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Acknowledging Essential Moments in Human Communication
In Openings, award-winning author Michael Hyde provides a fascinating meditation on the ethical dimensions of human communication. With the breadth and depth of learning for which Hyde has become renowned, Openings engages philosophy, science, the arts, theology, and popular culture, all to demonstrate the profound importance of the possibility of openness to the human experience. In every situation, Hyde contends, this posture of conscious openness to the individuals, events, and places that surround us has noticeable effects on the way we—and others—experience the reality of existence. Hyde skillfully illustrates this way of being through abundant references to the larger culture and persuasively shows that by living with intention, and elevating practices such as acknowledgment and confession while rejecting seclusion and neglect, we human beings are enabled to engage fully and fruitfully the world in which we live.
1 In the Beginning Was an Opening
2 The Daily Habit of Being Open
3 The Call to Openness
4 Acknowledgment: Being Open to Otherness
5 Our Perfect Capacity for Being Open
6 Truth, Eloquence, and the Creation of Openings
7 Confession as an Opening
8 The Beauty of Being Open
9 Dialogue and the Death of Openness
Conclusion: Some Closing Remarks on Openings
“Openings is an insightful, timely, well-written, account of the ontological/metaphysical foundation of the primordial ethos of caring relationships with others.”
—J. Gough, formerly, Red Deer College, Choice (50:8)
"Wise and compassionate, Hyde's latest exploration of communication ethics further refines his foundational concepts of the call of conscience and the gift of acknowledgement. Hyde's incisive reflections on the "openings" that characterize our experience are at once deeply human and authentically faithful. This unique study will captivate newcomer and expert alike."
—James A. Herrick, Guy Vander Jagt Professor of Communication, Hope College
"Hyde seeks to reinvest us with our sacred and secular responsibilities toward ourselves and one another by staging a poignant and personal encounter with the precariousness of being human. Openings emerges out of a dire predicament and itself is an essential moment in human communication. Its acknowledgment should become our responsibility."
—Eric King Watts, author of Hearing the Hurt: Rhetoric, Aesthetics, and Politics of the New Negro Movement
"Admirably lucid and winsomely confrontational. Hyde boldly faces the conditions of human despair and extricates from within a hopeful path for personal and political well-being. His passionate appeal for openness to the wonders of our existence rests precariously on the edge of a heroic humanism and an embrace of divine grace. This is his most vulnerable and powerful work to date."
—Kenneth R. Chase, Chair, Department of Communication, Wheaton College
Michael J. Hyde is University Distinguished Professor of Communication Ethics in the Department of Communication and is on the faculty of the Program for Bioethics, Health and Society in the School of Medicine, Wake Forest University. He is the author of Perfection: Coming to Terms with Being Human and the award-winning The Call of Conscience. He and his wife live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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