Power and Innocence: A Search for the Sources of Violence

Power and Innocence: A Search for the Sources of Violence

by Rollo May
     
 

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Stressing the positive, creative aspects of power and innocence, Rollo May offers a way of thinking about the problems of contemporary society. Rollo May defines power as the ability to cause or prevent change; innocence, on the other hand, is the conscious divesting of one's power to make it seem a virtue--a form of powerlessness that Dr. May sees as particularly… See more details below

Overview

Stressing the positive, creative aspects of power and innocence, Rollo May offers a way of thinking about the problems of contemporary society. Rollo May defines power as the ability to cause or prevent change; innocence, on the other hand, is the conscious divesting of one's power to make it seem a virtue--a form of powerlessness that Dr. May sees as particularly American in nature. From these basic concepts he suggests a new ethic that sees power as the basis for both human goodness and evil. Dr. May discusses five levels of power's potential in each of us: the infant's power to be; self-affirmation, the ability to survive with self-esteem; self-assertion, which develops when self-affirmation is blocked; aggression, a reaction to thwarted assertion; and, finally, violence, when reason and persuasion are ineffective.

Editorial Reviews

Christian Century
[May's book] is an attack on the psychological rejection of power in the intellectual tradition of the Christian West. . . . With great skill [he] weaves together his political reflections and clinical experience. . . . [A] wise, humane, and admirable book.— William Hamilton
Christian Century - William Hamilton
“[May's book] is an attack on the psychological rejection of power in the intellectual tradition of the Christian West. . . . With great skill [he] weaves together his political reflections and clinical experience. . . . [A] wise, humane, and admirable book.”
William Hamilton - Christian Century
“[May's book] is an attack on the psychological rejection of power in the intellectual tradition of the Christian West. . . . With great skill [he] weaves together his political reflections and clinical experience. . . . [A] wise, humane, and admirable book.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385287951
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1976

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