A world both beautiful and brutal

Boston College alumnus Brian Treanor, a professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University, has written Melancholic Joy: On Life Worth Living (Bloomsbury, 2021), a wide-ranging and accessible meditation on the human condition and the paradox of evil and good in our lived experience. Drawing on philosophy, literature, and poetry, Treanor concludes that we that we can neither explain away evil or dismiss the stubborn persistence of the good and instead must live in the tension between the two. Treanor contends that attending to the fullness of reality—everyday frustrations and extraordinary horrors as well as beauty and goodness—leads to a “melancholic joy.” Treanor earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from BC and holds the Charles S. Casassa Chair of Social Values at LMU. Read a sample of Melancholic Joy.

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