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The Forgotten Vice

by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung

Julia Roberts on the red car­pet at the Oscars. Lady Gaga singing Applause” to wor­ship­ful fans at one of her sold-out con­certs. And you and me in our Sun­day best in the front row at church. What do we have in com­mon?

Chances are, says Rebec­ca Konyn­dyk DeY­oung, that we all suf­fer from vain­glo­ry — a keen desire for atten­tion and approval. Although con­tem­po­rary cul­ture has large­ly for­got­ten about vain­glo­ry, it was on the orig­i­nal list of sev­en cap­i­tal vices and is per­haps more dan­ger­ous than ever today.

In Vain­glo­ry: The For­got­ten Vice DeY­oung tells the sto­ry of this vice, mov­ing from its ancient ori­gins to its mod­ern expres­sions. She defines vain­glo­ry, gives exam­ples from pop­u­lar cul­ture, explores moti­va­tion­al sources, and dis­cuss­es oth­er vices asso­ci­at­ed with it such as hypocrisy and boast­ing. After expos­ing the many ways in which vain­glo­ry can rear its ugly head, she explores per­son­al spir­i­tu­al prac­tices that can help us resist it and com­mu­ni­ty prac­tices that can help us han­dle glo­ry well.


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