Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue

Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue

by Paul Woodruff
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ISBN-10:
0195157958
ISBN-13:
9780195157956
Pub. Date:
10/15/2002
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
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Overview

Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue

Reverence is an Ancient Virtue dating back thousands of years. It survives among us in half-forgotten patterns of behavior and in the vestiges of old ceremonies. Yet, Paul Woodruff says, we have lost sight of reverence. Like an important engine part that has rusted over time, the idea of reverence has become increasingly foreign. This short, elegiac volume makes an impassioned case for the fundamental importance of the forgotten virtue of reverence, and how awe for things greater than oneself can -- indeed must -- be a touchstone for other virtues like respect, humility, and charity.

Ranging widely over diverse cultural terrain -- from Philip Larkin to ancient Greek poetry, from modern politics to Chinese philosophy -- Woodruff shows how absolutely essential reverence is to a well-functioning society. He tackles some thorny questions: How does reverence allow not only for leaders but for followers? What role does reverence play in religion? Do some religions misuse reverence? Must reverence be humorless? In the process, Woodruff shows convincingly how reverence plays an unseen part in virtually every human relationship, whether in government, work, friendship, or family. It is essential, he says, for us to recover a sense of reverence in order to help repair the fraying bonds that tie us together.

Elegantly written, thoughtful yet urgent, Reverence is sure to reach out to a wide variety of people interested in the moral health of Western culture and how our own intellectual and spiritual legacy can guide us more than we realize.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195157956
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2002
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,282,322
Product dimensions: 4.92(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.73(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Text Creditsx
1Introducing Reverence3
2Without Reverence17
3Music and a Funeral: Finding Reverence45
4Bare Reverence57
5Ancient Greece: The Way of Being Human81
6Ancient China: The Way of Power103
7Reverence Without a Creed117
8Reverence Across Religions135
9Relativism149
10The Reverent Leader163
11The Silent Teacher187
12Home205
Notes221
Works Cited240
Index and Glossary of Proper Names244

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