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The Good Life


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About the Author

Peter J. Gomes has been minister of Harvard University's Memorial Church since 1974, when he was appointed Pusey Minister of the church, and serves as Plummer Professor of Christian Morals. An American Baptist minister, he was named one of America's top preachers by Time magazine. He is the recipient of thirty-three honorary degrees and an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, the University of Cambridge, England, where the Gomes Lectureship is established in his name.


Gomes, Minister of Harvard's Memorial Church and author of the bestselling The Good Book, concludes this book by noting that, in it, he sounds "preachy, homiletical and even moralistic," but then acknowledges that as a professor of Christian morals, he is entitled. Indeed, this book is nothing if not homiletical, and sometimes a bit long-windedly so, but the young people to whom Gomes writes should be so lucky as to have him write a dozen more equally preachy, loquacious tomes for their edification. Gomes begins by articulating what "the good life" is, and then explores the virtues that enable one to live that life. Little of what Gomes writes is, by his own admission, particularly new. His thesis that doing good is essential to the good life is not radical, nor are his admonitions to pursue lives of prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope and love. In fact, it is the unabashedly Christian, traditional and non-radical tenor of Gomes's sermonizing that gives it weight and nobility. While he has a few strong words for anti-gay Christians (even these sentiments are tempered and thoughtful), Gomes spends most of his time praising the great explicators and exemplars of the good life, including Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Mother Teresa and Desmond Tutu. His stated goal is to "pursue a middle way between the celebrations of a reactionary cultural conservatism and a self-satisfied acceptance of the inevitability of the status quo." He does this and more with equal parts grace, humility and intellectual rigor. (May) Forecast: Hailed by Time magazine as one of the seven best preachers in America, Gomes has a strong and loyal following. Expect solid sales for this title, which will be promoted by national advertising and a 10-city author tour. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"...This good book about The Good Life is good news... a balanced and profound proclamation." -- Tony Campolo, Professor of Sociology, Eastern University"Peter Gomes is well qualified to cast his net wider to people seeking The Good Life." -- Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame"With his usual eloquence and insight, Gomes reminds us of truths that are now more important to us than ever." -- Karen Armstrong, author of The Battle for God" Highly readable ... as reliable a guide for life as one is likely to find anywhere." -- Huston Smith, author of Why Religion Matters"A wise, timely, and wonderfully readable celebration of the virtues." -- Marcus Borg, author of Reading the Bible Again For the First Time'Peter at his best...he continues as the Master Teacher of truths we could not hear from others." -- Alan K. Simpson, Former U.S. Senator to Wyoming" In writing about things that matter, [Gomes] has written a book that matters." -- Booklist"A worthwhile addition to all libraries, this volume promises to be another best seller." -- Library Journal"A how-to for living a truly good life....simple and sound." -- The [New Jersey] Star-Ledger"Clearly and persuasively, Gomes tackles themes such as hope, discipline and success." -- Dallas Morning News

Longtime Harvard professor and minister Gomes gave us a best seller in The Good Book, a guide to reading the Bible. Now he gives us The Good Life, which addresses the challenges and importance of living responsibly. Having witnessed the moral curiosity of the students with whom he works, Gomes argues that young people today want to know not just how to be successful but how to be good as people. He looks to the Hebrew prophets, Jesus of Nazareth, Aristotle, and other sages in his search to understand what makes a person good. Virtue, discipline, and the Christian ideals of faith, hope, and love figure in his answer, and even failure has an instructive role. With his clear thinking and writing, Gomes offers needed guidance and optimism. A worthwhile addition to all libraries, this volume promises to be another best seller. John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., New York Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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