An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America

An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America

Joseph Bottum


we are living in a profoundly religious age--but in a really unusual means, varied from another second of our background. large swaths of yank tradition are pushed by way of manic religious anxiousness and constant supernatural fear. Radicals and traditionalists, liberals and conservatives, including politicians, artists, environmentalists, fans of foodstuff fads, and the chattering periods of tv commentators: the USA is stuffed with humans frantically looking affirmation in their personal crucial goodness. we're a country desirous to stand at the facet of morality--to understand that we're righteous and live within the light.

Or so Joseph Bottum argues in An apprehensive Age, an account of recent the United States as a morality story, shaped through its religious disturbances. And the reason, he claims, is the main major and least spotted old truth of the final fifty years: the cave in of the Mainline Protestant church buildings that have been the resource of social consensus and cultural solidarity. Our harmful religious anxieties, damaged unfastened from the church buildings that when contained them, now madden every little thing in American life.

Updating The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Max Weber's sociological vintage, An nervous Age undertakes case stories in modern social classification, adrift in a country with no the non secular understandings that gave it that means. taking a look at the college-educated elite he calls "The Poster Children," Bottum sees the post-Protestant heirs of the outdated Mainline Protestant domination of tradition: dutiful descendants who declare the excessive social place in their Christian ancestors even whereas they reject their ancestors' Christianity. Turning to "The Swallows of Capistrano," the Catholics shaped by way of the hold forth of John Paul II, Bottum evaluates the early victories--and later defeats--of the try to alternative Catholicism for the loss of life Mainline voice in public life.

Sweeping throughout American highbrow and cultural heritage, An nervous Age lines the process nationwide faith and warns concerning the unusual angels or even stranger demons with which we now combat. Insightful and contrarian, clever and unforeseen, An fearful Age ranks one of the nice sleek money owed of yank culture.

Praise for Joseph Bottum and An apprehensive Age:

 "An fearful Age is sure to be seen as a vintage of yank sociology--not purely due to its substantial wisdom of historic proof and personalities, its intensity and a number of layers of which means, but in addition due to its literary attractiveness and creative constitution. Bottum deals a totally new means of figuring out faith in public lifestyles this present day. the paranormal trick Bottum works while he asks 'Where did the Protestant ethic go?' is almost breathtaking." --Michael Novak

"A poet and critic and essayist with a sideline in background and philosophy," Joseph Bottum is trying "to wrench the real complexity of religion again from the complexity-destroying context of up to date political debates." --New York Times

"Joseph Bottum is the poetic voice of recent Catholic highbrow existence. His paintings . . . formed the minds of a generation." --National Review

"One of America's such a lot talented writers, with an ideal ear and a matchless style." --Andrew Ferguson

"A fierce severe intelligence and an awesome feel of the comedy of mistakes we name the human condition." --Paul Mariani

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