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Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying (Ethics of Everyday Life) Paperback – January 29, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

...a wonderful anthology.... It teaches a higher form of sex education--a form that cultivates awe for the depth and breadth of marital love while showing respect for the fragility of the human heart. -- USA Today, William Mattox Jr.

About the Author

Kass is Senior Lecturer in the Humanities Collegiate Division at the University of Chicago.

Leon R. Kass is the Addie Clark Harding Professor (on leave) in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago and Hertog Fellow in Social Thought at the American Enterprise Insti-tute. Currently Chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics, he is the author of three books, most recently "Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics, " and coauthor of two more. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

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Product Details

  • Series: Ethics of Everyday Life
  • Paperback: 636 pages
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press; First Edition edition (January 29, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0268019606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0268019600
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #680,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
> This anthology on Courting and Marrying was very interesting and bolstering of many things I knew to be right and good. The authors say that all the selections are not what they deem a single coherent traditional teaching on the subject, but that they are offered "in wisdom-seeking rather than wisdom-delivering-spirit, as writings that make us think, that challenge our unexamined opinions, expand our symnpathies, elevate our gaze, and introduce us to possibilities open to human beings in everyday life that may be undreamt of in our philosophizing." pg.19. It was eye-opening to trace the decline of courtship at the beginning of the 20th century and what the emergence of dating methods did to male and female relationships. The authors see an increased failure of marriages NOT because courting isn't done the old fashioned way but because certain elements of what makes marriages work are no longer even considered. . Largely elements that have become secondary in importance to the current all encompassing reason for marriage, ROMANTIC LOVE. Not to say that romantic love shouldn't be a factor, but that it is not necessarily the greatest or only factor. Also included are reflections on the virtue of modesty, the merit of waiting and the fulfillment of partnership and parenting. A good resource and thought provoking book.
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Format: Paperback
Some reviewers seem insistent that Amy and Leon Kass are stuck in a cultural and intellectual backwater, still insisting on ideas and values that are badly out of date.
Others say that Leon and Amy Kass have written the best answer to modern misunderstandings and mistakes concerning marriage and sexual relationships.
They are accused of trying to force their narrow, archaic views of the sexual nature of humanity.
They are also accused of depending strangely on ancient writings that have little 'scientific' value.
Leon and Amy Kass admit themselves that most of the writings they draw from are old--but the value of such writings is in finding what the people who wrote them have in common with modern times.
Basic facts of life--like the connection between sexuality and reproduction, the connection between monagomy and stable societies, and the connection between morality and healthy relationships--are the themes that hold this book together.
The book tends to question many modern assumptions--not for the purpose of turning back the clock, but for the purpose of finding a way to improve the future prospects in relationships, marriages, and society in general.
At no point do the editors preach to the reader. Instead, they encourage the reader to think--and to feel--and to explore the meaning of being a human being.
This book is written for college-level reading, although an intelligent high school student (one who has been trained to think for himself) can readily understand it.
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Format: Paperback
Amy and Leon Kass have presented a wonderful gift to parents and to their children. Parents will cherish the book's wisdom as they try to instruct their children, whether of marriageable age or younger, about the ritual (courtship) leading to the ultimate commitment (marriage). Young adults facing, it seems, a directionless world will cherish the guidance the book provides. All readers will admire the clarity and the beauty with which almost all of the many authors, including the Kass's, communicate their messages. The Kass's draw on a remarkable variety of sources, from the ancient religious (Genesis) through classical literature up to and including modern sociology. Even "Miss Manners" (Judith Martin) is cited and she has good things to say. A few of the selections are a bit difficult and may easily be skimmed, skipped or saved for a second try later. Most are easy to read and many are downright enjoyable. One selection from Tolstoy (from "War and Peace": The Courtship of Pierre and Helene) tells the reader exactly how NOT to enter into the ultimate commitment. Another (Divakaruni, "The Word Love") is truly heartbreaking as its depicts some of the consequences of a typical modern "relationship". I've already ordered copies of the book for my young adult daughters, and I'm encouraging my 10th grader (a voracious reader) to take a crack at it. Thank you, Amy and Leon Kass!
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Format: Paperback
The USA Today review on 2/10/00 was intriguing to me, as it's not the first place I would expect to find support for research that regards traditional relationship models as valid - even right! I have ordered the book, based on the strength of this review and would encourage others to look at it as well. We have lost our way when we do not even mention - let alone mentor - commitment and working through what was once thought to be a life-long relationship. For some of us, it takes that long to grow up... ---as I am one married a mere 28 years can attest...
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book originally looking for a good well-reasoned alternative to the wasteland of pathetic Christian dating/marriage books on the market (e.g. I kissed dating goodbye). Specifically something that shared wisdom from past ages and was well reasoned and articulate.

This book met all of these expectations and more. My (now) wife and I re-read much of this book while we were dating and engaged, and it provided numerous hours for discussions about out thinking on marriage.

This book should be preferred reading for college age or older folks seriously interested in courtship/marriage, and want a larger frame of reference than the current culture. The articles are relavant, thought-provoking, and the best of western literature. It would also make an excellent source for a discussion group.
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