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Seeing Through Cynicism: A Reconsideration of the Power of Suspicion [Paperback]

By Dick Keyes (Author)
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Item description for Seeing Through Cynicism: A Reconsideration of the Power of Suspicion by Dick Keyes...

Overview
We live in a cynical age. Cynicism is in the air we breathe; it is a cultural norm; it is the default setting and lens through which many of us view the world. Why is cynicism so pervasive? What does it promise? How does it work? And what does it deliver?

In this thorough, interdisciplinary exploration of cynicism, Dick Keyes probes the intellectual and cultural underpinnings of cynicism in its modern and postmodern manifestations. In analyzing our cynicism toward individuals, institutions and God, he gives cynicism the scrutiny it deserves, arguing for its merits as a tool for discernment while pointing out its limitations. Keyes subjects cynicism to its own critique and ultimately looks beyond cynicism to alternatives that wrestle honestly with suspicion, trust and hope.

Wide-ranging and vast in scope, Seeing Through Cynicism offers meaty, substantive perspectives for faithful living in a cynical world.

Publishers Description
We live in a cynical age. Cynicism is in the air we breathe; it is a cultural norm; it is the default setting and lens through which many of us view the world. Why is cynicism so pervasive? What does it promise? How does it work? And what does it deliver? In this thorough, interdisciplinary exploration of cynicism, Dick Keyes probes the intellectual and cultural underpinnings of cynicism in its modern and postmodern manifestations. In analyzing our cynicism toward individuals, institutions and God, he gives cynicism the scrutiny it deserves, arguing for its merits as a tool for discernment while pointing out its limitations. Keyes subjects cynicism to its own critique and ultimately looks beyond cynicism to alternatives that wrestle honestly with suspicion, trust and hope. Wide-ranging and vast in scope, Seeing Through Cynicism offers meaty, substantive perspectives for faithful living in a cynical world.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: InterVarsity Press
Pages   239
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.06" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.82 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 12, 2006
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830833889  
ISBN13  9780830833887  


Availability  0 units.


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Apologetics
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Religion


Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Philosophical Theology
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Apologetics



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Reviews - What do customers think about Seeing Through Cynicism: A Reconsideration of the Power of Suspicion?

A Cynical View of Cynicism  Oct 3, 2006
"Seeing Through Cynicism" is a book that has little use for those who claim see through individuals and institutions and thereby reveal their real motives for speech and actions. The author acknowledges that cynicism can uncover "oppression, dishonesty, hypocrisy, cruelty, and injustice." Yet for the author, "cynicism" is a pejorative term. Cynics, as the author characterizes them, have lost all balance in assessing the world, preferring to see duplicitous, self-interested behavior in all exchanges. Frankly, cynics so constructed seem psychologically disturbed, more in need of therapeutic counseling than taken seriously in a critique.

Fundamental to the author's analysis of cynicism is his adherence to the tenets of Christianity. He accepts on faith the existence of a ubiquitous God, an existence that is not challengeable by mere earth-bound, fallible men. It is disturbing to him that cynics seem to be claiming a God-like omniscience in analyzing others. The author is particularly vexed when so-called cynics turn their analysis to religion, specifically on Christianity. Attempts to understand versus merely accepting the practices of religion are quickly labeled as cynical. Some noted figures from the past, such as Marx and Freud, have held that religion can provide psychological benefits, justify or ensure elite domination, or inhibit the realization of maturity. These "instrumental" views of religion are viewed as cynical unwillingness to accept that faith exists in some pure form without ulterior motives or purposes.

It's difficult to hold a totally open conversation on a topic when some assumptions are off limits, like the existence of a transcendent, omniscient God, and attempts to understand those assumptions are automatically labeled as cynical. The author seems to take undue offence at these "masters of suspicion" when they turn analysis in the direction of his faith. His more moderate views that hold that cynics need to be guided by humility and to take people as individuals and not as part of a collective seem to get lost in his larger diatribe against those that dare question religious tenets. Regarding criticism more generally: there really is little basis for maintaining that critics hold themselves to be omniscient. It is more likely that the behaviors or situations being analyzed or criticized are not consistent with stated intentions. The author by alleging that such criticism is cynical, and likely self-serving behavior, is doing his part to hinder open discussion.

Unremitting, unrelenting cynics are straw-men, though, undoubtedly, some exist. Their harangues get old and are often ignored. It is not justifiable to label most social critics as compulsive cynics. We live in an era of capitalism and vast propaganda apparatuses. Again and again it comes to light that there are vast discrepancies between social ideals and practice often to the detriment of many. It is hardly surprising that there is substantial criticism, and even cynicism, concerning the social status quo. But remarkably, these social critiques seem to have limited impact. It is difficult to see how the author's defensiveness concerning criticism and questioning is helpful in increasing the effectiveness of dissenting and illuminating voices. Furthermore, he needs to get beyond discrediting critics because they do not operate from a faith-based position. As the title of this review suggests, it is very cynical to view such individuals as arrogantly declaring themselves to be all-knowing.
 

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