Leading Lives That Matter

Leading Lives That Matter : What We Should Do and Who We Should be

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Leading Lives That Matter compiles a wide range of texts--from ancient and contemporary literature, social commentary, and philosophy--related to questions of vital interest for those who are trying to decide what to do with their lives and what kind of human beings they hope to become. This book draws upon both religious and secular wisdom, bringing these sources into conversation with one another.

Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass identify four vocabularies typically used in discussions of the meaning of life choices: authenticity, virtue, exemplarity, and vocation. Six guiding questions shape the chapters that contain the majority of the texts. Each chapter's texts provide a variety of insights and approaches to be considered in addressing the question, arranged and introduced in ways that prompt deeper reflection. Leading Lives That Matter invites readers into arguments that have persisted for generations about what we human beings should do and who we should be.

This second edition includes forty-seven new readings from a diverse array of writers, including Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Denise Levertov, Malcolm Gladwell, Julia Alvarez, Alice Walker, Martin Luther King Jr., Pope Francis, and Chung Tzu. Three new guiding questions have also been added: To whom and to what should I listen as I decide what work to do? With whom and for whom shall I live? What are my obligations to future human and other life?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 563 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 33.02mm | 929.86g
  • Grand Rapids, United States
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • 0802877141
  • 9780802877147
  • 1,762,201

Review quote

"We are overwhelmed, we are self-absorbed, we feel melancholy emptiness--most of us and more often than we like. Yet we long for our lives to contribute to something truly great, something that transcends our individual selves. Here is an excellent tool that helps us reflect on how our lives acquire depth and weight, that offers guidance about who we should be and what we should do if we are to lead lives that truly matter."
-- Miroslav Volf
Yale Divinity School "An elegantly crafted anthology and a treasure trove for the soul. Nuggets of insight, a gem of a story, or a strand of meaningful argument will capture your eye, reshape your heart and mind, and strengthen your resolve to listen more attentively--in the good company of these many authors--to the haunting, healing, creative sense of calling that yields the gift we call vocation--a life of meaning, purpose, and significance. Claim this book for yourself--and several more copies for the people you love."
-- Sharon Daloz Parks
author of Leadership Can Be Taught "How can I earn a living while living a worthwhile life? Leading Lives That Matter includes some of the most insightful authors to write about this question in a contemporary (or timeless) idiom. . . . Highly recommended."
-- Mark U. Edwards Jr.
St. Olaf College "Leading Lives That Matter speaks directly to the universal desire and urgent need to know what one should do and who one should be. Its broad range of texts, each aptly chosen and engagingly introduced, arms readers with a richer, more deeply textured vocabulary for thinking about these matters and with stunning models and examples of lives wonderfully lived."
-- Leon and the late Amy Kass
University of Chicago "Humanizes the sometimes-daunting task of self-discovery and the work required to live a life of purpose."
-- Congregations "We recommend Leading Lives That Matter to parents, pastors, Sunday school teachers, and small group leaders. The book is centered on a topic of perennial importance, and instead of purporting to tell us how to live meaningfully, it invites us to join a conversation in order to develop wisdom in living."
-- Critique
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About Mark R. Schwehn

Mark R. Schwehn is senior research professor at Christ College, the honors college of Valparaiso University. Dorothy C. Bass is the director of the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith, a Lilly Endowment project at Valparaiso University that develops resources to help contemporary people live the Christian faith with vitality and integrity in changing times.
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