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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/10/10

John Bradshaw: A Sober Teacher for Our Troubled Times (Book Review)

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Duluth, MN (OpEdNews) July 9, 2010 -- John Bradshaw's RECLAIMING VIRTUE: HOW WE CAN DEVELOP THE MORAL INTELLIGENCE TO DO THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME FOR THE RIGHT REASON is the most important meditation on certain key points in Aristotle's thought since Bernard Lonergan's INSIGHT: A STUDY OF HUMAN UNDERSTANDING (1957) and Eugene Garver's ARISTOTLE'S RHETORIC: AN ART OF CHARACTER (1994). (Disclosure: Most of my publications are meditations on Aristotle's points about act and potency. I agree with Dante's characterization of Aristotle as the master of those who know.)

A former seminarian for the Roman Catholic priesthood and a recovering alcoholic, Bradshaw is also the author of three self-help books about recovering from a dysfunctional family that became #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers:


(2) HOMECOMING (1990)

(3) CREATING LOVE (1992).

Bradshaw's remarkable book HEALING THE SHAME THAT BINDS YOU (1988; rev. ed. 2005) was also a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller, but never #1.

Because Bradshaw himself was for nine years a seminarian for the Roman Catholic priesthood, as I myself was also for about eight years, we should note that the morally bankrupt Roman Catholic moral tradition brought us the priest sex-abuse scandal -- the scandal of abusive priests enabled by enabler bishops. So Bradshaw's book RECLAIMING VIRTUE should be required reading for the morally bankrupt bishop of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI, and the other morally bankrupt Roman Catholic bishops.

Now, because many members of Congress have drinking problems, as Bradshaw once had, the United States is governed by a bunch of drunks. Therefore, sober Americans should urge those drunks in Congress with drinking problems to stop drinking and sober up, as Bradshaw has done.

Now, if President Obama and members of Congress were truly virtuous persons, their properly ordered anger would move them to stop the unjust American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as possible, instead of perpetuating them well beyond the point where any reasonable good might come to the United States from them. But, alas, President Obama and members of Congress are not truly virtuous. On the contrary, they are spineless placaters placating American war lovers. They should be ashamed of themselves for prolonging the unjust wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, they evidently do not have a healthy sense of shame.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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