Joan Chittister in the book Welcome to The Wisdom of The World and its meaning to you takes the reader through the philosophical aspects of life. Using the insight from diverse cultures and religions, the author seeks to answer questions such as birth into this world, the importance of life and the essence of doing the right actions. The author further goes to tackle the question of what it translates to make a difference in life. The author uses the literature from different cultural backgrounds to sufficiently deal with the life thematic areas. By using literary material from all the majorly followed religions in the world, the book draws a significant explanation that leaves the reader significantly enlightened in the spiritual realm; hence achieve the ideal understanding of the human life.
By dissecting to each religion, the theme of religion overarches the whole book because there is a system of beliefs that arises from every religion behind every principle. The Christian basis of virtues is just an example having arisen from Jesus teachings and the blessings promised in the beatitudes. The theme of wisdom is much as well dominant in the book as the author instills a mindset of having to look at the prism of life in all dimensions. The theme of life is so conspicuous that every reader wont fail to note the authors indulgement into the reason of birth, the concept of life as well as the ambition that needs to drive a person on lifes journey. With reference to the Hinduism value of eternal life, the author simply casts life as a major theme and is what the author seems to seek to establish true life understanding. The sub themes of justice, joy, peace and love are also present. The major religions of the world give backing to the authors highlightment of these themes, in a bid to cast firm the assertion of wisdom in the religious traditions.
The book is masterpiece that is not only philosophical but authoritatively explains the virtues of life. It surely appeals to everyone with an ambition in life, a cause to live for. It cements kindness in a way not seen before that even someone that doubts the institution of virtue driven life would appreciate the basis of it. It is hard to describe the book as merely descriptive but it is intuitive in the way it tackles the thematic areas. It wholly assembles the major religions underlying major beliefs and systems. By availing the beliefs of another religion, one would derive wisdom of life through the diversity by not necessarily having one as a convert in the other religious sect.
The author asserts and affirms the values of determination in life as a foundation of drive. The Buddhists value of enlightenment and desirelessness clearly explained in the book is one such value that the author gives such weight. The authors concentration on the beatitudes and the Christian call to abide by them is a further demonstration of the authors firm intent to uphold the values of kindness, peace, perseverance and humility. The value driven perspective of the author that is backed by the literary context gives the values a substantive legitimacy. Furthermore, the author by trying to derive essential values from each of the major religions is a fair way of furthering an argument that there are great values essential in life to live for and drive humanity towards a wisdom oriented life. The author fails to explain the basis that the world can have common wisdom but have a discrepancy on religious beliefs. The author uses third person point of view that helps her effectively highlight the insight of various people from different religions as to life.
The book is a dynamic wisdom and inspiration material from every type of reader having inculcated an all-round religious view. Deeply focused on the wise and useful values derived from various religions, it does matter and essentially establishes an authoritative insightful one stop literature where one can find all answers to the most baffling life questions even as to existence of God viewed from all religions. To the student of philosophy, it adds a new dimension to the views as to religious values derived from various religions. The author singlehandedly puts on the spotlight major values and beliefs from each of the major religions in a clear and focused manner that leaves one enlightened. The present and future generations that now live in a dynamic world of interactions and the current global village now has a manual book into the interactive life between different religions appreciating the wise values and crucial beliefs based on sound and concrete religious system.
Joan Chittister in her authorship may have had an idea of how many people grapple with religion based questions and struggle to find purpose in life. The book does kill two birds with one stone. The book does solve religion based puzzling questions and at the same time provides inspiration. A Christian reading the book would be more than enlightened to come to the realization of why the beatitudes is not only a calling but great wisdom that can single handedly help one live a life of value and virtue and leave an impact upon death. The content is precisely relevant to everyone and has bits of knowledge one can learn from different religions. In conformity to the now acquired knowledge and perspective on beatitudes, I would pursue kindness with greater vigor having appreciated the wholesome approach to life as a journey that one has to grow spiritually as in the end one thus find true revelation progressing to the next stage of spiritual life.
Chittister, Joan. Welcome to the wisdom of the world and its meaning for you: Universal spiritual insights distilled from five religious traditions. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2007.
Streib, Heinz, and Constantin Klein. "Religion and Spirituality." The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion. 2016.
Wink, Paul, and Michele Dillon. "Religion, Spirituality, and Personal Wisdom: A Tale of Two Types." The Scientific Study of Personal Wisdom. Springer Netherlands, 2013.
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