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Passions and Virtue

Passions and Virtue

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  • ISBN-13: 9780813227511
  • Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press
  • Release Date: Jun 12, 2015
  • Pages: 152 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.20 x 0.60 x 8.30 inches


This book, the last that noted moral theologian Servais Pinckaers, OP, wrote before his death, was conceived as a follow-up to his previous work Plaidoyer pour la vertu (An Appeal for Virtue) (2007) Pinckaers' aim in Passions and Virtue was to show the positive and essential role that our emotions play in the life of virtue. His purpose is part of a larger project of renewing moral theology, a theology too often experienced as an ethics of obligation rather than as a practical guide to living virtuously. To this end, Pinckaers sketches a positive psychology of the passions as found in the biblical tradition, in the writings of the Fathers of the Church, in pagan authors and, especially, in the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas. In addition to treating the virtues as they relate to the concupiscible and irascible appetites, the will, and the intellect, Pinckaers expands the discussion to include such unexpected topics as humor, silence, the positive role of anger in the life of virtue, work, rest and leisure, sports, the psychology of the virtues and, finally, the positive limits to a life of virtue in the useless servant. Pinckaers' book is an important contribution to the relatively recent retrieval of virtue ethics. His positive and unique assessment of the role of the emotions in the moral life will no doubt find favor among his English-speaking readers.

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