This is the kind of book where you want to lose yourself in the story and are compelled to read it whenever you have free time. But instead I had to force myself to finish it after I had invested time in starting. If you like big, messy, sprawling stories about a secret history with lots of violence and sex then this may be for you. Just didn’t work for me.Continue reading
So far there have been three widely influential stories about the rise of modernity: the Emancipatory, the Protestant, and the Neo-Thomist. The Emancipatory account argues that modernity is fundamentally about the use of rediscovered classical learning, especially the Skeptics and Epicureans in their literary and philosophical modes, to liberate European Man from bondage to a power-hungry church and religious superstition. The Protestant account argues that modernity marks the moment when rediscovered biblical languages reconnected people with the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ, obscured for many centuries by those same power-hungry priests and by the obscurantist pedantries of Scholastic philosophy. The Neo-Thomist account argues that what the others portray as liberation or deliverance was instead a tragedy, an unwarranted rebellion against a church that, while flawed, had managed to achieve by the high Middle Ages a unity of thought, feeling, and action — manifest in the poetry of Dante, the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, and the great cathedrals of the era — that gave great aid, comfort, and understanding to generations of people, the high and the low alike.
Part one of a conversation with Joseph Bottum, author of An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America, about American Religious History and its impact today on our culture, politics and public life.Continue reading
I listened to this in the car for the last few weeks and I have to say I enjoyed it more than I remember liking the first book. The audio book seemed to bring out the suspense and drama and made for some entertaining time in the car stuck in traffic.Continue reading