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This is a book about wonder--wonder as the form and expression of intellectual and spiritual curiosity. Mr. Keen begins by defining his concepts and by analyzing the manifestations of wonder in childhood. He then examines the traditional world views of man as homo admirans (in ancient, Greek, and Judaeo-Christian thought), and attempts to pin-point the place of wonder in the post-revolutionary, technological world of today. The final chapters suggest the proper function of wonder in the mature human personality and explore the secular and religious benefits of a sense of wonder, or, as the author says, of ""a wondering intuition of the world."" Mr. Keen's approach is humanistic, and his language is pleasingly urbane; yet, his premises, argumentations and conclusions are unmistakable theological in both inspiration and execution, and traditionally theological in their orientation. What he is asking, in effect, is that humanity return to the innocence, trust and faith--to the ""wonderment"" and ""amazement""-- of childhood, and that he view himself, the world, and God from that perspective. In other words, he is attempting to put the new wine of the God-is-dead theology, of phenomenological and historical analysis, into the old wineskin of theological forms. That he fails in this attempt is due to the Enneadic nebulosity of the qualities with which he is dealing; but that he attempts it at all is a tribute to Mr. Keen's ingenuity and faith.

Pub Date: May 21st, 1969
Publisher: Harper & Row