Beyond Individualism: Toward a Retrieval of Moral Discourse in America

Donald L. Gelpi, Other University of Notre Dame Press $29 (230p) ISBN 978-0-268-00680-8
In Habits of the Heart , Robert Bellah and four coauthors blasted the isolating effects of American individualism and called for a renewal of republican and religious traditions. The seven opinionated essays collected in this scholarly tome take up that challenge largely from a Christian theological perspective. One piece argues that romantic love should foster a network of connections that reach beyond narcissistic preoccupation with the self. Another essay shows that the decisions we make about technology tend to reinforce certain social values. Discussions of Puritan revivalist Jonathan Edwards's conversion experience and Josiah Royce's philosophy of community seek ways to go beyond narrow individualist striving. A call for ``world citizenship'' transcending the bounds of nationalism is set forth in the closing essay. Gelpi and his coauthors are members of the John Courtney Murray Jesuit Writing Group, which previously collaborated on The Reasoning Heart: Toward a North American Theology. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-268-07561-3
Paperback - 230 pages - 978-0-268-00681-5
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