Cover image for Wicked pleasures : meditations on the seven "deadly" sins
Wicked pleasures : meditations on the seven "deadly" sins
Solomon, Robert C.
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield, [1999]

Physical Description:
vii, 166 pages ; 23 cm
Gluttony / William Ian Miller -- Pride / Jerome Neu -- Sloth / Thomas Pynchon -- Greed / James Ogilvy -- Anger / Elizabeth V. Spelman -- Lust / William H. Gass -- Envy / Don Herzog.
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Call Number
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Item Holds
BV4626 .W55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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The seven deadly sins have provided gossip, amusement, and the plots of morality plays for nearly fifteen hundred years. In Wicked Pleasures, well-known philosopher, business ethicist, and admitted sinner Robert C. Solomon brings together a varied group of contributors for a new look at an old catalogue of sins. Solomon introduces the sins as a group, noting their popularity and pervasiveness. From the formation of the canon by Pope Gregory the Great, the seven have survived the sermonizing of the Reformation, the Inquisition, the Enlightenment, the brief French reign of supreme reason, the apotheoses of capitalism, communism, secular humanism and postmodernism, the writings of numerous rabbis and evangelical moralists, two series in the New York Times, and several bad movies. Taking their cue from this remarkable history, the contributors, allowed one sin apiece, provide a non-sermonizing and relatively light-hearted romp through the domain of the deadly seven.

Author Notes

Robert C. Solomon is Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of Philosophy and Business and distinguished teaching professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Well known for his writings on the passions, the emotions, ethics, and excellence, Solomon is the author of numerous books, most recently A Passion for Wisdom (with Kathleen Higgins), Oxford 1997.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Gluttony, pride, sloth, greed, anger, lust, and envy have been the source of theological discussion since Pope Gregory I (590-604) institutionalized them as the seven "deadly" sins. They have also been the grist for countless poems, plays, and novels, both religious and secular. Solomon (philosophy and business, Univ. of Texas; A Passion for Wisdom, LJ 4/1/97) has compiled seven essays, each dedicated to one of the sins and each written by a generalist or a theologian writing as a generalist. Solomon set no boundaries on the assignment, and the result is a highly entertaining, non-proselytizing, non-academic collection. Thomas Pynchon writes about sloth and the modern-day couch potato; the late William H. Gass expounds on lust as a hidden, deep-down virtue; and other less famous essayists are just as funny, irreverent, and cocky in their observations. Recommended for all libraries.ÄGlenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Solomon (philosophy and business, Univ. of Texas at Austin) has collected seven essays, written by seven different contributors, on the so-called seven deadly sins: gluttony (William Ian Miller), pride (Jerome Neu), sloth (Thomas Pynchon), greed (James Ogilvy), anger (Elizabeth V. Spelman), lust (William H. Gass), and envy (Don Herzog). Solomon's introduction provides an interesting historical overview of the matter of the seven sins and addresses these questions: Why seven sins and not a greater or lesser number? In what sense are these seven sins "deadly"? Are these sins really a matter of ordinary human weaknesses? Although each of the seven essays is an interesting piece (and certainly in some cases full of humor), they are not of equal scholarly depth, nor are all of them written in a tightly argued philosophical style. Four of the seven essays are followed by either extensive endnotes or a list of bibliographic references. This book will be of interest to the general reader and, if used selectively, in scholarly settings. B. J. Gray Eastern Kentucky University