Themes and Thoughts
Food From Thought

9 The Benedict Option

Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option. A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, New York, Sentinel (Penguin Random House LLC), 2017. ISBN 978-0735213296

I recently submitted this as a review to the Amazon site, after reading the book; corrected; September 2017.

A very necessary and interesting book. Of course, written from a US perspective, and not being American, or the parent of young children, the middle chapters (the education system (US), etc.) were less relevant to me. The author kept referring to existing Benedict Option communities, so I was uncertain as to whether the prior-existence of these groups had inspired the book, or if the book was intended to inspire people to set up BO communities; I suppose, a bit of both. It did cause me to take another look at Alistair MacIntyre’s After Virtue (which originally suggested that what we needed, now, was a new St. Benedict). It raises the question (as in criticisms of Dreher’s position that I have heard about), of if, in the present anti-Christian/post-civilisation world, Christians should “circle the wagons” and look to preserving the true faith for the future (the ‘Benedict Option’), as the first Benedictines had, or stay “in the world” to try to tend the victims, and spread hope, love, etc.; but the latter option – the conclusion I’ve finally come to – is that if we took that option, we would end up being so compromised with this-worldy values that we would have nothing to offer anyone, or at least, nothing authentically Christian, or anything in any real way countering the culture that rages around us. Loyalty to Christ, and to Truth has to come first … all else …

See also Quote 189



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