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Pride: The Seven Deadly Sins

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Overview

Grasping. Avarice. Covetousness. Miserliness. Insatiable cupidity. Overreaching ambition. Desire spun out of control. The deadly sin of Greed goes by many names, appears in many guises, and wreaks havoc on individuals and nations alike. In this lively and generous book, Phyllis A. Tickle argues that Greed is "the Matriarch of the Deadly Clan," the ultimate source of Pride, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, Lust, and Anger. She shows that the major faiths, from Hinduism and Taoism to Buddhism and Christianity regard Greed as the greatest calamity humans can indulge in, engendering further sins and eviscerating all virtues. As the Sikh holy book Adi Granth asks: "Where there is greed, what love can there be?" Tickle takes a long view of Greed, from St. Paul to the present, focusing particularly on changing imaginative representations of Greed in Western literature and art. Looking at such works as the Psychomachia, or "Soul Battle" of the fifth-century poet Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, the paintings of Peter Bruegel and Hieronymous Bosch, the 1987 film Wall Street, and the contemporary Italian artist Mario Donizetti, Tickle shows how our perceptions have evolved from the medieval understanding of Greed as a spiritual enemy to a nineteenth-century sociological construct to an early twentieth-century psychological deficiency, and finally to a new view, powerfully articulated in Donizetti's mystical paintings, of Greed as both tragic and beautiful.

Engaging, witty, brilliantly insightful, Greed explores the full range of this deadly sin's subtle, chameleon-like qualities, and the enormous destructive power it wields, evidenced all too clearly in the world today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An excellent essay on pride in its various dimensions."--Booklist

"Pride isn't what it used to be, and by the time Michael Eric Dyson gets through with the subject, many of the philosophers who have opined on the subject will realize they have less to be proud of than they thought. The 'deadly sin' turns out to have its virtues, and Dyson is eloquent in rooting them in his own vividly-recounted experience." --James J. O'Donnell, Provost, Georgetown University, and author of Augustine: A New Biography

"Dyson examines pride in its many iterations, invoking pop culture icons and events to lend accessibility to a potentially didactic subject.... Dyson's discussions of 'personal pride,' 'white pride,' 'black pride' and 'national pride' are thoughtful and exhibit a fine balance of scholarship and philosophizing.... Readers already familiar with the 'sins' series will welcome this final volume, as will those interested in issues of race."--Publishers Weekly

"Whimsically packaged exminations of Lust by Simon Blackburn, Gluttony by Francine Prsoe, Envy by Joseph Epstein, Anger by Robert Thurman, Greed by Phyllis Tickle, Sloth by Wendy Wasserstein and Pride by Michael Eric Dyson become playgrounds for cultural reflection by authors and playwrights in Oxford's Seven Deadly Sins series."--Publishers Weekly (on the series)

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Phyllis A. Tickle frequently appears on PBS's "Religion & Ethics News Weekly," The Hallmark Channel, and National Public Radio. She is the author of some two dozen books, including the three-volume The Divine Hours, a set of manuals for observing fixed-hour prayer; The Shaping of a Life: A Spiritual Landscape; and, most recently, The Graces We Remember. Tickle was the religion editor for Publishers Weekly from 1991 to 1996 and is currently a contributing editor. She lives in Millington, Tennessee.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : enduring pride 1
1 The virtuous vice? : philosophical and religious roots of pride 7
2 I witness : personal pride 27
3 Hubris and hue : white pride 43
4 I am somebody : black pride 43
5 My country right or wrong? : national pride 85
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