Qty:1
  • List Price: $18.95
  • Save: $8.38 (44%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Monday, April 21? Order within and choose Two-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Wear to the cover and/or dust jacket and some pages no writing or highlighting inside. ITEM SHIPS FBA FROM AMAZON!!! GET IT FAST!!!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Forgetting Ourselves on Purpose: Vocation and the Ethics of Ambition Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0470621684 ISBN-10: 0470621680 Edition: 1st

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$10.57
$8.39 $2.98

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



Frequently Bought Together

Forgetting Ourselves on Purpose: Vocation and the Ethics of Ambition + Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
Price for both: $21.56

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Sell Your Books
Get up to 75% back when you sell your books on Amazon. Ship your books for free and get Amazon.com Gift Cards. Learn more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (February 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470621680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470621684
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #640,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Do we all have "shadow governments of compassion and idealism"? In this odd, sometimes disjointed but always engaging meditation on the relationship between vocation and ambition, Mahan answers yes. Referencing Thomas Merton, Frederick Buechner, William James, Walker Percy and Leo Tolstoy, Mahan muses rather than argues, and ends each chapter with assignments gleaned from the college courses he has taught on this topic. For example, at the end of one chapter, he invites readers to hold a national press conference at which they attempt to rationalize an episode in their lives when they engaged in repeated self-deception leading to serious moral compromise. Each chapter and assignment leads readers, in one way or another, to examine the tension between the lives they would live governed by compassion, in complete harmony with God's calling, entered into via "epiphanies of recruitment" and the socially scripted, ambition-driven lives they do live. Pleasantly surprising is Mahan's light touch: he never resorts to heavy-handed homilies about how bereft conventional lives are, but rather invites readers to observe themselves living such lives, and to do so nonjudgmentally, with equal parts good humor, discomfort, acceptance and motivation to change. While encouraging readers to attempt mystical and imaginative exercises, Mahan ultimately avoids prescription. On the contrary, he ends by suggesting that ambition and vocation are not mutually exclusive, and that God delights in any and all attempts that flawed, inevitably ambitious people make to live according to their ideals.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In a short book demanding a slow reading, Christian educator Brian Mahan challenges the American cult of success with its inevitable apotheosis of the triumphant self. Convening an improbable conclave of spiritual advisors--Christian devotionalists, psychological theorists, and modern novelists--Mahan invites readers to probe the origins and consequences of their personal ambitions. Again and again, our cravings for wealth and prominence betray our vulnerability to self-deception and alienation, as we rationalize choices that suppress our authentic impulses of benevolence and idealism. To help recover our suppressed aspirations, Mahan guides us through the tasks of "formative remembering" (What am I living for?) and "spiritual misdirection" (What is distracting me from my true aims?). Honest engagement with these tasks draws us into the paradox of deliberate self-forgetfulness and toward the joyous discovery of what Mahan calls vocation: the proper dedication of our unique talents to meeting the needs of others. A priceless book for readers whose march through success manuals has left them with only emptiness and cynicism. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
4
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jim Street on May 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book, not so much because it tells you how to resolve the tension between ambition and vocation, but because it accompanies you on the journey of working through these preoccupations yourself. You will not find any "5 Easy Steps to Success" here nor will find any "How to Find God's Will For Your Life." Rather you will find a philosopher who walks with us the razor's edge between our desire to get ahead in this world and our desire to live a meaningful life. Mahan is not sanctimonious in his approach to this all-too-human struggle. He does not condemn or issue platitudes. Rather, he invites the reader into a introspective, somewhat guided, tour of his or her deepest convictions regarding both "mere success" and "true success."
In a sense, Mahan's book is an extended meditation on Thomas Merton's call, "If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the the thing I want to live for."
However, this is not an "easy read." In parts, it gets a bit dense. (I found myself reading certain passages several times to get at Mahan's point.) However, I do think it would be a great book for audiences as diverse as college students who are trying to figure out what to do with themselves, mid-career executives who are struggling to move form "success to significance," as well as anyone striving to find some order in their lives as they pursue both their ambitions as well as their vocations. Heck, this is a book for all "baby boomers" who at one time felt they had been called to "change the world" in the name of "love,peace and justice" only to find themselves becoming precisely what they, at one time, detested.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely adore this book. I've grown tired of books on vocation that have a "pie in the sky" approach to living a spiritual life, as if everyday working people have the financial resources to devote themselves to a life of good deeds. Brian Mahan has a great way of bringing two worlds together---the need to pay the bills and the need to make a positive contribution to the world. Turns out you can do both!
I also like his "spiritual retreat" approach. He incorporates spiritual exercises at the end of each chapter which really help to focus attention on living a life of integrity. Finally, this is a practical and inspiring book---but a book with a humorous edge---that unites compassion and ambition in a fresh, new way.
Read this book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is no ordinary book.  As author Brian Mahan says his in preface, `reading this book is not a spectator sport.'  In many ways, this is just like life - we have to get into the mix (or, to take another example from Mahan's introduction, join in the dance) for it to become meaningful, worthwhile, and all the other positive words one would normally insert here.  This is a book that invites active engagement.  Mahan does not argue so much as persuade, and even then, it is more of a presentation than a direction. 

 

Mahan developed this book out of a course he taught at the University of Colorado, and later Emory's seminary and high school advancement programme - the course has always been popular, Mahan states, but it isn't always clear why.  Mahan attaches some of the popularity to the presence of the word `ambition' in the course title (which is also part of the subtitle of this book) - the focus of the world is often on success, and rising high school and college students are often ambitious in various ways.  However, it is not the kind of political/corporate ambition, or the kinds of ambitions that make soap operas interesting to watch sometimes, that Mahan develops here (although these types are not disconnected from what Mahan writes).  Mahan is looking more directly at the ambition toward self and self-fulfillment. 

 

Mahan develops ideas of paradox throughout the text.  How can we honestly pursue self-abandonment if the very pursuit shows an attachment to self?  When can success end up being a failure, and how is failure often a success?  Mahan uses personal stories and experiences as well as the tales of those around him to illustrate the various points - he also draws on history, sometimes the lesser known bits.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nobody special on June 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book in 2002 and have reread it several times. I have also bought copies to give away- something I never do! I affirm all the great reviews that have been written and I would not even need to write another, but for the one angry one. Not that other opinions are impossible- but this level of disgust seems out of proportion. By reading the editorial reviews- which give a fine idea of the type of literary/conversational book this is-and using the "look inside the book" function- there is no need to make this kind of mistake. Likewise, why would someone spend four hours on a book they don't care for? (And if you zip through this book in one sitting you have failed to follow some of the experiential suggestions.)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Walter McGreevy on September 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am on my second time through this challenging book. It is beginning to sink in, but I will have to let you know if the content will
be helpful to me. Help!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0xa0573840)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?