Quotable: Glittering Vices – Rebecca Konyndyk De Young

Posted by on Oct 22, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

This week our selection of quotes comes from Rebecca Konyndyk De Youngs intriguing 2009 book Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and their remedies. The title explains the book, which after an exploration of some of the historical understandings of the seven deadly sins (and the opposing virtues against which they were stacked), explores each in turn – envy (the bitterness that flows from believing others have it better), vainglory (believing that image rather than reality is all important), sloth (which rather than laziness, is seen as resistance to doing the work that love demands), avarice (the desire to have it all), anger (which can either be a holy emotion – or the opposite), gluttony (overfeeding the body while starving the soul), and lust (which in the 21st century needs little explanation). Here are some insightful quotes from the book…

  • If we were to go back to the tradition and learn what gluttony was and the kind of power it can wield in us, would we find it so natural and unproblematic that vastly more Christians today are dieting than fasting? Could we be missing something here? Rebecca Konyndyk De Young (12)
  • The Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle called this the difference between acting according to virtue – that is, according to an external standard which tells us what we ought to do whether we feel like it or not – and acting from virtue – that is, from the internalised disposition which naturally yields its corresponding action. The person who acts from virtue performs actions that fit seamlessly with his or her inward character. Thus the telltale sign of virtue is doing the right thing with a sense of peace and pleasure. What feels like “second nature” to you. Rebecca Konyndyk De Young (16)
  • Naming our sins is the confessional counterpart to counting our blessings. Naming them can enrich and refresh our practices of prayer and confession and our engagement in the spiritual disciplines. Rebecca Konyndyk De Young (21)
  • …the list of vices maintains its appeal because we recognize the way the vices powerfully articulate distortions of deeply human desires. Rebecca Konyndyk De Young (39)
  • The bottom line for the envious is how they stack up against others, because they measure their self-worth comparatively. Rebecca Konyndyk De Young (44)

As always, nice chatting…

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