This book, the last that noted moral theologian Servais Pinckaers, OP, wrote before his death, was conceived as a follow-up to his previous work Plaidoyer pour la vertu (An Appeal for Virtue) (2007) Pinckaers' aim in Passions and Virtue was to show the positive and essential role that our emotions play in the life of virtue. His purpose is part of a larger project of renewing moral theology, a theology too often experienced as an ethics of obligation rather than as a practical guide to living virtuously. To this end, Pinckaers sketches a positive psychology of the passions as found in the biblical tradition, in the writings of the Fathers of the Church, in pagan authors and, especially, in the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas. In addition to treating the virtues as they relate to the concupiscible and irascible appetites, the will, and the intellect, Pinckaers expands the discussion to include such unexpected topics as humor, silence, the positive role of anger in the life of virtue, work, rest and leisure, sports, the psychology of the virtues and, finally, the positive limits to a life of virtue in the useless servant. Pinckaers' book is an important contribution to the relatively recent retrieval of virtue ethics. His positive and unique assessment of the role of the emotions in the moral life will no doubt find favor among his English-speaking readers.
"...of interest to the libraries of major seminaries and to academic libraries with moral theology collections."~Robert R. Rahl, Catholic Library World
"Passions and Virtue is of interest to both scholars of virtue ethics and for the devotional reader. This comparatively brief and readable volume would be an excellent text to be utilized for discipleship and spiritual formation purposes. Highly recommended."~Steve W. Lemke, Catholic Books Review
"This is an accessible treatment of a complex subject from an undisputed master of the field."~J.P. Blosser, Benedictine College, CHOICE
"This book presents a straightforward, insightful, and at times surprisingly practical account of a virtue theory that integrates the whole human person, in particular, a person whose passions serve his final end, happiness. Passions and Virtues could be categorized as a book somehow between an academic exposition and a practical manual. The author shows his experiential knowledge of nearly every topic contained within the text, in face, the last chapter is an invitation for the reader to personally engage in the work of prayer as the most efficient means to a fully human and fully virtuous life. The deeply personal character of the topic must be brought to completion not in a text, but in the very life of the reader."~Sr. Marie Notre Dame de Bon Secours Casadaban, IVE Press