Josef Pieper Edition:

(12 audio tapes in the Matthias Grünewald Verlag)

 

Hoffnung und Hoffnungslosigkeit. Irdische Kontemplation

read by the author (45 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 1993

 

In these meditations Josef Pieper considers the relationship between worldly being and religious orientation. In the text entitled “Hoffnung und Hoffnungslosigkeit” he comes to the convincingly substantiated conclusion that worldly being itself possesses the structure of hope. His starting-point is the question of what exactly people mean when they talk about hope in everyday life. The title “Irdische Kontemplation” (Earthly Contemplation) implies what Pieper depicts in this meditation: namely that contemplation can be found more often even in our modern world than one would expect from the picture we have of contemporary man. It is a contemplative way of seeing things of everyday life.

 

 

Alles Glück ist Liebesglück Selbstlosigkeit oder Glücksverlangen

read by the author (50 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 1993

 

Not only is joy the natural fruit of all kinds of love, but all human happiness is generated by love. We long for happiness without the possibility of being restricted; we strive for it for reasons that are not necessarily egoistic and thus with an unperturbed conscience. All happiness is the happiness of love—be it eros or caritas or agape, be it addressed to a friend, a beloved, a son, a neighbor or God himself.

 

 

Ist die Tugend noch zu retten?

read by the author (60 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 1997

 

Whoever notices the current spiritual mood, albeit without his full attention, will find out that the search for norms is booming. The younger generation is looking for a point of reference; parents and educators have difficulties in offering an answer. In the light of broken taboos and lust for destruction in all areas of social life, the question of where to begin seems unanswerable. Beginning from scratch is hardly possible. In this essay, Josef Pieper manages to convince the listener of the value of recollecting the content of classical virtue ethics as a possible exit from the disorientation of our times.

 

 

Das Recht des Anderen

read by the author (40 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 1997

 

On occasion of the grand opening of the Week of Fraternity 1973 in Berlin, Josef Pieper reflects upon the foundations of justice in the relationship between people. He reminds the listener of some forgotten but nevertheless up-to-date preconditions of living together in justice: In contrast to the modern debate on human rights, the classical doctrine on justice was exclusively about man’s duty to give someone else what he is indispensably entitled to. The proclamation of human rights by the UNO falls short of this perspective, because it centers on the obligee instead of the obligor.

 

 

Was kann uns heute Tradition bedeuten?

read by the author (40 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 1997

 

Interpreting tradition as “the memory of society,” as Solowjew did, opens up a perspective of what tradition might mean today: Man needs to be reminded. The value of tradition lies in remembering that which is indispensable for man. And who wants to deny that the people of our time are in urgent need of such a memory?

 

 

Was heißt Glauben?

read by the author (60 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 1998

 

In order to understand what “faith” means in a religious sense, Josef Pieper pursues the phenomenon of faith from a philosophico-anthropological perspective. According to the vernacular, faith means considering something to be true and real which I do not know from my own experience. Pieper supports this, but does not fail to mention that this understanding ignores the fact that there is someone whose statements I believe. This someone must be a reliable witness, for otherwise I could never agree unrestrictedly. This structure is also true for religious faith. However, faith in its religious sense cannot be made reasonable on the basis of a merely anthropological analysis. It requires a jump into the subjective certainty that there is a personal God who communicates with man in human language.

 

 

Was heißt Glück?

read by the author (60 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 1998

 

The term “happiness” occurs everywhere in everyday speech: We possess a large variety of different notions of happiness, such as “you are aglow with happiness” or “the pursuit of happiness.” Hence, it is not surprising that numerous writers from the fields of philosophy, theology and literature have dealt with the question of what this kind of happiness which man strives for really is. According to Augustine, “happy are those who have everything they want.” But is it this easy? Is it actually true? What is it that man really wants? Pieper asks himself these questions and invites the listener in a discourse on these questions to accompany him on this theoretical path. By including his subjective experience of everyday life, the listener is supposed to find out what “happiness” can mean for the individual.

 

 

Verteidigungsrede für die Philosophie

read by the author (60 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 1999

 

The status of philosophy in society has become questionable. This does not only concern a few statements of philosophers but philosophy on the whole. Josef Pieper tries to reveal the nature of philosophy and its meaning in and for society. The author approaches the problem from three sides: What is the meaning of philosophy in the face of the claim of totality of the modern working world? What is the relationship between philosophy and the ideal of scientific exactness in the modern (natural) sciences? How can the interaction of philosophy and theology be defined? By analyzing these questions, the ideas of the philosopher Josef Pieper turn into an apology of philosophy which not only makes sense, but which is necessary for society.

 

 

Was ist ein Fest?

read by the author (54 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 1999

 

It is obvious that feasts are not only celebrated by man but also created. He determines a specific calendar day as well as the concrete arrangement of the feast. However, although man can create the feast to a certain extent, he cannot create the reason for celebrating. Therefore, the ancient saying from the Book of Psalms is still valid—Plato, by the way, said the same thing—: A feast is a day that was created by God.

 

 

Über Tod und Sterben / Über die Liebe

read by the author (50 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 2000

 

In six short addresses Josef Pieper reflects upon some existential topics of humanity, namely death, dying and love. Beginning with facts that are usually taken for granted, Pieper inquires about the essential core of these phenomena that determine our everyday life. All statements of human existence must be seen from the perspective of “maybe”: maybe something will happen, maybe not. Only death and dying are inseparably linked to life. Is it thus possible to prepare oneself for dying and death while one is living? Does it make sense to talk about becoming used to dying or death? Moreover, Pieper pursues the question of what exactly can be associated with the term “love,” a term so often used and misused. Pieper reveals that the multifarious nature of love includes a common element, namely approval: It is good that a particular thing exists—it is good that you exist. Hence, love is the gift per se for man, be it given or received love.

 

 

Was ist ein Priester?

read by the author (60 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 2000

 

The restriction of one’s field of vision to what the priest alone, in contrast to the layman, is capable of doing is indispensable and clarifying, although one continuously tries to fight against it with vehemency. However, it must be noted that the description of the differentia specifica does not and does not want to present a complete idea of what a priest is. The question of the difference between a priest and a layman can even be reformulated without changing its meaning: What happens during the ordination to the priesthood?—It might be true that the complaint occasionally heard is right that modern theological reflection on the topic of the ordination to the priesthood produced very few differentiated ideas.

 

 

Was ist eine Kirche?

read by the author (60 minutes)

Grünewald-Hörbücher 2001

 

The question “What is the nature of the church?” conceals the controversial discussion between theologians, architects and artists about what it actually is that makes a church into a church. Is it the building as such that justifies calling something a church? Is it the use of its rooms for religious feasts? Josef Pieper comes to the conclusion that the decisive point can be found in the consecration of the sanctuary and particularly in the consecration of the altar. This room transcends the ordinary use of everyday life and receives a special sacral purpose. The altar is enclosed by the Lord’s house—even if it is a mere shed or a former stable.

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Audio Tapes - Information Center for Jobs in the Church

Der Weg und die Wahrheit und das Leben

Christuszeugnisse aus unserer Zeit;

Informationszentrum Berufe der Kirche,

Freiburg 1978, audio tape and booklet, 32 pages

 

Glauben, Hoffen, Lieben

Informationszentrum Berufe der Kirche,

Freiburg 1981, audio tape and booklet, 36 pages

 

Sehen und Schauen. Das Experiment mit der Blindheit.

Irdische Kontemplation;

Informationszentrum Berufe der Kirche,

Freiburg 1983, audio tape and booklet, 18 pages

 

Was ist ein Priester?

Informationszentrum Berufe der Kirche,

Freiburg 1987, audio tape and booklet, 20 pages

 

Was ist eine Kirche?

Informationszentrum Berufe der Kirche,

Freiburg 1988, audio tape and booklet, 24 pages

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About Pieper:

Josef Pieper (1904-1997) was professor of philosophical anthropology at the University of Münster/Germany; he was a member of several academies and received numerous awards and distinctions, among them the International Balzan Prize for outstanding achievements in the field of humanities. [more...]

Bibliography:

Please inform the editorial staff about any publications on Josef Pieper.

:: Bibliography of Primary Lit.

:: Bibliography of Secondary Lit.

:: Monographs

:: Translations

Literature Research:

:: Sources

:: Libraries

Book Order:

Studies of Philosophy

:: Major Fields of Study

:: Final Degrees

:: Courses and Seminars

:: Contact

 

Philosophical studies are among the main institutional focuses of the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn in cooperation with the University of Paderborn. [more...]