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The Value of Solitude: The Ethics and Spirituality of Aloneness in Autobiography

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The Value of Solitude: The Ethics and Spirituality of Aloneness in Autobiography Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Most people feel ambivalent about solitude, both loving and fearing it depending on how they experience being alone at certain points in their lives. In "The Value of Solitude, John Barbour explores some of the ways in which experiences of solitude, both positive and negative, have been interpreted as religiously significant. He also shows how solitude can raise ethical questions as writers evaluate the virtues and dangers of aloneness and consider how social interaction and withdrawal can most meaningfully be combined in a life. Barbour's work differs from previous books about solitude in two ways: it links solitude with ethics and spirituality, and it approaches solitude by way of autobiography. Barbour ranges from the early Christian and medieval periods to the twentieth century in examining the varieties of solitary experience of writers such as Augustine, Petrarch, Montaigne, Gibbon, Rousseau, Thoreau, Thomas Merton, and Paul Auster. For many authors, the process of writing an autobiography is itself conceived of as a form of solitude, a detachment from others in order to discover or create a new sense of personal identity. Solitude helps these authors to reorient their lives according to their moral ideals and spiritual aspirations. "The Value of Solitude both traces the persistence and vitality of the theme of solitude in autobiography and shows how the literary form and structure of autobiography are shaped by the ethical and religious reflection on aloneness. This work should appeal to scholars in the fields of religious studies and theology, to literary critics and specialists in autobiography, and to readers interested in the experience of solitude and its moral and spiritualsignificance.

Book News Annotation:

Barbour (religion, St. Olaf College) explores some ways in which experiences of solitude, both positive and negative, have been interpreted as religiously significant. His differs from earlier studies on solitude by taking autobiographies as his evidence, and by focusing on the links between solitude, ethics, and spirituality.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The Value of Solitude both traces the persistence and vitality of the theme of solitude in autobiography and shows how the literary form and structure of autobiography are shaped by ethical and religious reflection on aloneness. This work should appeal to scholars in the fields of religious studies and theology, to literary critics and specialists in autobiography, and to readers interested in the experience of solitude and its moral and spiritual significance.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780813922898
Author:
Barbour, John D.
Publisher:
University of Virginia Press
Location:
Charlottesville
Subject:
Monasticism
Subject:
Autobiography
Subject:
Solitude
Subject:
Movements - Humanism
Subject:
Solitude -- Religious aspects.
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
NASA/CR-2002-211685
Publication Date:
20041031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
9.02x6.36x.74 in. .85 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Western Religions » Monastics

The Value of Solitude: The Ethics and Spirituality of Aloneness in Autobiography New Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages University Press of Virginia - English 9780813922898 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Value of Solitude both traces the persistence and vitality of the theme of solitude in autobiography and shows how the literary form and structure of autobiography are shaped by ethical and religious reflection on aloneness. This work should appeal to scholars in the fields of religious studies and theology, to literary critics and specialists in autobiography, and to readers interested in the experience of solitude and its moral and spiritual significance.

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