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Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination [Paperback]

By Vigen Guroian (Author)
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Item description for Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination by Vigen Guroian...

(PUBOxford University)"A little jewel of a book on how great fairy tales and other children's stories, with their vivid myths and metaphors, can morally educate young people. Armenian Orthodox theologian Guroian engages in a close and sensitive reading of Charlotte's Web, Velveteen Rabbit, Chronicles of Narnia, etc.,"---Kirkus Reviews. 208 pages, softcover.

Publishers Description
As the popularity of William Bennett's Book of Virtues attests, parents are turning more and more to children's literature to help instill values in their kids. Now, in this elegantly written and passionate book, Vigen Guroian provides the perfect complement to books such as Bennett's, offering parents and teachers a much-needed roadmap to some of our finest children's stories.
Guroian illuminates the complex ways in which fairy tales and fantasies educate the moral imagination from earliest childhood. Examining a wide range of stories--from "Pinocchio" and "The Little Mermaid" to "Charlotte's Web," "The Velveteen Rabbit," "The Wind in the Willows," and the "Chronicles of Narnia"--he argues that these tales capture the meaning of morality through vivid depictions of the struggle between good and evil, in which characters must make difficult choices between right and wrong, or heroes and villains contest the very fate of imaginary worlds. Character and the virtues are depicted compellingly in these stories; the virtues glimmer as if in a looking glass, and wickedness and deception are unmasked of their pretensions to goodness and truth. We are made to face the unvarnished truth about ourselves, and what kind of people we want to be.
Throughout, Guroian highlights the classical moral virtues such as courage, goodness, and honesty, especially as they are understood in traditional Christianity. At the same time, he so persuasively evokes the enduring charm of these familiar works that many readers will be inspired to reread their favorites and explore those they may have missed.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.28" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.68"
Weight:   0.58 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 2002
Publisher   Oxford University Press
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0195152646  
ISBN13  9780195152647  

Availability  3 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 27, 2016 05:12.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Vigen Guroian

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Vigen Guroian is Professor of Theology at Loyola College in Maryland. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Ethics after Christendom: Toward an Ecclesial Christian Ethic (Eerdmans Pub Co, 1994) and Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Imagination (Oxford University Press; New Ed edition, 2002).

Vigen Guroian currently resides in the state of Maryland. Vigen Guroian has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Virginia.

Vigen Guroian has published or released items in the following series...
  1. How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Philosophy > Ethics
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
3Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Literature Guides
4Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Parenting > Morals & Responsibility

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Reviews - What do customers think about Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination?

A welcome and highly recommended addition to academic and community library reference collections  Jan 5, 2008

First published in 1987, "Tending The Heart Of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken A Child's Moral Imagination" by Vigen Guroian (Professor of Theology and Ethics, Loyola College, Baltimore, Maryland) illustrated and illuminates how fair tales and fantasies educate the moral imagination throughout childhood. Now in a new edition from Oxford University Press, a new generation of parents and teachers can benefit from what Professor Guroian has to say about the beneficial ethical and moral implications and embedded teachings in such literary classics as Pinocchio; The Velveteen Rabbit; The Little Mermaid; The Wind in the Willows; Charlotte's Web; Bambi; The Snow Queen; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Princess and the Goblin; and Prince Caspian. Of special note is Professor Guroian's bibliography essay that concludes this seminally informed and informative literary inquiry and study. "Tending The Heart Of Virtue" is a welcome and highly recommended addition to academic and community library reference collections and supplemental reading lists in the fields of Literary Studies, as well as Philosophy & Ethics.
Prompted to re-read the classics  Dec 20, 2001
I stumbled across this book a few years ago when browsing through the various sections on this site's web site (it was in the National Public Radio section). The reviews sounded interesting, so I took a chance. I am so glad I did.

Like most people, I have been bombarded with the "Disney-fied" versions of most of our children's classics, where all the characters are cute and there are several shades of gray when it comes to the moral or point of the story. I had forgotten how dark the original fairy tales were and how clear they were about good and evil. The part of the book about Guroian's college class and a fourth grade class' reading of Pinochio reminded me just how much children really understand and how clearly and, sometimes, simply they view the world.

Reading this book has prompted me to find copies of the original stories. What an interesting discussion it would be to compare adults' and children's understanding of the how the original versions of the stories differ from the more recent or animated versions.

Value of Classic Stories  Oct 1, 2001
The themes of classic stories have not been improved upon over the years. As well as awaken a child's moral imagination, they also reinforce character traits with biblical origin and timeless application. I also recommend Storybook Mentors, Grown-up wisdom from children's classics for families, teachers and counselors, and all who love classic literature.
Wisdom in Action  Sep 23, 1999
Professor Guroian's latest work provides the reader with a challenging prescription for developing moral excellence. The framework of the Aristotleian notions of intellectual and moral virtue give an ancient and yet ever so modern perspective to his understanding of the practical science of ethics illuminated by fairy tales and modern children's literature. Those who are responsible for the young will do well to make frequent reference to this book.
An absolute must read for all parents.  Jun 9, 1999
This book is a classic "must read" for all parents who want to instill solid character into their children. Guroian reviews many of the "classic" fairy tales and reveals the unbelievable distortion that has occurred with modern day translations, abridged versions, and animated movies. Time after time, Guroian traces the same awful conversion from the original Christian virtues and values to the quicksand-like obsessions with physical beauty, romantic love, and self. Reading his book gives parent's the truth about why fairy tales are so important for "tending the heart of virtue" in their children. For children reading the original fairy tales, they will see themselves and the deeper reality of things, complete with good and evil components, in a framework of an interesting and powerfully written story. In subsequently reading the original Pinocchio (covered in the book) to my two boys (8 and 10); we were all absolutely "stunned" by Collodi's brilliance, his language, and the truth that this great classic reveals about ourselves.

Don't miss this one. You and your children will benefit immensely.


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