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Springing Forward with Personal Growth

Spring is a wonderful time of growth, and there’s no reason that growth has to be limited to plants! From personal essays on the journey of life to theological explorations of ethics, we have titles that explore all facets of individual experience. Writers, theologians, and philosophers come together to offer a myriad of perspectives on personal inspiration and direction. Take a look at the titles below and see which ones speak to you.

Personal Essays: 

The Pocket-Size God:
Essays from Notre Dame Magazine

by Robert F. Griffin C.S.C.

“Griffin is both a wonderful stylist and a brave writer. He addresses painful and complex topics—Catholic anti-Semitism, his brother’s mental illness, the suicide of a gay student—without succumbing to sentimentality. . . . This book extends the ministry of his priesthood and is recommended for all libraries.”

Catholic Library World

Charting Your Course
Edited by Sally Coleman and David S. Anderson

“Written for young adult readers but ideal for all ages, Charting Your Course provides an ideal framework for holistic health as well as understanding, diminishing, and hopefully eliminating the epidemic abuse of alcohol and other drugs on college campuses. . . Charting Your Course is an inspired compendium of sound advice and reflection.”

The Midwest Book Review

Religion and Theology:

Contemplation in a World of Action
by Thomas Merton

“From the point of view of a religious practitioner and, in particular, as a monastic, Thomas Merton really is someone that we can look up to . . . the impact of meeting him will remain till my last breath.”

—H. H. Dalai Lama

The Peaceable Kingdom:
A Primer in Christian Ethics

by Stanley Hauerwas

“In this brief book Stanley Hauerwas, one of the most prolific writers in Christian ethics of his generation, sets forth his clearest, most readable, and most cogent statement to date of his own perspective on how ethics should be done in a Christian context.”

Interpretation: A Journal of Bible & Theology

Writing and Memoir:

Because You Have To:
A Writing Life

by Joan Frank

“On every page of these stunning essays, Frank lays bare the hardest truths of being a writer, and on every page she confesses her hopeless, passionate love for the pursuit. The artist’s conundrum has rarely been so eloquently voiced. Part erudite treatise, part love letter, Because You Have To is certain to find myriad ardent admirers of its own.”

—Robin Black, author of If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This

The Stroke of a Pen:
Essays on Poetry and Other Provocations

by Samuel Hazo

“In this wonderful collection of essays, Hazo displays the breadth of his intellectual curiosity in prose that is highly lyrical: he explores the relationship between belief and the life of a literary critic, the role of faith and university education, the art of writing and the power of imagination, and even the joys of retirement! It is a very good read.”

—Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president, University of Notre Dame


The View from Within:
Normativity and the Limits of Self-Criticism

by Menachem Fisch and Yitzhak Benbaji

The View from Within is a thorough evaluation of the arguments made by contemporary philosophers about the normative character of reason and the derivative problem of relativism. Fisch and Benbaji have admirably compared and contrasted competing positions, and with a balanced critique, they have made a sustained effort to ‘save’ rationality and provide new guideposts for its philosophical evaluation. A timely and important contribution.”

—Alfred I. Tauber, Boston University

On Being Free
by Frithjof Bergmann

On Being Free . . . is an important and highly insightful book for philosophers and for philosophy teachers. . . . Bergmann has the capacity to present complex issues without simplification in a manner that creates interest and concern on the part of the student. He makes some of the traditional philosophic issues come to life through his original and perceptive slant on the problems. . . . Most importantly, Bergmann’s style, approach, and content exhibit how to teach philosophy. This is a damn good book.”

Teaching Philosophy

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