Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 5¾ x 9
978-1-4422-2116-1 • Hardback • December 2012 • $56.00 • (£43.00)
978-1-4422-2117-8 • eBook • December 2012 • $50.00 • (£38.00)
Richard White is professor of Philosophy at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Born in London, U.K., he earned a B.A. in Philosophy and Literature at Warwick University and a Ph.D. at SUNY, Stony Brook. He is the author of four previous books, including Radical Virtues (2008) and Love's Philosophy (2001).
Ch. 1. Suffering
Some Recommended Reading
In a time when so many philosophical works on religion are predictable and simplistic, Richard White's The Heart of Wisdom is fresh and invigorating. By approaching the topic of spirituality in light of the virtues, White is able to ask new questions (or perhaps lead a new readership to ask very old questions), and the answers he discovers are full of wisdom. This is a delightfully insightful book.
— Richard L. Kyte, Viterbo University
White (Creighton Univ.) provides an investigation into the spiritual life and takes the uncommon, higher-elevation viewpoint of an overview of spirituality itself and its manifestation through different religions without overtly promoting one over the other. Rather than providing yet another critique of spiritual ideas, White gives a scaled-down phenomenological account of how people interact with each other and the world in a larger, deeper way; this is the essence of spirituality. What makes this approach interesting is that he focuses on the themes in the "order of their emergence at the conceptual and experiential level." The book starts with suffering: a passive reaction to the world that brings people face to face with the limits of existence. It then travels through compassion, generosity, forgiveness, reverence, and finally joy. By placing spirituality as a basic shared condition of existence, White is able to pull from a wide range of authors and faith traditions (while excluding the "occult" or New Age wisdom that "grasps alternate realities"). He ends by affirming that philosophy has a wider breadth than spirituality, which in turn is part of what entails a full and rich philosophical understanding of the human condition. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers
— Choice Reviews