Leading Lives That Matter

What We Should Do and Who We Should Be, 2nd ed.

By Mark R. Schwehn and Dorothy C. Bass (Eerdmans, 2020)
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Leading Lives That Matter compiles a wide range of texts—from ancient and contemporary literature, social commentary, and philosophy—for those who are trying to decide what to do with their lives and what kind of human beings they hope to become.

The second edition includes forty-seven new readings from a diverse array of writers, including: Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Denise Levertov, Malcolm Gladwell, Julia Alvarez, Alice Walker, Martin Luther King Jr., Pope Francis, and Chung Tzu.

View the full list of contributors here »

Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass identify four vocabularies typically used in discussions of the meaning of life choices: authenticity, virtue, exemplarity, and vocation. Leading Lives That Matter invites readers into arguments that have persisted for generations about what we human beings should do and who we should be.

Six guiding questions shape the chapters:

Must my job be the primary source of my identity?
To whom and to what should I listen as I decide what work to do?
With whom and for whom shall I live?
Is a balanced life possible and preferable to a life focused primarily on work?
What are my obligations to future human and other life?
How shall I tell the story of my life?

Meet the Authors

Mark SchwehnMark R. Schwehn is senior research professor at Christ College, the honors college of Valparaiso University, and the author of Exiles from Eden: Religion and the Academic Vocation. He is a former Resident Scholar at the Collegeville Institute.

Dorothy BassDorothy C. Bass is a senior fellow with the Lilly Fellows Program at Valparaiso University. She is a coauthor of the anthology Christian Practical Wisdom: What It Is, Why It Matters and has also written or edited several other books in practical theology. She is a former Resident Scholar and Seminars participant at the Collegeville Institute.

Collegeville Institute