The religious turn to their faith to find meaning. But what about the many people who lead secular lives and are also hungry for meaning? What guides, what approaches are available to them?
Distinguished philosophers Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly explain that a secular life charged with meaning is indeed within reach. It is achieved by a passionate, skillful engagement with the people, events, and wonders present in the most ordinary days - an approach to meaning that modern Western culture seems to have abandoned.
Dreyfus and Kelly use some of the greatest works of the Western canon to trace the way we have lost this passionate engagement to our surroundings and to show us how to get it back. Taking us on a journey from the wonder and openness of Homer's polytheistic world, to the monotheism of Dante, to the nihilism of Kant, to the pantheism of Melville, and finally to the spiritual difficulties of the world evoked by modern authors such as David Foster Wallace and Elizabeth Gilbert, All Things Shining will change the way we understand our culture, our history, our sacred practices, and ourselves, and offer a new - and very old - way to celebrate a secular existence.
"All Things Shining [is] a smart, sweeping run through the history of Western philosophy.... important for the way it illuminates life today and for the controversial advice it offers on how to live." (David Brooks, The New York Times)
"An engaging series of spirited, brief excursions from across the centuries, into the works of David Foster Wallace, Homer and Melville, most impressively, alongside strong readings of Descartes, Aeschylus, Dante, Flaubert and Martin Luther. (National Post)
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Excellent Book that refreshes the classics
Challenging but worthwhile read - search for meaning in contemporary society
- Carl A. Gallozzi