What role should ambition play in our lives? Our culture generally buys the American Dream that yes, we can fulfill all our aspirations. But to seek personal power and fame in the competitive world of Western culture has a dark side. Ambition can be subtle and enticing, leading to great unhappiness. Questions about ambition are more urgent now than they have ever been. What is ambition, exactly, and is it okay to be ambitious? What part does self-esteem play in personal growth and productivity? Can the ego's drive to get ahead and make a name for oneself lead to obsession or a growing narcissism? Does the desire to do one's best constitute ambition, or faithfulness to one's calling? Can personal character and integrity be eroded by too much celebrity and success? The writers in this book address these complex questions about ambition in a variety of ways and in wonderfully different voices. The pieces range from personal musings to thought experiments and more formal reflections. With elegance and wisdom, the writers raise and reflect on the question that lies at our most intimate core of being and at the very center of our culture. ""I am glad for Ambition. It explores the issue of human ambition, a topic sorely in need of careful consideration in our day of raging hubris. Ambition is far from 'a many-splendored thing' but it is certainly 'a many-faceted thing.' Ambition explores these many facets of ambition thoughtfully, even reverently. I recommend it highly."" --Richard J. Foster, Author of several books including Celebration of Discipline and Sanctuary of the Soul ""Ambition is a tensive topic for writers (and for women, and for Christians, and...). So this volume is not warm and cozy. Instead, it is stimulating, engaging, provoking, and by turns comforting and discomfiting. For anyone who lives, ambivalently, with desire and aspiration (and, really, isn't that everyone?), this should be required reading."" --Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God and Still Luci Shaw is a poet, essayist, and Writer-in-Residence at Regent College, Vancouver. As the author of over thirty books, her writing has appeared in numerous literary and religious journals. In 2013 she received the Tenth Annual Denise Levertov Award for Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University and Image. She is author of a new collection of poetry, Scape (2013), and Adventure of Ascent: Field Notes from a Lifelong Journey (2014). Jeanne Murray Walker is a professor of English at the University of Delaware and a mentor in Seattle Pacific University's MFA program. She lectures, teaches, and gives readings in places ranging from the Library of Congress and Oxford University to Whidbey Island and Texas canyon country. She is the author of seven books of poetry, including New Tracks and Night Falling, and a memoir, The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage through Alzheimer's.
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