“Greed” and “Gluttony”

April 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Posted in Nonfiction | 8 Comments

I finished Greed, a theological discussion of that particular vice.  I couldn’t help but find it a little abstract, given today’s economic climate and the extremes we see there, which would make such fascinating examples.

I also finished Gluttony, and it got my goat.  Francine Prose argues that gluttony isn’t much of a deadly sin, and that since it doesn’t hurt anyone else the way other sins do, its consideration as a sinful behavior is based more on social opprobrium than anything actually spiritually harmful.  I’m focusing more on reading today, so I’ll summarize my argument:  gluttony on the personal level which becomes acceptable on the social level leads to overconsumption of resources on a national level which leads to deprivation for people who live in other nations.  Maybe it doesn’t have to be this way.  But anyone who can eat a whole cake and then look unflinchingly at a photograph of a starving child with flies on its eyes may have bigger spiritual problems than just gluttony.

Ugh.  Sorry.  That was a downer.  Can you tell I was raised Catholic?  I never thought I would find myself agreeing with the Church on anything, but here I am, a doctrinaire believer in the essential wrongness of all seven sins.

So far I’ve finished five books, at a total of 720 pages.  That’s like 120 pages an hour.  I am almost guilty that I chose these small-format books, but in my defense, they did cover fairly weighty topics.  I’ll definitely be slowing down from here on out.  Now I’m reading a novel, The Song is You.



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  1. Wow, that’s a lot read! And sounds like heavy reading, even though they are smaller books. Great work, and enjoy your novel!

  2. Heh. Yeah, I’m a recovering Catholic, too, and its funny how those deep-seated belief systems stick around for a while. But I think I’ve mostly managed to shed the bad and keep the good, I hope.

    Have fun reading and good luck with the rest of the read-a-thon!

  3. The seven deadly sins books seem like a lot of fun. Good luck with the rest of the Read-a-Thon!

  4. It sounds like you are tackling some weighty reads for the Read-a-Thon! I took a senior seminar where we spent the entire semester talking about Gratitude, it was interesting to really dig in and analyze a concept like that.

    Anyhow, best of luck with the reading!

  5. Congratulations on finishing another book. You truly are one of my reading heroes, and not just on read-a-thon days. And I have to say that I agree with you on the whole gluttony-affects-more-than-just-the-gluttonous argument.

  6. Five books already – that’s awesome!

    Read like a rockin’ librarian.


  7. You are doing a GREAT job, and not reading fluff. Way to go – keep it up!!

  8. You are really downing the pages! Keep it up! Happy reading!

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