Scott speaks with Prof. P.M. Forni, founder of the Johns Hopkins Civility Project and author of the book Choosing Civility, who discusses the history of “civil” behavior and chivalry, and why this concept still matters today. Plus: Chivalry Today needs your help! Please donate and take advantage of our Choose Your Rewards donor appreciation program.
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Back in the Age of Chivalry, there was a book written that encapsulated much of the important knowledge of being a knight and a member of noble society. It wasn’t a book of battle tactics or heroic tales of glory – it was called Liber Urbanis … the Book of Civilized Behavior.
The knowledge and mastery of civility was a crucial part of the code of chivalry – being courteous, refined and civil was the way a knight (or a lady) demonstrated that inner sense of nobility and grace.
Professor Pier Forni is taking a new look at this age-old concept of civility. With a Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance Literature, Prof. Forni has worked at the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence, and in 1997 he became the co-founder of the Johns Hopkins Civility Project – a program aimed at assessing the significance of civility, manners and politeness in contemporary society. He is the author of two books on the subject – Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct, and The Civility Solution: What To Do When People Are Rude. Prof. Forni has written on the subject of modern civility for the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times and Forbes Magazaine, and he has appeared in a variety of media, including ABC World News Tonight and the Oprah show.