Low Anthropology - The Unlikely Key to a Gracious View of Others (and Yourself)

Low Anthropology - The Unlikely Key to a Gracious View of Others (and Yourself)

4.64 (123 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.64 (123 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"A lighthearted yet high-minded exploration of failure's ability to serve as a gateway to grace. Readers will find this a balm."--Publishers Weekly

Many of us spend our days feeling like we're the only one with problems, while everyone else has their act together. But the sooner we realize that everyone struggles like we do, the sooner we can show grace to ourselves and others.

In Low Anthropology, popular author and theologian David Zahl explores how our ideas about human nature influence our expectations in friendship, work, marriage, and politics. We all go through life with an "anthropology"--an idea about what humans are like, our potentials and our limitations. A high anthropology--thinking optimistically about human nature--can breed perfectionism, anxiety, burnout, loneliness, and resentment. Meanwhile, Zahl invites readers into a biblically rooted and surprisingly life-giving low anthropology, which fosters hope, deep connection with others, lasting love, vulnerability, compassion, and happiness.

Zahl offers a liberating view of human nature, sin, and grace, showing why the good news of Christianity is both urgent and appealing. By embracing a more accurate view of human beings, readers will discover a true and lasting hope.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 149 x 222 x 19mm | 394g
  • Brazos Press, Div of Baker Publishing Group
  • Ada, MI, United States
  • English
  • 158743556X
  • 9781587435560
  • 502,396

Back cover copy

"Perceptive, funny, subversive, and nourishing"

Many of us spend our days feeling like we're the only one with problems, while everyone else has their act together. But the sooner we realize that everyone struggles like we do, the sooner we can show grace to ourselves and others.

In Low Anthropology, author and theologian David Zahl explores how our ideas about human nature influence our expectations in friendship, work, marriage, and politics. He offers a liberating view of human nature, sin, and grace, showing why the good news of Christianity is both urgent and appealing.

By embracing a more accurate view of human beings, we can discover a true and lasting hope.

"A remarkably perceptive, funny, subversive, and nourishing book that hasn't left my mind since I read it. David Zahl shows that transformation--and the kind of hope we can actually rely on--isn't to be found in the oppressive perfectionism of self-improvement but rather in accepting the liberating truth that we're all flawed, finite, prone to overconfidence and messing things up, and in need of forgiveness."
--Oliver Burkeman, New York Times bestselling author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

"This is the book I have been waiting for: an antidote to all the self-help nonsense that weighs down our bookshelves and our self-regard. I feel lighter, freer, and less alone with every word I read in Zahl's brilliant and truthful Low Anthropology."
--Nadia Bolz-Weber, author of Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

"I know of few people better equipped to cut through the religious noise of our day than David Zahl, and this book is no exception. While we're constantly being told to think better and expect more of ourselves, Zahl provides a counterintuitive take. He shows us that there's goodness in being merely human, and there's great humor to be found in it too."
--Mike Cosper, author and director of podcasts at Christianity Today
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Table of contents

Contents

Introduction
1. The Problem of High Anthropology
Part 1: The Shape of Low Anthropology
2. Limitation: Or, Modesty Is the Best Policy
3. Doubleness: Or, Can't Stop Won't Stop
4. Self-centeredness: Or, Control Freaks Anonymous
Part 2: The Mechanics of Low Anthropology
5. How We Avoid Low Anthropology
6. The Fruit of Low Anthropology
Part 3: The Life of Low Anthropology
7. Low Anthropology and the Self
8. Low Anthropology in Relationships
9. Low Anthropology in Politics
10. Low Anthropology in Religion
Conclusion
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About David Zahl

David Zahl is founder and director of Mockingbird Ministries, which receives more than 1 million website pageviews per year and has 35,000 newsletter subscribers and social media followers. He is editor in chief of the Mockingbird blog and cohost of the Mockingcast podcast. Zahl wrote the critically acclaimed book Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What to Do about It and has written for Christianity Today and the Washington Post. He lives with his wife and three boys in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he also serves on the staff of Christ Episcopal Church.
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Rating details

123 ratings
4.64 out of 5 stars
5 74% (91)
4 18% (22)
3 7% (8)
2 2% (2)
1 0% (0)
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