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  • Author(s):
  • Published: December 3, 2014
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
  • Page count: 144
  • ISBN: 0802871291
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Julia Roberts on the red carpet at the Oscars. Lady Gaga singing “Applause” to worshipful fans at one of her sold-out concerts. And you and me in our Sunday best in the front row at church. What do we have in common?

Chances are, says Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, that we all suffer from vainglory -- a keen desire for attention and approval. Although contemporary culture has largely forgotten about vainglory, it was on the original list of seven capital vices and is perhaps more dangerous than ever today.

In Vainglory: The Forgotten Vice DeYoung tells the story of this vice, moving from its ancient origins to its modern expressions. She defines vainglory, gives examples from popular culture, explores motivational sources, and discusses other vices associated with it such as hypocrisy and boasting. After exposing the many ways in which vainglory can rear its ugly head, she explores personal spiritual practices that can help us resist it and community practices that can help us handle glory well.


Richard J. Foster
-- author of Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth
“At last a book that takes head-on what is perhaps the capital vice of modern culture. Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung draws from the classical tradition of Christian moral thinking to introduce us to the life-giving virtues, which alone can free us from the plague of narcissism that is the cultural zeitgeist of our day. I recommend this book highly.”

Jennifer Herdt
-- author of Putting on Virtue: The Legacy of the Splendid Vices
“In disarmingly conversational prose, DeYoung deftly unravels the twisting paths traced by the desire for glory as it roots itself ever more deeply in our characters. But she does not simply leave us in vainglory’s clutches. In conversation with Augustine, Aquinas, and the Desert Fathers, she canvasses traditional spiritual practices that re-open possibilities for truthful self-communication, and she points us to our call to become transparent to God’s glory as vessels of God’s self-giving love.”

Robert C. Roberts
-- author of Spiritual Emotions: A Psychology of Christian Virtues
“DeYoung’s Vainglory is the best thing out there on the vices of pride. It’s profound, readable, witty, telling, historically informative, and pastorally helpful.”

Gregg Ten Elshof
-- author of I Told Me So: Self-Deception and the Christian Life
“A much-needed book. DeYoung moves seamlessly between fourth-century thought and last week’s new iPhone release in her lucid descriptions of vainglory. . . . Read this book and discover unexplored and unnamed dimensions of your character crying out for growth and redemption.”

William C. Mattison
-- author of Introducing Moral Theology: True Happiness and the Virtues
“Lucidly portrays what exactly the oft-forgotten vice of vainglory is, how it is born and develops, and how it can be resisted. . . . DeYoung writes with the wisdom and expertise of a theologian or psychologist, yet with the accessibility of a college roommate discussing life over a meal in the dining hall.”

Watch an interview with Professor DeYoung about her book Vainglory: The Forgotten Vice.


DeYoung, Rebecca Konyndyk. Vainglory: The Forgotten Vice. Grand Rapids: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2014. Print.



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