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.
NCR Email Alerts
Sign up to get NCR updates by email. Existing users: change your preferences here. Enter your email address in the box below and click “Go.”
In This Issue
- Editorial: Diplomacy must become our first instinct
- NJ priest found the core of his calling, from the laity
- Poland's Catholic primate defends conservative vision
- Special Section (in print only): Deacons
Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.
by Patricia Datchuck Sánchez, Illustration by Mark Bartholomew Spiritual Reflections
by Brian Roewe Eco Catholic