The Cardinal and the Deadly: Reimagining the Seven Virtues and Seven Vices (PB) (2015)

What makes for a good life? The seven deadly vices and seven holy virtues, ingrained in our cultural imagination, help us answer this perennial question. For two millennia, these fourteen character traits have stirred our imagination of human nature and desire. Sometimes, however, lists like the seven deadly sins remain mere caricatures that shame and exclude. The world, however, is not divided up into priests and convicts, saints and sinners, virtuous and vicious people. Much of the time, we live between the boundaries of vice and virtue. The Cardinal and the Deadly challenges simplistic bifurcations in order to reimagine a more faithful, hopeful, and loving life. It adopts a unique approach to examining the virtues and vices by pairing them in unexpected ways to reveal something significant about being human. Hope redirects greed; wisdom corrects pride; faith enlivens sloth. Bringing ancient and contemporary authors into dialogue, the book offers a concrete and accessible introduction to virtue ethics for students, pastors, and churches. Its ultimate goal is to engage the reader's intellect and imagination, so that we may respond creatively to the ethical challenges of living together. "After almost two millennia of discussion, is there anything that remains to be said about the seven cardinal virtues and the seven deadly vices? It turns out that there is, as the reader of The Cardinal and the Deadly will discover. Usually the virtues are discussed by themselves and the vices are discussed by themselves. Karl Clifton-Soderstrom adopts the innovative strategy of discussing them in pairs, each virtue paired off with a vice. The pairs are surprising, nothing at all like Aristotle's pairs: greed is paired off with hope, for example, envy with courage. These surprising pairings yield unexpected insight into both the virtue and the vice. A remarkably fresh contribution to an age-old topic." --Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor emeritus of Philosophical Theology, Yale University "The Cardinal and the Deadly is a marvelous introduction to a virtue-based approach to living and flourishing as humans. Rooted in the rich patrimony of Western moral thought, it provides fresh insights into the traditional virtues by engaging a variety of contemporary authors, our lived human experience, and the moral imagination." --Ryan D. Madison, Associate Director, Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, University of Notre Dame "In The Cardinal and the Deadly, Clifton-Soderstrom does what he promises--and what contemporary spiritual life much needs--he reimagines the virtues and vices. And in that reimagining, he breaks opens anew the Christian tradition, awakening us through striking reflections, stories, literary examples, and contemporary events, to the richness of classic thought for understanding what Christ has called us to." --Sarah Borden Sharkey, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Wheaton College Karl Clifton-Soderstrom is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of General Education at North Park University in Chicago.
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Karl Clifton-Soderstrom
ISBN 10:
Cascade Books
Publication Date:
January 7, 2015