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Spirituality and the Good Life
Philosophical Approaches


David McPherson, John Cottingham, Cora Diamond, Robert C. Roberts, Fiona Ellis, Mark R. Wynn, Samuel Fleischacker, Mukhtar H. Ali, Karen Stohr, Richard White, May Sim, John Houston
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  • Date Published: October 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107133006

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About the Authors
  • This book presents a broad philosophical study of the nature of spirituality and its relationship to human well-being, addressing an area of contemporary philosophy that has been largely underexplored. David McPherson brings together a team of scholars to examine the importance of specific spiritual practices (including prayer, contemplation, and ritual observance) and spiritually informed virtues (such as piety, humility, and existential gratitude) for 'the good life'. This volume also considers and exemplifies how philosophy itself, when undertaken as a humanistic rather than scientistic enterprise, can be a spiritual exercise and part of a spiritual way of life. Clarifying key concepts, and engaging with major religious traditions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Confucianism, this book will appeal to students and scholars from various disciplines, including theology, sociology, and psychology, as well as to philosophers, ethicists, and other readers who are interested in modern spiritual life.

    • Addresses the underexplored topic of the philosophical study of the relationship between spirituality and human wellbeing, clarifying these concepts and their interaction with religion
    • Engages with issues ranging from spiritual practices and religious traditions to virtue ethics and humanistic versus scientistic philosophy
    • Meets the growing interest in the topic of spirituality in disciplines such as theology, religious studies, sociology, and psychology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… the combination of theoretically and practically focused essays creates a rich and productive hermeneutic tension for the reader. Some chapters invite the thought that spirituality aims to draw us into religious identities in which fledgling spiritual yearnings are trained and fulfilled by very specific types of communal belonging. Others invite us to wonder whether religious identities aim at spiritual transformation, providing a workshop of time-tested communal and individual practices that are knit together by historical and doctrinal identification, but find their deepest fulfillment in transformed adherents working together toward authenticity and justice in the world. There are different senses, perhaps, in which both insights are wise and potentially transformative, especially when held in tension.' Matthew C. Halteman, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107133006
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction David McPherson
    1. Philosophy, religion, and spirituality John Cottingham
    2. The problem of impiety Cora Diamond
    3. The virtue of piety Robert C. Roberts
    4. Homo religiosus: does spirituality have a place in neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics? David McPherson
    5. Desire and the spiritual life Fiona Ellis
    6. Between heaven and earth: sensory experience and the goods of the spiritual life Mark R. Wynn
    7. The Jewish Sabbath as a spiritual practice Samuel Fleischacker
    8. The power of the spoken word: prayer, invocation, and supplication in Islam Mukhtar H. Ali
    9. Aristotelian friendship and Ignatian companionship Karen Stohr
    10. Starting with compassion Richard White
    11. Identifying with the Confucian heaven: immanent and transcendent Dao May Sim
    12. Agnostic spirituality John Houston.

  • Editor

    David McPherson, Creighton University, Omaha
    David McPherson is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Creighton University, Omaha. His research focuses on ethics and philosophy of religion, and has appeared in philosophical journals including Philosophy, Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, and American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly.


    David McPherson, John Cottingham, Cora Diamond, Robert C. Roberts, Fiona Ellis, Mark R. Wynn, Samuel Fleischacker, Mukhtar H. Ali, Karen Stohr, Richard White, May Sim, John Houston

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