Diana Lobel engages readers in a journey of discovery across Eastern and Western philosophical and religious traditions to discover a beauty and purpose at the heart of reality that makes life worth living. Guided by the ideas of ancient thinkers and the insight of the philosophical historian Pierre Hadot, The Quest for God and the Good does not treat philosophy as an abstract, theoretical discipline, but as a living experience.
For centuries, human beings have struggled to know why we are here, whether a higher being or dimension exists, and whether our existence is fundamentally good. Above all, we want to know whether the search for God and the good will bring us happiness. Following in the path of ancient philosophers, Lobel directly connects conceptions of God, or an Absolute, with notions of the good, illuminating diverse classical texts and thinkers for readers unfamiliar with their teachings. She explores the Bible and the work of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Maimonides, al-Farabi, and al-Ghazali. She reads the Tao Te Ching, I Ching, Bhagavad Gita, and Upanishads, as well as texts of Theravada, Mahayana, and Zen Buddhism. Lobel traces the repercussions of these works in the modern thought of Alfred North Whitehead, Iris Murdoch, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Charles Taylor. Each of these texts or thinkers sets forth a distinct vision; all see that human beings find fulfillment in their contact with beauty and purpose. Rather than arriving at one universal definition of God or the good, Lobel demonstrates the aesthetic beauty of multiple visions presented by many thinkers and across cultures. The Quest for God and the Good sets forth a path of investigation and discovery culminating in intellectual and spiritual communion.