Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue

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OUP USA, 2002 - Philosophy - 248 pages
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. 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. 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, showing how our own intellectual and spiritual legacy can guide us more than we realize.
 

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Made for a slow and meditative read. I taught "at risk teens" for 14 years and realized in the reading that a core problem for gang members is "no reverence for no thing man"
John
Orange, CA

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User Review  - robertshaw - LibraryThing

Very good, looks at a forgotten virtue Read full review

Contents

III
3
IV
17
V
45
VI
57
VII
81
VIII
103
IX
117
X
135
XII
149
XIII
163
XIV
187
XV
205
XVI
221
XVII
240
XVIII
244
Copyright

XI
136

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About the author (2002)


Paul Woodruff is Mary Helen Thompson Professor of the Humanities at the University of Texas in Austin. A widely published translator of Plato, Thucydides, and other ancient writers, he has written extensively on classical philosophy and political thought.

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