Secrets of the Oracle: A History of Wisdom from Zeno to Yeats
What is wisdom? Where does it come from? Where can we find it? And what does it mean in our lives? In Secrets of the Oracle, David Shaw explores these questions by turning to the works of wisdom writers, whose words retain their meaning and transformative power even centuries after they were written.
Wisdom literature exists in two shaping forms - the aphorism, geared towards the past, and the oracle, a revolutionary impulse looking to the future. Secrets of the Oracle discusses both types of wisdom, finding them in the works of poets and philosophers from Tennyson and Zeno to Yeats and George Berkeley, from Browning and Schleiermacher to T.S. Eliot and F.H. Bradley. The book also discusses the contribution to wisdom of Jesus and the author of Ecclesiastes, of Abraham Lincoln and Norman Maclean. Part celebration of wisdom found and part lament for wisdom lost, Secrets of the Oracle is convincing in its assertion that wisdom articulates what is and offers creative visions of the future.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 352 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.3in x 9.3in
W. David Shaw is a professor emeritus in the Department of English at Victoria College, University of Toronto.
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