All Things Shining

All Things Shining

Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in A Secular Age

Book - 2011
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A sense of certainty and unhesitating confidence is rare in the contemporary world. An unrelenting flow of choices confronts us at nearly every moment of our lives, and if we are honest about it then most of us will admit that we waver in the face of them.

Dreyfus and Kelly examine some of the greatest books in the Western Canon to explain that the burden of choice is essentially a modern problem to which there is an age old solution. Dreyfus and Kelly explain the huge jump from Homer's polytheistic world to the monotheistic one in which Dante wrote his Divine Comedy and Martin Luther wrote his ninety-five theses. They then take the reader forward to the rejection of this Christian ideal, to the Superman of Nietzsche and further onto the spiritual cornucopia of Herman Melville's Moby Dick.Arrivingat the ennui and emptiness that pervades our modern world in which the work of Elizabeth Gilbert and David Foster Wallace arose, Dreyfus and Kelly offer a new-and very old-way to embrace the world, a fresh way to live a meaningful life in a secular world.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, c2011.
Edition: 1st Free Press hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781416596158
Characteristics: xi, 254 p. ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Kelly, Sean (Sean D.)


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AL_ANNAL Aug 23, 2017

A review of Western literary classics (Homer, Aeschylus, Dante, Descartes, Kant, Melville, David Foster Wallace) as a way to understand what gave life meaning at different periods of time. The final chapter offers the authors' suggestions for creating meaning in the 21st century.

Mar 25, 2016

A shallow, crude book that does not deliver on its subtitle. At one point the authors write: "There is no essential difference, really, in how it feels to rise as one in joy to sing the praises of the Lord, or to rise in one in joy to sing the praises of the Hail Mary Pass, the Angels, the Saints, the Friars, or the Demon Deacons." Sure. For more, Google the review by Garry Wills in the New York Review of Books.

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