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Glittering Vices

A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies

by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung

Con­tem­po­rary cul­ture triv­i­al­izes the sev­en dead­ly sins,” or vices, as if they have no seri­ous moral or spir­i­tu­al impli­ca­tions. Glit­ter­ing Vices clears this mis­con­cep­tion by explor­ing the tra­di­tion­al mean­ings of glut­tony, sloth, lust, and oth­ers. It offers a brief his­to­ry of how the vices were com­piled and an eye open­ing expli­ca­tion of how each sin man­i­fests itself in var­i­ous destruc­tive behav­iors. Read­ers gain prac­ti­cal under­stand­ing of how the vices shape our cul­ture today and how to cor­rect­ly iden­ti­fy and elim­i­nate the deeply root­ed pat­terns of sin that are work in their own lives. This acces­si­ble book is essen­tial for any read­er inter­est­ed in spir­i­tu­al dis­ci­plines and char­ac­ter for­ma­tion. Excerpt Very sim­ply, a virtue (or vice) is acquired through prac­tice repeat­ed activ­i­ty that increas­es our pro­fi­cien­cy at the activ­i­ty and grad­u­al­ly forms our char­ac­ter.… We often need exter­nal incen­tives and sanc­tions to get us through the ini­tial stages of the process, when our old, entrenched desires still pull us toward the oppo­site behav­ior. But with encour­age­ment, dis­ci­pline, and often a role mod­el or men­tor, prac­tice can make things feel more nat­ur­al and enjoy­able as we grad­u­al­ly devel­op the inter­nal val­ues and desires cor­re­spond­ing to our out­ward behav­ior. Virtue often devel­ops, that is, from the out­side in. This is why, when we want to reform our char­ac­ter from vice to virtue, we often need to prac­tice and per­se­vere in reg­u­lar spir­i­tu­al dis­ci­plines and for­ma­tion­al prac­tices for a lengthy peri­od of time.


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