By Joseph Bottum
We are living in a profoundly non secular age--but in a truly unusual approach, assorted from some other second of our heritage. large swaths of yank tradition are pushed by way of manic religious nervousness and constant supernatural fear. Radicals and traditionalists, liberals and conservatives, including politicians, artists, environmentalists, fans of nutrition fads, and the chattering periods of tv commentators: the United States is stuffed with humans frantically looking affirmation in their personal crucial goodness. we're a country eager to stand at the aspect of morality--to recognize that we're righteous and stay within the light.
Or so Joseph Bottum argues in An worried Age, an account of recent the US as a morality story, shaped by means of its religious disturbances. And the reason, he claims, is the main major and least spotted ancient 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 cohesion. Our risky non secular anxieties, damaged free from the church buildings that after 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 fearful Age undertakes case reviews in modern social category, adrift in a kingdom with out 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a look at the college-educated elite he calls "The Poster Children," Bottum sees the post-Protestant heirs of the outdated Mainline Protestant domination of tradition: dutiful descendants who declare the excessive social place in their Christian ancestors even whereas they reject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 preach 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 background, An nervous Age lines the process nationwide faith and warns in regards to the unusual angels or even stranger demons with which we now combat. Insightful and contrarian, clever and unforeseen, An frightened Age ranks one of the nice glossy money owed of yankee culture.
Praise for Joseph Bottum and An frightened Age:
"An apprehensive Age is certain to be considered as a vintage of yank sociology--not basically due to its colossal wisdom of ancient evidence and personalities, its intensity and a number of layers of which means, but additionally due to its literary splendor and creative constitution. Bottum deals a totally new approach of knowing faith in public lifestyles this present day. the mystical trick Bottum works while he asks 'Where did the Protestant ethic go?' is sort of 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 so much talented writers, with an ideal ear and a matchless style." --Andrew Ferguson
"A fierce serious intelligence and a good feel of the comedy of mistakes we name the human condition." --Paul Mariani