Drawing on Aristotle's and Aquinas's accounts of habit, Kent Dunnington has given us an analysis of addiction we have desperately needed. Few are able to combine philosophical analysis with theological insight, but Dunnington has done it in a manner that helps us better understand the nature of addiction and why it is so prevalent in our time. This is a book that needs to be read, not only by those who work in the fields of addictive behaviors but also by philosophers, theologians and pastors. I suspect in a short amount of time, this book will be viewed as something of a classic in the field.
Duke Divinity School
Considerations of addiction as disease are helpful but inadequate. Kent Dunnington shows us that addiction is a habit, more akin to idolatry or wrongful worship. In doing so he deepens our notions of addiction, but also enriches our understandings of sin and redemption. I can't think of a more timely subject, or a more exemplary way to do theological ethics.
Dean of the chapel, Duke University
Addiction and Virtue is one of only a few books which use philosophy to unpack the false dilemma limiting addiction to either disease or willful choice. What's more, Dunnington does this from a Christian theological perspective.
Author, Victims & Sinners, and professor, The Methodist Theological School in Ohio
In Addiction and Virtue Kent Dunnington uses Aristotle, Thomas and the philosophically clarified concept of habit to illuminate addiction. The addicts in our midst emerge as 'contemporary prophets' who, if we can but find the ears to hear them, call society as a whole to profound change and the Christian church in particular to renewal. This valuable book points the way, if we are ever to recover from all our junkie-like 'habits' of personal behavior and social interaction, to turn them into truly sustaining habitats for flourishing human life.
-Francis F. Seeburger,
Professor of Philosophy, University of Denver
Kent Dunnington offers a compelling account of addiction as interpreted through the lens of virtue. A strong theological and philosophical foundation helps the reader to see how the good news of Jesus Christ offers a powerful alternative to the habit of addiction. While some within the addiction treatment community will find Dunnington's arguments controversial, others will experience them as a breath of fresh air. Either way, Addiction and Virtue is a worthwhile read!
Virginia T. Holeman,
Professor of Counseling, Asbury Theological Seminary
An intelligent, informed and well-integrated treatment of virtue and addiction that doesn't fall into theological, philosophical or scientific dogma. Dunnington provides a framework that is invaluable for clinicians and researchers in the area of addiction, and for those who strive to live the virtuous life.
-William M. Struthers,
Associate Professor of Psychology, Wheaton College, and author of Wired for Intimacy