9780470590805

Healing the Heart of Democracy : The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780470590805

  • ISBN10:

    0470590807

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 9/6/2011
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass
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Summary

Building on his own extensive experience as a writer and activist on various aspects of inner and institutional life, Parker J. Palmer explores the soulful dynamics of American politics. What he did for educators in The Courage to Teach he does for citizens here, exploring the dynamics of our inner lives for clues to reclaiming our national unity. In Healing the Heart of Democracy, he points the way to a politics worthy of the human spirit, rooted in the commonwealth of compassion and creativity still found among "We the People." Democracy is a non-stop experiment in the strengths and weaknesses of our political institutions, local communities, and the human heartits outcome can never be taken for granted. The experiment is endless, unless we blow up the lab, and the explosives to do the job are found within us. But so also is the heart's alchemy that can turn suffering into community, conflict into the energy of creativity, and tension into a force that opens us to the common good. Healing the Heart of Democracy names the vital "habits of the heart" we need to do the job and shows how they can be formed. Palmer proposes practical and hopeful, on-the-ground ways to learn how to hold the tensions of our differences in a manner that can restore a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."

Author Biography

Parker J. Palmer's writing speaks deeply to people in many walks of life. Author of nine books—including the bestsellers The Courage to Teach, Let Your Life Speak, and A Hidden Wholeness—Palmer is the founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His work has been recognized with ten honorary doctorates and many national awards, including the 2010 William Rainey Harper Award, previously won by Margaret Mead, Paulo Freire, and Elie Wiesel.

Table of Contents

Prelude The Politics of the Brokenhearted 1

Chapter I Democracy's Ecosystem 11

Chapter II Confessions of an Accidental Citizen 29

Chapter III The Heart of Politics 49

Chapter IV The Loom of Democracy 69

Chapter V Life in the Company of Strangers 89

Chapter VI Classrooms and Congregations 119

Chapter VII Safe Space for Deep Democracy 151

Chapter VIII The Unwritten History of the Heart 175

Gratitudes 195

Notes 199

The author 219

Index 221

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