On Reading Well

Notes on the Book

Reading Literature can cultivate virtue in us.

References Sir Philip Sidney - A Defense of Poetry. “Sidney argues, literature exceeds both by offering a picture of what should be. And because ‘the end of all earthly learning is virtuous action,’ poetry is more likely than either philosophy or history to cultivate virtue.” (22)

For the Christian, however, the ultimate end or purpose of one’s life is too glorify God and enjoy him forever. ~This end does not always translate to our own happiness or flourishing.~

KSP uses 12 books to introduce and learn about 12 Christian Virtues:

  1. Prudence - The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
  2. Temperance - The Great Gatsby
  3. Justice - A Tale of Two Cities
  4. Courage - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  5. Faith - Silence
  6. Hope - The Road
  7. Love - The Death of Ivan Ilych
  8. Chastity - Ethan Frome
  9. Diligence - Pilgrim’s Progress
  10. Patience - Persuasion
  11. Kindness - Tenth of December
  12. Humility “Revelation” and “Everything that Rises must Converge”

On Reading in Quarantine

On Reading in Quarantine | Online Conversation with Karen Swallow Prior - YouTube In Literature we’re listening and not responding.


Prior, Karen Swallow, 2018. On Reading Well. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press.


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