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Hardcover Greed: The Seven Deadly Sins Book

ISBN: 0195156609

ISBN13: 9780195156607

Greed: The Seven Deadly Sins

(Part of the Τα Επτά Θανάσιμα Αμαρτήματα (#1) Series and The Seven Deadly Sins Series)

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Book Overview

Grasping. Avarice. Covetousness. Miserliness. Insatiable cupidity. Overreaching ambition. Desire spun out of control. The deadly sin of Greed goes by many names, appears in many guises, and wreaks havoc on individuals and nations alike.

In this lively and generous book, Phyllis A. Tickle argues that Greed is "the Matriarch of the Deadly Clan," the ultimate source of Pride, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, Lust, and Anger. She shows that the major faiths,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Thank God for Tickle

I ashamedly admit that I first came across Ms. Phllis A. Tickle, the writer, only a short while ago. However, I boldy proclaim that I had the experience of being a student of hers in 1963, when she taught Freshman Composition at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She literally changed my life forever, and I majored in English due to her influence. She was known as one of the best teachers at Rhodes, and indeed she was. Never too busy for her students, she would stay overtime helping us with our writing and sharing her infinite wisdom with those eager to drink from her generous fountain of knowledge and experience. Besides evaluating her as a master teacher, I would say she was one of the kindest and most giving persons I have ever known. She was my anchor as a freshman that got me through the college experience. Lately I learned about Ms. Phyllis A. Tickle, the author. I saw she had written an essay on "Greed," and I just finished reading it. It was as if I were in her class once more. Her essay is written the same way she taught. It is scholarly and provative, challenging and intriguing. I became a Glutton for each page, turn after turn. I loved her discussions of St. Paul and Dante, to name a few. Now that I am an avowed Glutton for Tickle's writings, I intend to read all of her works. Greedy me.

greed - the seven deadly sins

good book; a must read for anyone interested in the cultural aspects of this sin

I thought it was impossible for me to be surprised by greed anymore.

I went to the bookstore expecting a thick volume. In my mind's eye I saw a heavy book encompassing the immense history of greed. That was my first surprise. It is a tiny book with a bright yellow cover and an endearing cartoon personification of Greed. As I carried it for a week, those who noticed - and many did - smiled and asked brightly what it was about. Then darkened when I told them. Looks cute, but sounds bad. But that is what we learn inside these covers about Greed. It constantly remorphs into novel prettiness. The mother of all sins, from which all the others come, as the author says. Might be important to learn about this mother. So in what might be called "Tickle's Condensed Cream of Greed" we learn about Greed in her naked beauty. Not a fun sin. Not a popular sin, like lust. But remarkably adaptable and effective at the work of sin. More subtle than any of her six sisters. To reveal this chimeric beauty, the author explores all the major world religions. And investigates the struggles of the great artists and philosophers of history to understand her and show her in their personal light. Great portrait painters are seen as one of our best hopes at recognizing her face. Not what I expected. This little book is like a tiny circus car that disgorges a thousand clowns. It demands rereading and thought. Fortunately, it is very portable.

A Brief History Of Greed

Though this is the shortest book in the Seven Sins series (consisting of only one main chapter and a prologue and epilogue), it seems to me the most complicated and challenging read. This book differs from all the other books that I've read in this series in that the author does not address their sin subject up front, but instead provides a lengthy background of the history of religion, and then sin, and then the seven sins before finally introducing greed as the main subject. And instead of examining the charistaristics or psychology of greed, this book takes a look at humanity's view of the sin and the application of greed to modern society and economy from the Middle Ages (The Age of Physical Imagination), to the Enlightenment (The Age of Intellectual Imagination), and finally to our time (The Age of Spiritual Imagination). Though I confess that I am not an intellectual, the content of this book seems difficult to follow not because of the actual subject matter, but because of the way it was written. There are many long, complex sentences where I feel the author could have made their point with much simpler phrasing. In some cases however the text is easier to follow, such as when the author is describing certain paintings of Bosch and Brueghel, as well as a story called "Psychomachia", in which the seven sins are personified. All in all it is certainly not for the casual reader, but I wouldn't discourage those who enjoy challenging reads from reading this highly complex book.

Greed - For Intellectuals Only

"Greed" was part of a lecture series on the seven deadly sins cosponsored by the New York Public Library and Oxford University Press in 2002 and 2003. This is a small book (51 pages) with a deceivingly perky yellow cover that packs an intellectual punch. Phyllis Tickle begins by describing religion as a three-strand braid composed of "spirituality, corporeality, and morality." In history, there come times in which one or more strands undergo transformation and the braid must be restored in a new configuration. According to Tickle, we are currently undergoing one of these transformative periods. Spirituality was in vogue in the middle to late twentieth century but has since lost some of its commercial popularity. Corporeality, which deals with the institution of Church, has been struggling to define itself since the upheaval of Vatican II and the sexual abuse crisis of today. Morality and the definition of evil are in flux due to changing standards of social behavior. War, especially Vietnam; changes in American society including the prevalence of divorce, abortion, and gender issues; and scientific advances have all called into question moral norms that were previously taken for granted. Tickle acknowledges that the seven deadly sins, which include pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, and sloth, are the root of many of humanity's positive characteristics. "Without the fascinating seven, we human beings would never rest or eat or procreate or build or aspire. We would also, however, never sedate ourselves with drugs or gorge or suffer an epidemic of AIDS; nor, for that matter, would we murder, steal, or lie." The major religions of the world agree that of the seven deadly sins, greed leads the group. The others are all derived from it. Greed is explored from a historical perspective, with Tickle dividing the past two thousand years into three eras: the first fifteen hundred years, the next four hundred years, and the remaining fraction of time. Literature and art are used to evaluate society's impression of greed in these three time periods. An overriding theme is the ability of greed to morph into a false virtue such as thrift or capitalistic spirit. Greed is present in all of us. We find it easy to see in others and very difficult to see in ourselves. As stated previously, this is a very erudite work that presumes its audience is knowledgeable about the history of Western civilization. It is thought-provoking and requires time to digest. A unique feature of "Greed" is the quality of the endnotes. They explain the text in great detail and offer the reader a great advantage over those who experienced this lecture in spoken form. Reviewed by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, Editor of "The Spiritual Woman Newsletter" - www.spiritualwoman.net and author of "Letters to Mary from a Young Mother" (iUniverse, 2004)
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