The Benedict Option


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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Already the most discussed and most important religious book of the decade." —David Brooks In this controversial bestseller, Rod Dreher calls on American Christians to prepare for the coming Dark Age by embracing an ancient Christian way of life. From the inside, American churches have been hollowed out by the departure of young people and by an insipid pseudo–Christianity. From the outside, they are beset by challenges to religious liberty in a rapidly secularizing culture. Keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House may have bought a brief reprieve from the state’s assault, but it will not stop the West’s slide into decadence and dissolution. Rod Dreher argues that the way forward is actu­ally the way back—all the way to St. Benedict of Nur­sia. This sixth-century monk, horrified by the moral chaos following Rome’s fall, retreated to the forest and created a new way of life for Christians. He built enduring communities based on principles of order, hospitality, stability, and prayer. His spiritual centers of hope were strongholds of light throughout the Dark Ages, and saved not just Christianity but Western civilization. Today, a new form of barbarism reigns. Many believers are blind to it, and their churches are too weak to resist. Politics offers little help in this spiritual crisis. What is needed is the Benedict Option, a strategy that draws on the authority of Scripture and the wisdom of the ancient church. The goal: to embrace exile from mainstream culture and construct a resilient counterculture. The Benedict Option is both manifesto and rallying cry for Christians who, if they are not to be conquered, must learn how to fight on culture war battlefields like none the West has seen for fifteen hundred years. It's for all mere Chris­tians—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox—who can read the signs of the times. Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do. Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that has overtaken us. These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.

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Author by Rod Dreher
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 272
ISBN Number 9780735213319

The Benedict Option


Available: macOS, Windows, Android, Tablet

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Already the most discussed and most important religious book of the decade." --David Brooks In this controversial bestseller, Rod Dreher calls on American Christians to prepare for the coming Dark Age by embracing an ancient Christian way of life. From the inside, American churches have been hollowed out by the departure of young people and by an insipid pseudo-Christianity. From the outside, they are beset by challenges to religious liberty in a rapidly secularizing culture. Keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House may have bought a brief reprieve from the state's assault, but it will not stop the West's slide into decadence and dissolution. Rod Dreher argues that the way forward is actually the way back--all the way to St. Benedict of Nursia. This sixth-century monk, horrified by the moral chaos following Rome's fall, retreated to the forest and created a new way of life for Christians. He built enduring communities based on principles of order, hospitality, stability, and prayer. His spiritual centers of hope were strongholds of light throughout the Dark Ages, and saved not just Christianity but Western civilization. Today, a new form of barbarism reigns. Many believers are blind to it, and their churches are too weak to resist. Politics offers little help in this spiritual crisis. What is needed is the Benedict Option, a strategy that draws on the authority of Scripture and the wisdom of the ancient church. The goal: to embrace exile from mainstream culture and construct a resilient counterculture. The Benedict Option is both manifesto and rallying cry for Christians who, if they are not to be conquered, must learn how to fight on culture war battlefields like none the West has seen for fifteen hundred years. It's for all mere Christians--Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox--who can read the signs of the times. Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do. Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that has overtaken us. These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.

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Author by Rod Dreher
Genre eBook Political Science
Read Book 262
ISBN Number 9780735213296

Building The Benedict Option


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Building the Benedict Option is a combination spiritual memoir and practical handbook for Christians who want to build communities of prayer, socialization, and evangelization in the places where they live and work. Beginning when the author was a new convert, she desired more communal prayer and fellowship than weekly Mass could provide. She surveyed her friends--busy, young, urban professionals like herself--and created unique enriching or supportive experiences that matched their desires and schedules. The result was a less lonely and more boisterous spiritual and social life. No Catholic Martha Stewart, Libresco is frank about how she plans events that allow her to feed thirty people on a Friday night without feeling exhausted. She is honest about the obstacles to prayer and the challenge to make it inviting and unobtrusive. Above all, she communicates the joy she has experienced since discovering ways to open her home (even when it was only a small studio apartment). The reader will close this book with four or five ideas for events to try over the next few weeks, along with the tools to make them fruitful. From film nights to picnics in the park to resume-writing evenings, there are plenty of ideas to choose from and loads of encouragement to make more room in one's life for others.

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Author by Leah Libresco
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 163
ISBN Number 9781621642176

Out Of The Ashes


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"Out of the Ashes is a full-throated, stout-hearted call to arms—soul-stirring,uncompromising, and irresistible." —ROD DREHER, author of The Benedict Option "Out of the Ashes is an astonishing combination of energy, humor, insight, and exceptional erudition, topped off by a vivid personal style and a special gift for tweaking the nose of secularist nonsense-peddlers. If you’re looking for a guide to our current cultural predicament (and how to fix it), one that’s sobering and invigorating at the same time, start with this book." —CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia "Anthony Esolen is one of our nation’s best writers because he’s one of our best thinkers. Out of the Ashes is vintage Esolen: eloquent, bold, insightful, profound." — RYAN T. ANDERSON, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation, and author of Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and ReligiousFreedom What do you do when an entire civilization is crumbling around you? You do everything. This is a book about how to get started. The Left’s culture war threatens America’s foundation and its very civilization, warns Esolen in his brand new book, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture. They will tell you that babies in the womb are fetuses, that gender is a social construct, and that the backbone of society is government not the community. In Out of the Ashes, Esolen outlines his surprisingly simple plan to take back American culture— start at home. Esolen urges us to demand a return to values in our homes, our schools, our churches, and our communities, and to reject political correctness. “We must become tellers of truth again—and people who are willing to hear truths, especially when it hurts to hear them.”

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Author by Anthony Esolen
Genre eBook Social Science
Read Book 256
ISBN Number 9781621575696

The Idol Of Our Age


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This book is a learned essay at the intersection of politics, philosophy, and religion. It is first and foremost a diagnosis and critique of the secular religion of our time, humanitarianism, or the “religion of humanity.” It argues that the humanitarian impulse to regard modern man as the measure of all things has begun to corrupt Christianity itself, reducing it to an inordinate concern for “social justice,” radical political change, and an increasingly fanatical egalitarianism. Christianity thus loses its transcendental reference points at the same time that it undermines balanced political judgment. Humanitarians, secular or religious, confuse peace with pacifism, equitable social arrangements with socialism, and moral judgment with utopianism and sentimentality. With a foreword by the distinguished political philosopher Pierre Manent, Mahoney’s book follows Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in affirming that Christianity is in no way reducible to a “humanitarian moral message.” In a pungent if respectful analysis, it demonstrates that Pope Francis has increasingly confused the Gospel with left-wing humanitarianism and egalitarianism that owes little to classical or Christian wisdom. It takes its bearings from a series of thinkers (Orestes Brownson, Aurel Kolnai, Vladimir Soloviev, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn) who have been instructive critics of the “religion of humanity.” These thinkers were men of peace who rejected ideological pacifism and never confused Christianity with unthinking sentimentality. The book ends by affirming the power of reason, informed by revealed faith, to provide a humanizing alternative to utopian illusions and nihilistic despair.

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Author by Daniel J. Mahoney
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 186
ISBN Number 9781641770934

Disarming Beauty


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In 2005, Father Julián Carrón became the leader of the global ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation, following the death of the movement's founder, Father Luigi Giussani. Disarming Beauty is the English translation of an engaging and thought-provoking collection of essays by one of the principal Catholic leaders and intellectuals in the world today. Adapted from talks given by Fr. Carrón, these essays have been thoroughly reworked by the author to offer an organic presentation of a decade-long journey. They present the content of his elaboration of the gospel message in light of the tradition of Fr. Giussani, the teachings of the popes, and the urgent needs of contemporary people. Carrón offers a broad diagnosis of challenges in society and then introduces their implications in contexts such as families, schools, workplaces, and political communities. In a dialogue with his listeners, he inspires and encourages them to lay out a new path for the Catholic church and the world. Throughout his essays, Carrón addresses the most pressing questions facing theologians today and provides insights that will interest everyone, from the most devout to the firm nonbeliever. Grappling with the interaction of Christian faith and modern culture, Carrón treats in very real and concrete ways what is essential to maintaining and developing Christian faith, and he invites an ongoing conversation about the meaning of faith, truth, and freedom.

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Author by Julián Carrón
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 304
ISBN Number 9780268102005

Crunchy Cons


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When a National Review colleague teased writer Rod Dreher one day about his visit to the local food co-op to pick up a week’s supply of organic vegetables (“Ewww, that’s so lefty”), he started thinking about the ways he and his conservative family lived that put them outside the bounds of conventional Republican politics. Shortly thereafter Dreher wrote an essay about “crunchy cons,” people whose “Small Is Beautiful” style of conservative politics often put them at odds with GOP orthodoxy, and sometimes even in the same camp as lefties outside the Democratic mainstream. The response to the article was impassioned: Dreher was deluged by e-mails from conservatives across America—everyone from a pro-life vegetarian Buddhist Republican to an NRA staffer with a passion for organic gardening—who responded to say, “Hey, me too!” In Crunchy Cons, Dreher reports on the amazing depth and scope of this phenomenon, which is redefining the taxonomy of America’s political and cultural landscape. At a time when the Republican party, and the conservative movement in general, is bitterly divided over what it means to be a conservative, Dreher introduces us to people who are pioneering a way back to the future by reclaiming what’s best in conservatism—people who believe that being a truly committed conservative today means protecting the environment, standing against the depredations of big business, returning to traditional religion, and living out conservative godfather Russell Kirk’s teaching that the family is the institution most necessary to preserve. In these pages we meet crunchy cons from all over America: a Texas clan of evangelical Christian free-range livestock farmers, the policy director of Republicans for Environmental Protection, homeschooling moms in New York City, an Orthodox Jew who helped start a kosher organic farm in the Berkshires, and an ex-sixties hippie from Alabama who became a devout Catholic without losing his antiestablishment sensibilities. Crunchy Cons is both a useful primer to living the crunchy con way and a passionate affirmation of those things that give our lives weight and measure. In chapters dedicated to food, religion, consumerism, education, and the environment, Dreher shows how to live in a way that preserves what Kirk called “the permanent things,” among them faith, family, community, and a legacy of ancient truths. This, says Dreher, is the kind of roots conservatism that more and more Americans want to practice. And in Crunchy Cons, he lets them know how far they are from being alone. A Crunchy Con Manifesto 1. We are conservatives who stand outside the conservative mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly. 2. Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character. 3. Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government. 4. Culture is more important than politics and economics. 5. A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship—especially of the natural world—is not fundamentally conservative. 6. Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost always better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract. 7. Beauty is more important than efficiency. 8. The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom. 9. We share Russell Kirk’s conviction that “the institution most essential to conserve is the family.” From the Hardcover edition.

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Author by Rod Dreher
Genre eBook Political Science
Read Book 288
ISBN Number 0307518418

The Way Of St Benedict


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With typical eloquence and wisdom, in The Way of St Benedict Rowan Williams explores the appeal of St Benedict's sixth-century Rule, showing it to be a document of great relevance to present day Christians and non-believers at our particular moment in history. For over a millennium the Rule – a set of guidelines for monastic conduct – has been influential on the life of Benedictine monks, but has also served in some sense as a 'background note' to almost all areas of civic experience: artistic, intellectual and institutional. The effects of this on society have been far-reaching and Benedictine communities and houses still attract countless visitors, testifying to the appeal and continuing relevance of Benedict's principles. As the author writes, the chapters of his book, which range from a discussion of Abbot Cuthbert Butler's mysticism to 'Benedict and the Future of Europe', are 'simply an invitation to look at various current questions through the lens of the Rule and to reflect on aspects of Benedictine history that might have something to say to us'. With Williams as our guide, The Way of St Benedict speaks to the Rule's ability to help anyone live more fully in harmony with others whilst orientating themselves fully to the will of God.

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Author by Rowan Williams
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 160
ISBN Number 9781472973092

Arriving At Amen


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In 2012, media outlets from CNN to EWTN announced that Leah Libresco, a gifted young intellectual, columnist, and prolific blogger on the Atheist channel on Patheos, was converting to Catholicism. In Arriving at Amen, Libresco uses the rigorous rationality that defined her Atheism to tell the story behind that very personal journey and to describe the seven forms of Catholic prayer that guided her to embrace a joyful life of faith. As a Yale graduate, Libresco launched her writing career by blogging about science, literature, mathematics, and morality from a distinctively secular perspective. Over time, encounters with friends and associates caused her to concede the reasonableness of belief in God in theory, though not yet in practice. In Arriving at Amen, Libresco uniquely describes the second part of her spiritual journey, in which she encountered God through seven classic Catholic forms of prayer—Liturgy of the Hours, lectio divina, examen, intercessory prayer, the Rosary, confession, and the Mass. Examining each practice through the intellectual lens of literature, math, and art, Libresco reveals unexpected glimpses of beauty and truth in the Catholic Church that will be appreciated by the curious and convinced alike.

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Author by Leah Libresco
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 192
ISBN Number 9781594715884

The Benedict Option Companion


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The book, The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher calls on Christians to follow the spirit of Saint Benedict in living their lives. In fact, he calls for a new Saint Benedict to arise to bring about a reform of Christianity. He writes: "As we await a new Saint Benedict to appear in our quite different time and place and teach us how to reseave the tapestry of our Christian lives, ..." Let us pray that our wait will not be long. In fact these pages are dedicated to presenting Saint Benedict's life and rule to help all of live by Benedict's spirit. He outlines the downward movement from sincere Christianity to the modern paganism, which reigns in the United States and in the world. He states: "We are living with the consequences of ideas accepted many generations ago, and as a result of those decisions, we are losing our religion..." The truths of Christianity, which are found especially in the Sacred Scriptures, which inspired Saint Benedict are timeless. What was true two millenia ago is still true today. We should measure all modern teaching against the timeless truths of Christianity, rather than attempting to mold Christianity to the changing thinking of the world. As we read in Romans (12:1): "And be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God."

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Author by Saint Benedict
Genre eBook
Read Book 146
ISBN Number 1973971399