Human beings are thought to be the only creatures to shed tears of emotion. Tears go with being creatures who experience wonder, longing and depth of feeling. We weep tears in joy, pain, relief, bewilderment, loss and more besides. Weeping is more than just a physical reflex: our tears are always telling us something. Like springs and streams in the natural world, they shape the landscape of our lives.
In the Christian spiritual tradition, tears have an honourable place and were significant in revealing God's purpose and involvement in someone's life and a sign of devotion and prayerfulness. Today, we are more often embarrassed by tears, seeing them as a sign of weakness, to be kept hidden.
This fascinating and original book seeks to recover the gift, mystery and meaning of human tears. David Runcorn weaves together biology, culture, history, gender, chemistry, religion, spirituality, temperament, emotion, and literature to explore the lost richness that is the gift of tears.
from the back cover ....