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Virtuous Minds: Intellectual Character Development Paperback – May 8, 2013
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"Dow has given Christian educators a commendable, thoughtful, quality book that merits wide readership, especially for those interested in intellectual character development. Works of this kind, especially from a Christian perspective, are truly needed, and this book is a valuable contribution to the field of literature on character education." (Christopher Beckham, Modern Reformation, March/April 2014)
"This won't be an easy read for some, but it is a worthy one. You'll nurture high-level discussions that may be best to take place among your leaders, parents or in a weekend seminar setting. Still there are several practical steps that can give you traction for applying it personally or in your ministry." (Tony Myles, YouthWorker Journal, January/February 2014)
"A timely and thoughtful work for parents and pastors, teachers and students―anyone who thinks education is more about the quality of character than about the quantity of facts." (Light Magazine Canada, June 2013)
"The experienced teacher and administrator shows how intellectual attributes like courage, carefullness, tenacity, honesty, fair-mindedness, and humility enrich not only our studies but also our contributions in every realm of life." (Matt Reynolds, Christianity Today, June 2013)
"While the Aristotle-inspired pursuit of the good life has generated an enormous literature on moral character, its importance and its development, the other side of the person, intellectual character, has been astonishingly neglected by both academics and (more importantly) the general public. Yet excellence, or 'virtue,' in both components is essential for leading the best kinds of life open to humans; fine traits of heart alone, without fine traits of mind, cannot get the job done. It is high time that explicit attention was paid--by educators, by parents, by leaders, by all of us--to the habits of mind that help people grab hold of truth, and to what it takes to develop such habits. Virtuous Minds is to be applauded for prompting such attention, and in such an accessible and practical-minded way. May it find the readership it deserves!" (Lawrence Lengbeyer, United States Naval Academy)
"The book inspires the pursuit of intellectual virtue--it makes attractive a life characterized by the traits Dow discusses. I wanted to renew my efforts in the direction of intellectual virtue having read it. And I know my students, many of whom enter college with no real aim in sight beyond a degree which promises a high-paying position, would benefit from such inspiration. . . . I can easily imagine using it for an orientation course we offer to freshman philosophy majors." (Gregg Ten Elshof, Biola University)
"It is far easier to be conformed than it is to be transformed. Dow's book is a wake-up call for all of us to be diligent gardeners of our minds and souls." (Philip Walker, president of International Christian Ministries)
"This is the first book of its kind and one that is urgently needed inside and outside the Christian community. . . . Dow's writing is accessible, engaging and fun. It is also intellectually astute, historically informed and packed with wonderful illustrations." (from the foreword by Jason Baehr)
"Philip Dow has given us a really important book, one that is both motivating and a pleasure to read. With excellent illustrations and carefully reasoned arguments, Dow challenges us to examine the way we use our minds. We are confronted with the critical importance of intellectual courage, curiosity, honesty and humility, and we are reminded that the weeds of intellectual carelessness grow effortlessly and bring with them consequences that can be sobering. Although there are other books which address the subject of the Christian mind, I am aware of none that addresses this subject with the clarity, thoroughness or motivational quality of Dow's work." (Mike Treneer, president, The Navigators International)
"Phil Dow has written a provocative, compelling and engaging book that challenges Christians to consider the importance of intellectual character and to encourage them to self-consciously nurture virtuous intellectual habits. The book is a delightful read that addresses a subject that needs careful intellectual inquiry. I would recommend this book to anyone who is intentional about growing spiritually or who is involved in the cultivation of spiritual formation in the lives of young people." (Daniel Egeler, vice president of Association of Christian Schools International and author of Mentoring Millenials)
About the Author
Philip E. Dow (Ph.D., Cambridge University) is superintendent of Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi, Kenya. Dow has over a decade of classroom experience, teaching advanced courses in social studies and history at the high school level. He is the author of "School in the Clouds": The Rift Valley Academy Story.
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This book is not deep or scholarly. It is a clearly written and organized wake up call. It reminds us that we are not just moral creatures, but intellectual as well. If our thinking gets sloppy, our morals will slide down the same muddied path.
What can we do? This book gives us steps we can take--steps we can teach--to climb out of the mess of lazy, careless, and misguided thinking.
As a bonus, for educators, Dow presents the bones of a workable academic approach.