•  416
    The Roots of Despair
    Res Philosophica 92 (4): 829-854. 2015.
    This paper is an exploration of the Thomistic vice of despair, one of two vices opposed to the theological virtue of hope. Aquinas's conception of despair as a vice, and a theological vice in particular, distances him from contemporary use of the term "despair" to describe an emotional state. His account nonetheless yields a compelling psychological portrait of moral degeneration, which I explain via despair's link to its "root," the capital vice of sloth. Cases in which sloth and its offspring …Read more
  •  266
    The list of the seven capital vices include sloth, envy, avarice, vainglory, gluttony, lust, and anger. While many of the seven vices are more complex than they appear at first glance, one stands out as more obscure and out of place than all the others, at least for a contemporary audience: the vice of sloth. Our puzzlement over sloth is heightened by sloth's inclusion on the traditional lists of the seven capital vices and the seven deadly sins from the fourth century onward. For hundreds of ye…Read more
  •  181
    The Seven Deadly Sins
    In Erwin Fahlbusch (ed.), Encyclopedia of Christianity, Eerdmans. 2005.
    In this entry, DeYoung defines the seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices, as a schema for understanding and analyzing sin for Christians interested in self-examination, confession, preaching, and spiritual formation. DeYoung carefully looks at the difference between 'sin' and 'vice' and goes back to the capital vices of the Desert Fathers to draw out the tradition. She also looks at Aquinas's analysis to help articulate how the Christian tradition has used the vices.
    Sin
  •  175
    Practicing Hope
    Res Philosophica 91 (3): 387-410. 2014.
    In this essay, I consider how the theological virtue of hope might be practiced. I will first explain Thomas Aquinas’s account of this virtue, including its structural relation to the passion of hope, its opposing vices, and its relationship to the friendship of charity. Then, using narrative and character analysis from the film The Shawshank Redemption, I examine a range of hopeful and proto-hopeful practices concerning both the goods one hopes for and the power one relies on to attain those go…Read more
  •  169
    In this chapter, DeYoung explores the vice of sloth and how its traditional conception differs from popular thought. Pulling from the tradition of the Desert Fathers, Augustine, and Aquinas, DeYoung reconnects sloth to its spiritual roots to see how this vice detracts from love.
  •  169
    This paper compares Aristotle’s and Aquinas’s accounts of the virtue of magnanimity specifically as a corrective to the vice of pusillanimity. After definingpusillanimity and underscoring key features of Aristotelian magnanimity, I explain how Aquinas’s account of Christian magnanimity, by making humandependence on God fundamental to this virtue, not only clarifies the differences between the vice of pusillanimity and the virtue of humility, but also showswhy only Christian magnanimity can free …Read more
  •  128
    Holy Fear
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 86 (1): 1-22. 2012.
    In this essay I will contend that there is something called holy fear, which expresses love for God. First I distinguish holy fear from certain types of unholy fear and from the type of fear regulated by the virtue of courage. Next, relying on the work of Thomas Aquinas, I consider the roles love and power play in holy and unholy fear and extend his analysis of the passion of fear by analogy to the capital vices. I conclude that this extension illuminates the moral significance of John PaulII’s …Read more
  •  84
    Review of Love of self and love of God in thirteenth century ethics (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (2): 329-330. 2007.
    Thomas Osborne's study is doubly successful—first, as a careful account of the historical sources and multiple layers of concerns shaping thirteenth-century debates about whether God can be naturally loved more than oneself. Second, it is also an excellent articulation of the metaphysical and conceptual gaps between ancient and medieval eudaimonistic ethical theories and contemporary morality. Both thirteenth-century..
  •  73
    Courage
    In Mike Austin & Doug Geivett (eds.), Being Good: Christian Virtues for Everyday Life, Eerdmans. 2012.
    In this chapter, DeYoung looks at the culturally and historically recognized virtue of courage. She specifically questions how we should think of all the pictures of courage and where we might look for Christlike examples of courage. To do this, DeYoung explores courage as it relates to fear and love and then delves into how courage can be a Christian practice.
  •  71
    Moral Education in the Classroom: A Lived Experiment
    with Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung
    Expositions: An Interdisciplinary Study in the Humanities 1 (14). 2020.
    What would a course on ethics look like if it took into account Alasdair MacIntyre’s concerns about actually teaching students ethical practices? How could professors induct students into practices that prompt both reflection on their cultural formation and self-knowledge of the ways they have been formed by it? According to MacIntyre, such elements are prerequisites for an adequate moral education. His criticism of what he terms “Morality” includes the claim that most courses don’t even try to …Read more
  •  68
    Aquinas on the vice of sloth: Three interpretive issues
    The Thomist 75 (1): 43-64. 2011.
    Defining the capital vice of sloth (acedia) is a difficult business in Thomas Aquinas and in the Christian tradition of thought from which he draws his account. In this article, I will raise three problems for interpreting Aquinas's account of sloth. They are all related, as are the resolutions to them I will offer. The three problems can be framed as questions: How, on Aquinas's account, can sloth consistently be categorized as, first, a capital vice and, second, a spiritual vice? These two que…Read more
  •  19
    Review of Four Faces of Anger: Seneca, Evagrius Ponticus (review)
    Augustinian Studies 42 (1): 102-105. 2011.
  •  9
    9.3 Response
    Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 5 (1): 164-184. 2002.
    Four authors respond to James Rachels' article "Moral Philosophy and as a Subversive Activity."
  •  5
    Response
    Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 5 (1): 164-184. 2002.
  •  3
    Contemporary culture trivializes the "seven deadly sins," or vices, as if they have no serious moral or spiritual implications. Glittering Vices clears this misconception by exploring the traditional meanings of gluttony, sloth, lust, and others. It offers a brief history of how the vices were compiled and an eye opening explication of how each sin manifests itself in various destructive behaviors. Readers gain practical understanding of how the vices shape our culture today and how to correctly…Read more
    Sin
  •  3
    Julia Roberts on the red carpet at the Oscars. Lady Gaga singing “Applause” to worshipful fans at one of her sold-out concerts. And you and me in our Sunday best in the front row at church. What do we have in common? Chances are, says Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, that we all suffer from vainglory -- a keen desire for attention and approval. Although contemporary culture has largely forgotten about vainglory, it was on the original list of seven capital vices and is perhaps more dangerous than ever …Read more
  •  3
    Drawing on centuries of wisdom from the Christian ethical tradition, this book takes readers on a journey of self-examination, exploring why our hearts are captivated by glittery but false substitutes for true human goodness and happiness. The first edition sold 35,000 copies and was a C. S. Lewis Book Prize award winner. Now updated and revised throughout, the second edition includes a new chapter on grace and growth through the spiritual disciplines. Questions for discussion and study are incl…Read more
  •  2
    Written by four members of the Calvin College philosophy department, The Little Logic Book is a valuable resource for teachers and undergraduate students of philosophy. In addition to providing clear introductions to the modes of reasoning students encounter in their philosophy course readings, it includes a nuanced description of common informal fallacies, a narrative overview of various philosophical accounts of scientific inference, and a concluding chapter on the ethics of argumentation. The…Read more
  •  2
    Virtues in Action: Aquinas' Reply to the Action-Guiding Objection
    Dissertation, University of Notre Dame. 2000.
    For all the strengths the recent recovery of the virtues brings to moral philosophy, opponents of virtue-based theories claim that such theories cannot do the essential work of guiding action. This dissertation responds to that objection by drawing upon Thomas Aquinas's account of the four cardinal virtues in the secunda pars of the Summa Theologiae. I argue that Aquinas's moral theory has an emphasis on the virtues such that proper attention is given to the character of the agent, but at the sa…Read more
  •  2
    Book Review: Courage as a Christian Virtue (review)
    Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care 6 (2): 301-312. 2013.
  •  2
    This book chapter begins with a summation of the far-ranging tradition of the seven deadly sins or seven capital vices that Aquinas inherited, a tradition spanning a millennium with origins in the Christian monastic communities of the fourth century. By adopting this scheme as a major framework for analyzing the oral life, Aquinas participates in a venerable tradition, and much of his analysis in QDM is heavily indebted to his predecessors. DeYoung provides a detailed and historically sensitive …Read more
  •  1
    Aquinas on Virtue: A Causal Reading (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 71 (4). 2017.
  • The purpose of __Aquinas's Ethics__ is to place Thomas Aquinas's moral theory in its full philosophical and theological context and to do so in a way that makes Aquinas readily accessible to students and interested general readers, including those encountering Aquinas for the first time. Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, Colleen McCluskey, and Christina Van Dyke begin by explaining Aquinas's theories of the human person and human action, since these ground his moral theory. In their interpretation, Aqui…Read more
  • Virtue
    with Rebecca DeYoung
    In Daniel Treir & Walter Elwell (eds.), Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 3rd edition. 2017.
    Virtue in Scripture What is a Virtue? The History of Virtue and the Human Good (Plato, Aristotle, Stoics, medieval Christians, Hume, Kant, Foot, MacIntyre) Challenges to Virtue (situationism) Bibliography
  • In this chapter, DeYoung looks at the concept of practices and goes on to argue why they are needed and how they can be useful. Beginning with the past traditions of practices and reflection on practices of the Desert Fathers and their followers, DeYoung takes the conversation to the classroom to discuss how such traditionally embedded practices can still be used. She emphasizes the cycle of doing practices and reflecting upon practices within the regular rhythm of the classroom.
  • Review of Thomas Aquinas: Theologian of the Christian Life Ashgate (review)
    Scottish Journal of Theology 58 (2). 2003.
  • Review of The Virtues of our Vices (review)
    First Things 227 57-58. 2012.
  • Review of At the Beginning of Life: Dilemmas in Theological Bioethics (review)
    Calvin Theological Journal 38 (2). 2003.
  • Review of Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature (review)
    Theology Today 59 (4). 2003.