Silence, Civility, and Sanity addresses the reclamation of civil communication and healthy public conversation at a time when people are very divided. Throughout this book, Stephanie Bennett focuses on the importance of silence to temper speech and embrace the art of listening to foster a more positive dialogue and civil society. Throughout this book, the author addresses the place of silence as a communicational good, intrapersonal silence in the history of contemplative prayer, the importance of attentive silence, the reflective use of silence, the ethical dimensions of silence, and the abuses of silence. This book also delves into the layers of technological advancement that obscure perception and act as noise that poses as silence, phantom silence. Bennett offers readers an alternative to the false binaries of culture-warring that plague our relationships, institutions, and public sphere. Scholars of communication, rhetoric, and media studies will find this book of particular interest.
Stephanie Bennett is professor of communication and media ecology at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Clifford G. Christians
Chapter 1: Why Silence?
Chapter 2: Contemplative Silence
Chapter 3: Attentive Silence
Chapter 4: Ontological Silence
Chapter 5: Phantom Silence
Chapter 6: Relational Silence
Chapter 7: Ethical Silence
Chapter 8: Unhealthy Silence
“Stephanie Bennett's wonderful book both explains why silence is so important today and directs us to the kinds of silence-based practices that rejuvenate our individual lives and relationships. I recommend it wholeheartedly as a balm for today's anxiety and incivility.”
“In this thoughtful and accessible work, Stephanie Bennett reveals many different dimensions and dynamics of silence. She beautifully takes readers on a wide-ranging tour of the different ways that silence plays a pivotal role in human affairs. Silence, Civility and Sanity robustly shows how silence is an ontological ground and dialectical counterpart to speech. This book is a powerful resource for dialogue and for civil discourse. It opens needed pathways toward a saner, healthier society.”
“Sorry but I just can’t be quiet about this: Stephanie Bennett’s new book Silence, Civility, & Sanity: Hope for Humanity in a Digital Age, requires me to speak up and give it a big rave review. Who would have thought you could write over two hundred pages about silence, its deep and varied theological, psychological, relational, cultural, and even political importance. This is a rich and insightful tome, urgent reading for us as we navigate the cacophony of our times. Get a copy, get in your comfortable chair, and read it quietly.”