A "Spiritual Recession"?

David Brooks penned one of his typically interesting essays yesterday at the New York Times. Interesting, but not persuasive. In the first instance, the binary choice between socialism and democratic capitalism which he calls a "contest of historic visions" is simplistic. Our American approach to modernity is not the same as that of post-war Europe because our American political life was unleavened by Catholic Social Teaching in the way Germany and Italy were. But, the bigger problem with Brooks' piece is his apparent conviction that the problem we face today is that Americans have "lost faith" in the American proposition and that this is a somewhat recent development. The seeds were planted in the Reformation and Brooks should be made to read from start to finish Brad Gregory's "The Unintended Reformation."  Besides, we should put faith not in ourselves, nor in our stars, but in God. With those caveats, I commend Brooks' piece, and the Lilla column he also cites. Both men continue to raise important issues that warrant reflection and analysis.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg

Show comments

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.