How Good Do We Have to Be? A New Understanding of Guilt and Forgiveness

by Harold S. Kushner

Book, 1996



Call number

201 KUS


Boston : Little, Brown & Co., c1996.


"From the author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People comes an inspiring new bestseller that puts human feelings of guilt and inadequacy in perspective - and teaches us how we can learn to accept ourselves and others even when we and they are less than perfect." "How Good Do We Have to Be? is for everyone who experiences that sense of guilt and disappointment. Harold Kushner, writing with his customary generosity and wisdom, shows us how human life is too complex for anyone to live it without making mistakes, and why we need not fear the loss of God's love when we are less than perfect." "Harold Kushner begins by offering a radically new interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve, which he sees as a tale of Paradise Outgrown rather than Paradise Lost: eating from the Tree of Knowledge was not an act of disobedience, but a brave step forward toward becoming human, complete with the richness of work, sexuality and child-rearing, and a sense of our mortality." "Drawing on modern literature, psychology, theology, and his own thirty years of experience as a congregational rabbi, Harold Kushner reveals how acceptance and forgiveness can change our relationships with the most important people in our lives and help us meet the bold and rewarding challenge of being human."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member elizabethn
Enlightening. Easy to read but not dumbed down.
LibraryThing member KamGeb
It explained how to reinterpret the Garden of Eden story. The ability to see the difference between good and evil is seen as what makes us human. Very interesting with interesting bits of insight.
LibraryThing member fingerpost
Anyone who has children, regardless of how old those children are, and anyone who has parents, regardless of how old oneself is, and regardless of whether those parents are still living, should read this book. Yes, I realize that covers every human on earth. But even if you don't read the whole
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book, at least read the chapter, "Fathers, Sons, Mothers and Daughters." It is about how parents, event the best of whom are flawed, struggle to raise their children, and how children, especially adult children, struggle with the way their imperfect parents raised them. There is an element of religion from a Jewish perspective (Kushner spent many years as a congregational rabbi) but this chapter is more philosophy and psychology than anything else. Whether you are currently struggling to raise children or not… whether you have a good relationship with your parents or not… whether your parents are still living or not… do yourself a favor and read this chapter of this book.

The rest of the book is very good too, but I just feel so strongly about this one chapter I have to dwell on it.
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Original publication date



0316507415 / 9780316507417

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