Willard Legacy Update #3
Continuing the Work of Dallas Willard
June 2018 Update
Dear Fellow Pilgrims,
This month we are celebrating the publication of The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge. The book has been 20 years in the making, and Gary Moon describes its inception beautifully in his recent book, Becoming Dallas Willard:
In early 1998 Dallas was invited to speak at the ninetieth anniversary celebration of Biola University. According to Jane Willard, “her book,” The Divine Conspiracy, was in the hands of the publishers. She arrived at the auditorium thinking, Now life can get back to normal.
Jane was sitting on the front row as Dallas gave a talk titled “The Redemption of Reason,” in which he, in passing, mentioned that in the university “there is no such thing as moral knowledge.” She recalls that it wasn’t an emotional talk, but at the end she had been moved to tears. “It was a spiritual experience of God’s depositing in me a ‘knowing’ that a book had to be written on this information and that Dallas was the one who had to write it. I was applauding vigorously, and our eyes locked in the affirmation we recognized in each other.” That would be his next book.
Dallas worked on The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge off-and-on for the next 15 years while maintaining his full-time teaching schedule at USC, engaging in a steady stream of speaking engagements, and continuing to publish more Christian books. By the end of 2012 he had completed the first five chapters and significant portions of next two. In May of 2013, Dallas accepted an offer from Professors Aaron Preston, Gregg Ten Elshof and Steven Porter (pictured at left with Jane Willard) to help him finish the project. A brief biography of each editor is included on the book page along with an overview of the editing process. The editors give a much more detailed explanation of how they went about their work beginning on page xv of their Editors Introduction, which can be read in the preview PDF posted on the publisher’s website.
As Dallas had predicted long ago, the price of this volume in considerably more than his non-philosophical works. This is because it has been published as a high-quality, hardback edition intended for use in university libraries. A more affordable paperback edition is expected within two years. This is standard practice in academic publishing, which operates quite differently from non-academic publishing, but there are ebooks available on Kindle and Nook for one-third of the price of the hardback book.
New Resources Available This Month:
- The Preface of The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge will give you an overview of the book in Dallas’ own words.
- A Disappearance of Moral Knowledge preview PDF is available for download on the Taylor & Francis Group website. The PDF contains the Foreword (by Scott Soames), Editors’ Introduction (by Steve Porter, Aaron Preston and Gregg Ten Elshof), Preface (by Dallas Willard) and Chapter 1 (by Dallas Willard). The Editors’ Introduction includes a detailed explanation of how the book was completed.
- Also on the Taylor & Francis website, you will find an abstract for each chapter of The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge below the link for the PDF file.
- The Preface of Until Christ is Formed in You explains the purpose and contents of this recently released book, subtitled “Dallas Willard and Spiritual Formation.” As I mentioned in our last Update, the chapter titles and contributing authors are also listed on our website.
- A new article posting on our site: Wide Awake: Rousing Drowsy Christians from Spiritual Slumber. This is an interview with Jack Hayford and Dallas Willard from the Fall 1994 edition of Leadership Journal, and includes one of the well-known Dallas-isms about quiet time: “If you want a shower, one drop every five minutes for two years is not enough.”
- Recordings of the Willard Center conference held last month in Santa Barbara are being sold in DVD and Blu-ray. These recordings are of the entire conference including each of the breakout sessions; 39 sessions in all!
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In the fellowship of the Divine Conspiracy,
Rebecca Willard Heatley
on behalf of the Dallas Willard family and Dallas Willard Ministries