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The Paradox of Intention: Reaching the Goal by Giving Up the Attempt to Reach It (Studies in Religion / American Academy of Religion) Paperback – January 2, 1988

ISBN-13: 978-1555401108 ISBN-10: 1555401104 Edition: Likely 1st Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Religion / American Academy of Religion (Book 48)
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Likely 1st Edition edition (January 2, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555401104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555401108
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,090,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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"[Shaw]'s writing style is graceful and engaging...His work provides a valuable contribution to the psychology of religion and raises questions calling for further explanation."--Theological Studies



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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jim H. on March 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is realistic and helpful thinking, a book of philosophy about religion that is sympathetic to the religious spirit without being captive to any one tradition. It does not avert its eyes from inescapable human vulnerability and suffering. It explores how, within the confines of varied religious traditions, people deal with seemingly dead-end, "end of your rope" situations by letting go of efforts to control the uncontrollable and instead accepting and participating in the situation from a stance of honesty and existential trust and acceptance. This is a rigorously honest and tough-minded book. It is a classic, as relevant today as when it was written.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ron Newman on March 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book has influenced my thinking for years, perhaps as much as any that I've read. I keep coming back to its insights into philosophy and literature and integrating them with Lao Tsu. It's 180 degrees away from "The Secret", if only it were embraced to the same extent. The ideas expressed here resonate with a deep sense of truth and a profundity that doesn't call attention to itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
The author is a professor at the university I attend, so maybe this review is biased, but oh well. The book reveiws many different situations in which the paradox of intention reveals intself. This ranges from the paradox in christian, buddhist and even atheist traditions, showing a possible uniting theme in the way major religious traditons think. The book is easy to understand and well written, as well as an excellent text for comparing buddhism and christianity, which is how I came to read it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
This funny little book is an excelent book for those interested in many types of philosophy. Some might think it is a Lutheran theology while others might say it is existential in nature. I would say that it is both. It covers a wide range of religious traditions and examins the paradox of intention in each of them. It is also very easy to read for those who may not be well versed in philosophical jargon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery A. Martin on December 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my all time favorite books. I am an academic expert on intentionality, the topic of this book, and think this is absolutely the finest book ever written on it. Dr. Shaw produced a landmark here, which will stand through the ages. It crosses time, cultures, and more to reveal the key patterns underlying intent and goal attainment. If you read nothing else on the subject, this should be it.
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