Monday, October 4, 2010


I have given up trying to articulate my many thoughts on this topic... at least until the mind melds in such a way that I can make sense. In the meantime, my good friend and editor a Catholic Exchange, Mary Kochan, sent me a link to an interesting and well written review of sociologist PHILIP RIEFF life work by David Lewis Stokes. I'll quote a bit then give you the link:
In antiquity the ideal of what it was to be truly human was to become either hero or sage. In the Middle Ages it was to become a saint. In our own time the best we can hope to become is — well-adjusted.

By the end of the 19th Century Jesus had ceased to be an apocalyptic rabbi or the God-man, and had become our primary therapeutic figure: Jesus is now the One who cares.
In 1965 Rieff’s “Triumph of the Therapeutic” was received as the work of a brilliant and urbane sociologist. Now with the posthumous publication of “Sacred Order/Social Order” — a three-volume meditation on art, history, religion and culture — we find ourselves confronted by a contemporary Jeremiah, who doesn’t hesitate to pronounce our most cherished cultural orthodoxies as “deathworks.” Rieff is a prophet of such subversive power that he’s sure to be sentenced to our equivalent of being hanged, drawn and quartered: He will be catalogued, shelved and ignored.
Whatever our own fate, we do well to commend Rieff to God. But may his soul, at least for the time being, never rest in peace.
Rieff's Search for a Way Beyoond our Therapeutic Culture

No comments:

Post a Comment