How a moral ideal born five hundred years ago inspired religious wars, modern art, hipster chic, and the curious notion that we all have something to say (no matter how dull)
“A serious and engaging cultural history painted on an admirably large canvas.”—Laura Kipnis, New York Times Book Review
What do John Calvin, Sarah Palin, Jean-Jacques Rosseau, and Bon Iver have in common? A preoccupation with sincerity. With deep historical perspective and a brilliant contemporary spin, R. Jay Magill Jr. tells the beguiling tale of sincerity’s theological past, its current emotional resonance, and the deep impact it has had on the Western soul. At a time when politicians are scrutinized less for the truth of what they say than for how much they really mean it, Sincerity provides a wide-ranging examination of a moral ideal that remains a strange magnetic north in our secular moral compass.