Dying to Self and Detachment: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Dying to Self and Detachment

1st Edition

By James Kellenberger


192 pages

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Exploring the religious category of dying to self, this book aims to resolve contemporary issues that relate to detachment. Beginning with an examination of humility in its general notion and as a religious virtue that detachment presupposes, Kellenberger draws on a range of ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary sources that address the main characteristics of detachment, including the work of Meister Eckhart, St. Teresa, and Simone Weil, as well as writers as varied as Gregory of Nyssa, Rabi'a al-Adawiyya, Søren Kierkegaard, Andrew Newberg, John Hick and Keiji Nishitani. Kellenberger explores the key issues that arise for detachment, including the place of the individual's will in detachment, the relationship of detachment to desire, to attachment to persons, and to self-love and self-respect, and issues of contemporary secular detachment such as inducement via chemicals. This book heeds the relevance of the religious virtue of detachment for those living in the twenty-first century.


'I welcomed the serious consideration given to the reality that some people negate or have an undeveloped self… I found Kellenberger’s study inspiring… offer[s] plenty to think through as we grapple with both the ideal and everyday reality.' Church Times ’This is an elegant and sophisticated exploration of what is involved in the religious demand that we die to self and what might be implied by the related virtue of detachment.’ Journal of Theological Studies

About the Author

James Kellenberger has published several books in Religion/Philosophy of Religion addressing concerns with religious knowledge and religious plurality, as well as many articles on these and related religious subjects. From 1967 to 2008 he taught Philosophy at California State University, Northridge. In 2008 he became emeritus. His current concern with religious detachment goes beyond but also grows out of these previous concerns.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Religious
RELIGION / General