“Moral formation” and “character development” are popular buzzwords, but they are ineffective concepts without an understanding of what good character is and how to cultivate it. The traditional teachings on the “seven deadly sins,” or capital vices, compiled by saints such as Augustine, Pope Gregory I, and Aquinas, offer a strong foundation for recognizing virtues to cultivate and vices to avoid.
Unfortunately, contemporary culture trivializes, psychologizes, or even dismisses the seven vices as if they have no serious moral or spiritual implications. Glittering Vices clears that misconception with a brief history of the vices and an informative chapter on each “deadly sin.” Readers gain practical understanding of how the vices shape our culture and why gluttony, lust, sloth, and others are, in fact, incredibly destructive. Through this eye-opening book, readers will be able to correctly identify and eliminate the deeply rooted patterns of sin that are work in their lives.
Winsome and wise, Glittering Vices is intriguing for any reader interested in spiritual disciplines and character formation. Its rich content makes it useful in undergraduate and seminary ethics courses as well.
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This book is a treat for the mind and a tonic for the soul, recovering and refining riches in the Christian tradition almost lost from view. It is not often that one reads a work that is as intellectually deep and sharp as this one, but which is also intensely practical: helping its readers become the persons they were created to be.
—C. Stephen Evans, professor of philosophy, Baylor University
Rebecca DeYoung’s Glittering Vices gives us the seven words we need to name the deep-rooted distortions of love of God and neighbor—both within ourselves and in our culture. This lively introduction to the Christian psychology behind the capital vices, or ‘deadly sins,’ engages contemporary film and fiction even as it sifts the wisdom of Aquinas, Gregory, and Cassian.
—Robert B. Kruschwitz, director, Center for Christian Ethics, Baylor University
Glittering Vices is a lucid, historically informed, and well-illustrated exploration of the seven deadly vices. DeYoung’s book will unquestionably help teachers, students, and laypersons toward the Socratic and Christian goal of self-examination
—W. Jay Wood, professor, Wheaton College
Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung is associate professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She wrote “Seven Deadly Sins” for the Encyclopedia of Christianity and collaborated with two of her seminary students to develop a high school/college curriculum on the subject. She is also the author of Vainglory: The Forgotten Vice.