WARMING FIRES: The Quest for Community in America by James E. Sellers

WARMING FIRES: The Quest for Community in America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Further explorations on the themes of Dr. Sellers' last book, Public Ethics:American Morals and Manners (1970), here focused on the loss of America's ""sense of community."" But, says Sellers, more serious than not conceding (or lamenting) this loss, is ""coolly making it a matter of record!"" Defining community as an expression of ""being-with"" or as another has put it, a ""we-relation,"" Sellers goes on to isolate three value clusters' which he feels gave rise to American community in the past: the will to ""do right"" which was part of the Puritan ethic; the Revolutionary articulation of the rights of man; and the encounter relationship of personal intimacy. Sellers traces their historical and theological highs and lows. America is now, in its loss, on the brink of ""rebirth"" through ""challenge"" (Sellers traces these concepts through myth and religion). The challenge is to achieve an interdependence and ""caring"" which leads to community -- the central ethical idea of our times. Sellers writes with brisk conviction and one cannot fail to be impressed by his brave intuitions and projected structures for applied morality in today's America.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1975
Publisher: Seabury