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Contribution to Book
Heroism and the Pursuit of Meaning
Handbook of Heroism and Heroic Leadership (2017)
  • Jeff D. Green
  • Daryl R Van Tongeren, Hope College
  • Athena H Cairo, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Nao Hagiwara
We propose that essential components of heroism and heroic actions are embedded in meaning and virtue. That is, our central thesis is that heroes and heroic behavior are intertwined with virtue and with finding meaning or purpose in life. Abraham Lincoln is an archetypal hero. We argue that it was his singular commitment to the cause of reunifying north and south, and finding his life purpose in this cause, that sustained his efforts and forged a hero. Moreover, his virtuous character likely conferred additional meaning to him and elevated his actions to the heroic; his “greatness combined with goodness” was more properly greatness (heroism) created by goodness.
  • heroism,
  • heroes,
  • hero,
  • purpose,
  • meaning
Publication Date
Scott T. Allison, George R. Goethals, Roderick M. Kramer
Citation Information
Jeff D. Green, Daryl R Van Tongeren, Athena H Cairo and Nao Hagiwara. "Heroism and the Pursuit of Meaning" New YorkHandbook of Heroism and Heroic Leadership (2017)
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