Here is a provocative essay by Michael Stafford in which he analyzes the "cult of the self" and the ways it can be confronted by Christian faith. He makes many interesting points, and I admire his trenchant writing style. I would only say that when we attack modernity, as attack it we must, we are more persuasive and convincing when we recognize the many wonderful things modernity has accomplished as well as pointing out its ugly side. Advances in modern medicine deserve a shout out. The advance of human rights too, even if certain notions of rights as the only vehicle for social organization is impoverished. &c. Still, Stafford is on to something and, what I most like about his essay is that it cuts both ways, both the political orthodoxies of the left and the right get called out equally in his frontal assault. But, let's give two cheers for modernity and, as well, not forget that the weight of the world is not entirely on our shoulders and it is okay to have a good stiff martini or two at the end of a long day.
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In This Issue
- Editorial: Clear all obstacles from the path to peace with Iran
- Conservative corners have tepid take on Pope Francis' environment encyclical
- Where Pope Francis stands when it comes to women
- This issue's Special Section: Summer Books
Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.
by Dan Morris-Young NCR Today
by Thomas Gumbleton The Peace Pulpit
by Thomas Reese Faith and Justice
by Mandy Erickson NCR Today