insight, a gem of a story, or a strand of meaningful argument will capture your eye, reshape your heart and mind, and strengthen your resolve to listen more attentively -- in the good company of these many authors -- to the haunting, healing, creative sense of calling that yields the gift we call vocation -- a life of meaning, purpose, and significance. Claim this book for yourself -- and several more copies for the people you love."

Mark U. Edwards Jr.
-- Harvard Divinity School
"How can I earn a living while living a worthwhile life? Leading Lives That Matter includes some of the most insightful authors to write about this question in a contemporary (or timeless) idiom. . . Highly recommended."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802829313
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 545
  • Sales rank: 369,349
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark R. Schwehn is professor of humanities in Christ College and project director of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, Valparaiso University.

Dorothy C. Bass is director of the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People of Faith, a project of the Lilly Endowment located at Valparaiso University.

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Table of Contents

"What makes a life significant?" 14
"I resolve to become a jungle doctor" 29
From The ethics of authenticity 49
"Solitude of self" 59
From Nicomachean ethics 65
"The vigor of life" 83
20:20-28 89
"Making the match : career choice" 90
"Choosing" 101
"The place of responsibility" 107
"Vocation" 111
"Vocation as grace" 112
"Learning in war-time" 124
From Nicomachean ethics 129
From The Iliad 130
The martyrdom of Perpetua 144
From Therese 153
Three biographical sketches 168
Three biographical sketches 171
Three biographical sketches 173
"Elegy written in a country churchyard" 175
From Just work 188
"Why work?" 191
"Two tramps in mud time" 196
"To be of use" 199
"The door in the wall" 201
From The sabbath 216
"The world is too much with us" and "lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey" 222
"Friendship and vocation" 229
"The changing nature of work in the United States : implications for vocation, ethics, and faith" 255
"Generativity crises of my own" 263
"There's no place like work" 272
"Defining a doctor" 278
"The village blacksmith" 281
"An invisible web" 283
Two eulogies for Yitzhak Rabin 294
"Living like weasels" 298
"The choice" 302
"Filial relations" 303
Interviewed by Bill Moyers 308
25:14-30 the parable of the talents 317
"On his blindness" 318
From Grounding for the metaphysics of morals 320
From The life of Charlotte Bronte 321
From the screenplay of Good Will Hunting 322
"Sonny's blues" 330
"The undeclared major" 364
"Two kinds" 370
From The autobiography of Malcolm X 381
From The giver 386
"I hear them ... calling" 395
"The ancient people" 404
From A dresser of sycamore trees 413
"Invictus" 434
"Passed on" 435
"The last hours" 438
The book of Jonah 440
A letter to his wife, 1861 444
"Weddings" 447
From Thoughts in solitude 449
"The road not taken" 458
"Composing a life story" 459
From Jayber Crow 467
From East of Eden 468
"An American life story" 471
"Robert McG. Thomas, 60, chronicler of unsung lives" 481
The death of Ivan Ilych 492
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