Reverence (2nd ed.)

Renewing a Forgotten Virtue

by Paul Woodruff

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 0199350817
  • 9780199350803
  • 9780199350810
  • 9780199350827
Reverence is an ancient virtue that survives among us in half-forgotten patterns of civility and moments of inarticulate awe. Reverence gives meaning to much that we do, yet the word has almost passed out of our vocabulary.Reverence, says philosopher and classicist Paul Woodruff, begins in an understanding of human limitations. From this grows the capacity to be in awe of whatever we believe lies outside our control -- God, truth, justice, nature, even death. It is a quality of character that is especially important in leadership and in teaching, although it figures in virtually every human relationship. It transcends religious boundaries and can be found outside religion altogether.Woodruff draws on thinking about this lost virtue in ancient Greek and Chinese traditions and applies lessons from these highly reverent cultures to today's world. The book covers reverence in a variety of contexts -- the arts, leadership, teaching, warfare, and the home -- and shows how essential a quality it is to a well-functioning society.First published by Oxford University Press in 2001, this new edition of Reverence is revised and expanded. It contains a foreword by Betty Sue Flowers, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin, a new preface, two new chapters -- one on the sacred and one on compassion -- and an epilogue focused on renewing reverence in our own lives.

  • Oxford University Press; May 2014
  • ISBN: 9780199350810
  • Edition: 2
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Reverence
  • Author: Paul Woodruff
  • Imprint: Oxford University Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 0199350817
  • 9780199350803
  • 9780199350810
  • 9780199350827

In The Press

"This book by Paul Woodruff is a delight, in part from the beauty and pertinence of the poetry that Woodruff brings in to illuminate his discussion and from the charm added by his explications. His prose is a joy as he illustrates the various facets of reverence with brief scenarios and as well as longer stories. This book is capable of changing some people."--George Bennion, Brigham Young University
"In this small book, philosopher Paul Woodruff sets himself two large tasks: to revive an appreciation for reverence in a culture that celebrates irreverence, and to rescue the idea of virtue from its proponents on the right and its opponents on the left. He succeeds admirably in both." --Scott Russell Sanders, Christian Science Monitor
"An admirable, historical and ideological survey."--Publishers Weekly
"Elegant.... Not a simple self-help book, nor is it intended to be a feel-good, or feel-better, philosophical read.... It is grounded in Western and Eastern philosophical, intellectual, an literary traditions, and it invites us to figure out for ourselves how its plainspoken lessons about the role of reverence...can be applied to the challenges of that confront us in our day-to-day lives."--Tom Palaima, The American Prospect
"Woodruff approaches his subject with reverence, thereby invoking it even as he is analyzing it with depth and clarity. We have lost the 'idea' of reverence, he tells us, and to reclaim it is our obligation and opportunity. A beautiful book, lyrical and hard-hitting, intellectual and emotive, transformative."--Ursula Goodenough, author of Sacred Depths of Nature
"Reverence is a beautifully written meditation on an important--and neglected--virtue. It is a wise, humane work and--in its own reverent way--something of a minor masterpiece."--David Reeve, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


About The Author

Paul Woodruff has served at The University of Texas at Austin since 1973; he has been chair of the Department of Philosophy, director of the Plan II Honors Program, and inaugural dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies. Woodruff has translated works by Plato, Sophocles and other ancient Greek writer and interpreted them for modern audiences.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 0199350817
  • 9780199350803
  • 9780199350810
  • 9780199350827