by Mary Eberstadt
In this magisterial work, leading cultural critic Mary Eberstadt delivers a powerful new theory about the decline of religion in the Western world. The conventional wisdom is that the West first experienced religious decline, followed by the decline of the family. Eberstadt turns this standard account on its head. Marshaling an impressive array of research, from fascinating historical data on family decline in pre-revolutionary France to contemporary popular culture both in the United States and Europe, Eberstadt shows that the reverse has also been true: The undermining of the family has further undermined Christianity itself.
Drawing on sociology, history, demography, theology, literature and many other sources, Eberstadt shows that family decline and religious decline have gone hand in hand in the Western world in a way that has not been understood before ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´å that they are, as she puts it in a striking new image summarizing the bookÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«ÌÎÌÊs thesis, ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´Ìàthe double helix of society, each dependent on the strength of the other for successful reproduction.ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ
In sobering final chapters, Eberstadt then lays out the enormous ramifications of the mutual demise of family and faith in the West. While it is fashionable in some circles to applaud the decline of both religion and the nuclear family, there are, as Eberstadt reveals, enormous social, economic, civic and other costs attendant on both declines. Her conclusion considers this tantalizing question: whether the economic and demographic crisis now roiling Europe and spreading to America will have the inadvertent result of reviving the family as the most viable alternative to the failed welfare state ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´å fallout that could lay the groundwork for a religious revival as well.
"How the West Really Lost God" is both a startlingly original account of how secularization happens and a sweeping brief about why everyone should care. A book written for agnostics as well as believers, atheists as well as ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´Ìànone of the above,ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ it will permanently change the way every reader understands the two institutions that have hitherto undergirded Western civilization as we know it ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´å family and faith ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´å and the real nature of the relationship between those two pillars of history.
ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´Ìà[A] remarkable, powerful, prescient bookÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ___. In the event, the conversation has been changed by Mary Eberstadt. We say three things identify good real estate: ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_Ì´å«location, location, location.ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«ÌÎÌÊ Now weÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«ÌÎÌÊll say the measure of a truly blessed cultural future is: family, family, family.ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´å The Catholic Thing Online Review
ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´Ìà[F]inely written, beautifully plotted, creative, and accurate.ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´å Friar John Boyd-Boland
ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´Ìà[P]rovocative new book that is sure to spark great debate.ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´å Second Nature Journal Online
ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´ÌàIn her deeply insightful new book, How the West Really Lost God, Mary Eberstadt suggests that there is a more fundamental cause underlying the cultural loss of religionÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎå´a cause that all the previous research has mistaken for just another effect. What if the decline of religion is integrally connected to, and perhaps even a result of, the decline of the natural family?ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´å Washington Times Online
ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´ÌàA short column cannot do justice to the wide and deep reading and all the evidence Eberstadt has marshaled for her argument, so you are urged to read this book. What is certain is that this is one of those books that will forever change the conversation about why Christianity is in decline in the West.ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´å Crisis Magazine Online
ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´ÌàHer short, elegantly written book repeatedly shows that strong families help to keep religious practice alive, and that too many people see a causal connection running exclusively in the opposite direction.ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´å The Economist
ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´ÌàYou cannot understand the real philosophical problems of the WestÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎå´which have been mounting for 40 yearsÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎå´without reading Mary EberstadtÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«ÌÎÌÊs new book How the West Really Lost God.ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´å Jonathan V. Last, author of ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«Ì´ÌàWhat to Expect When No OneÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«ÌÎÌÊs Expecting: AmericaÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´ÌàÌÎÌ_Ì´åÇÌÎå«ÌÎÌÊs Coming Demographic DisasterÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ__ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ
About the Author
Mary Eberstadt is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. She has written widely for magazines and newspapers, among them First Things, Policy Review, The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal and Commentary. Her previous books include "Home-Alone America," "Adam and Eve After the Pill" and the satire "The Loser Letters."
- Hardcover: 268 pages
- Publisher: Templeton Press (April 24, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1599473798
- ISBN-13: 978-1599473796
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
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