The Year of Living Virtuously: Weekends Off (Hardcover)

The Year of Living Virtuously: Weekends Off By Teresa Jordan Cover Image

The Year of Living Virtuously: Weekends Off (Hardcover)


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Benjamin Franklin was in his early twenties when he embarked on a "bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection," intending to master the virtues of temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. He soon gave up on perfection but continued to believe that these virtues, coupled with a generous heart and a bemused acceptance of human frailty, laid the foundation for not only a good life but also a workable society.

Writer and visual artist Teresa Jordan wondered if Franklin's perhaps antiquated notions of virtue might offer guidance to a nation increasingly divided by angry righteousness. She decided to try to live his list for a year, focusing on each virtue for a week at a time and taking weekends off to attend to the seven deadly sins.

The journal she kept became this collection of beautifully illustrated essays, weaving personal anecdotes with the views of theologians, philosophers, ethicists, evolutionary biologists, and a whole range of scholars and scientists within the emerging field of consciousness studies.

Teresa Jordan offers a wry and intimate journey into a year in midlife devoted to the challenge of trying to live authentically.
Teresa Jordan is an artist and author who grew up in a house full of books on an isolated ranch in Wyoming where the love of learning she acquired in the local one–room school carried her to Yale and into a lifetime of inquiry. Her books include the memoir Riding the White Horse Home and two illustrated journals, Field Notes from Yosemite: Apprentice to Place, and Field Notes from the Grand Canyon: Raging River, Quiet Mind. Her first book, Cowgirls: Women of the American West, was one of the earliest books to give voice to contemporary women working on the land. With her husband, Hal Cannon, she created the series "The Open Road" about the outback American West for public radio's The Savvy Traveler. She now lives in southern Utah near Zion National Park.
Product Details ISBN: 9781619024274
ISBN-10: 1619024276
Publisher: Counterpoint
Publication Date: December 16th, 2014
Pages: 224
Language: English
"With philosophical dexterity, she explores, searches and scrutinizes commonplace notions of right and wrong....This compelling set of reflections is poetic in its scope, and Jordan's meditations are thought–provoking and insightful"—Deseret News Reviews

"Writer and visual artist Jordan takes a page from Benjamin Franklin and embarks on a yearlong quest to master the 13 virtues Franklin explored in his 'project of arriving at moral perfection.' While perfection is not in the cards, the process of trying is both fun and eye–opening." —O Magazine

". . .an engaging and moving collection. . ." —Wall Street Journal

"When you begin this book of modern meditations, you will simply want to keep reading it, having fallen under the spell of Teresa Jordan's marvelous and many–faceted investigation into our notions of virtue and vice. You can open The Year of Living Virtuously to any chapter – to Lust or Greed or Gluttony, or Balance, Manners, or Moderation – and find wit and quiet wisdom. The extraordinary stories and sources Jordan draws on for her meditations, ranging from the personal to the neuro–cognitive, remind us that we can choose where to place our attention and, as we live more mindfully, not only endure the difficult moments but find the tranquility we seek." —Judith Freeman, author of Red Water and The Long Embrace

"Thoughtful reflections on virtue and vice.. . .Jordan successfully incorporates lessons gleaned from formative moments in her own life with those from the biographies of relative unknowns and artists and thinkers as famous as Franklin, and she delves deep, especially in the more extended essays, into the essence of contrasting modes of being.. . .Jordan's engaging collection abounds with provocative inquiry, offering plenty of food for thought." —Kirkus Reviews