The ancient Greeks were very clear about their definition of hubris and its consequences. In the context of their society and stories, they defined it as “behavior that defies the norms of behavior or challenges the gods*, and which in turn brings about the downfall, or nemesis**, of the perpetrator of hubris.” (Source: wikipedia) In essence, as the biblical saying goes: pride comes before a fall.

In the modern context, there is plenty of behaviour in the public realm that seems to qualify as hubris but it is less likely to be countered with retribution, divine or otherwise.

This issue of Viewpoint takes a closer look at hubristic behaviour in contemporary society and attempts to answer a few questions, including: What is behind the growing hubris of public personalities and why are people tolerant of it? How can we cultivate humility as a trait in the younger generation? How do different ideologies and theologies treat ideas such as equality, superiority and hubris? And what does the growing wave of disgraced celebrities tell us about the hazards of power and position