Spirituality, Diversion, and Decadence: The Contemporary Predicament

Spirituality, Diversion, and Decadence: The Contemporary Predicament

by Peter H. Van Ness
     
 

This book presents a philosophical rethinking of the meaning and nature of spiritual discipline. It offers a new way of describing and justifying practices like praying, meditating, fasting, and yoga, and it provides an innovative case for their contemporary importance.

Spiritual discipline is especially effective at combatting Pascalian diversion, the pursuit of

See more details below

Overview

This book presents a philosophical rethinking of the meaning and nature of spiritual discipline. It offers a new way of describing and justifying practices like praying, meditating, fasting, and yoga, and it provides an innovative case for their contemporary importance.

Spiritual discipline is especially effective at combatting Pascalian diversion, the pursuit of activities that occupy the mind just enough to avoid thinking about important things; and Nietzschean decadence, the proclivity for extirpating instinctive drives instead of satisfying or sublimating them. In addition to overcoming diversion and decadence in contemporary consumerist culture, VanNess recommends spiritual discipline as a means of political resistance to powerful institutions which seek to exercise social control in democratic societies by promulgating addictive patterns of consumption.

Finally, he argues that regimens of spiritual discipline can serve healthful and liberating purposes, and generally promote fullness of life, only insofar as they are shaped by an ethos of intellectual criticism and aesthetic experimentation.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791412060
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
10/01/1992
Series:
SUNY Series in Religious Studies
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
364
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: On Praxis and Pleroma

I. The Philosophical Problem

1. A Historical Perspective
2. A Contemporary Evaluation

II. Categoreal Themes and their Practical Applications

3. Semiotic Self-Reference
4. Physical Symmetry
5. Biological Equilibration

III. Rethinking the Nature of Spiritual Disclipline

6. Nietzsche's Negation
7. A Novel Response

Conclusion: Beyond Diversion and Decadence

Notes

Select Bibliography

Index

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >