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Spiritual Values and Evaluations



This work is a remarkably clear presentation and lucid discussion of the relationship between the philosophical discipline of axiology and its religious significance. Without reducing religion to morals, Edwards employs the insights of Robert S. Hartman (his late colleague at the University of Tennessee) to explain the interaction between what and how we value and what we believe, do, and worship religiously. Axiology deals with the general forms or patterns present in what and how we value that constitute the core of spirituality, morality, personality, and self-knowledge. Mature self-knowledge is vital for moral and spiritual growth. Gaining self-knowledge is essential to anyone’s spiritual quest. Learning to know ourselves involves getting to know what and how we value; so does spiritual development. Value distortions result in religious, moral, and character distortions. Edwards examines three personality types of great spiritual significance, worldliness, ideology, and saintliness. He shows that these spiritual types are defined by the dominant values they manifest, worldliness by extrinsic values, ideology by systemic values, and saintliness by intrinsic values. Typical of his insights is a carefully nuanced integration of rational impartiality and affective.


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