The unbroken thread Discovering the wisdom of tradition in an age of chaos

Sohrab Ahmari

Book - 2021

"We've pursued and achieved the modern dream of defining ourselves-but at what cost? The New York Post op-ed editor makes a compelling case for seeking the inherited traditions and ideals that give our lives meaning. As a young father and a self-proclaimed "radically assimilated immigrant," opinion editor Sohrab Ahmari realized that when it comes to shaping his young son's moral fiber, today's America comes up short. For millennia, the world's great ethical and... religious traditions taught that true happiness lies in pursuing virtue and accepting limits. But now, unbound from these stubborn traditions, we are free to choose whichever way of life we think is most optimal-or, more often than not, merely the easiest. All that remains are the fickle desires that a wealthy, technologically advanced society is equipped to fulfill. The result is a society riven by deep conflict and individual lives that, for all their apparent freedom, are marked by alienation and stark unhappiness. In response to this crisis, Ahmari offers twelve questions for us to grapple with-twelve timeless, fundamental queries that challenge our modern certainties. Among them: Is God reasonable? What is freedom for? What do we owe our parents, our bodies, one another? Exploring each question through the life and ideas of great thinkers, from Saint Augustine to Howard Thurman and from Abraham Joshua Heschel to Andrea Dworkin, Ahmari invites us to examine the hidden assumptions that drive our behavior and, in so doing, recapture a more humane way of living in a world that has lost its way"--

Saved in:

2nd Floor Show me where

241.042/Ahmari
0 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 241.042/Ahmari Due Oct 13, 2022
Subjects
Published
New York : Convergent [2021]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
x, 298 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780593137178
0593137175
Main Author
Sohrab Ahmari (author)
  • How do you justify your life?
  • Is God reasonable?
  • Why would God want you to take a day off?
  • Can you be spiritual without being religious?
  • Does God respect you?
  • Does God need politics?
  • How must you serve your parents?
  • Should you think for yourself?
  • What is freedom for?
  • Is sex a private matter?
  • What do you owe your body?
  • What's good about death?
  • Conclusion: A letter to Maximilian.
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

New York Post opinion editor Ahmari (From Fire by Water) argues in this sweeping work that the West needs to re-engage more meaningfully with religious traditions in order to flourish. He asks 12 questions about the nature and duties of life that "confident, progressive modernity should readily be able to answer" but cannot (such as "How Do You Justify Your Life?" and "Can You Be Spiritual Without Being Religious?"), and offers his own replies, drawing from a wide range of eras, traditions, and thinkers, including second-century Gnostic Christian Marcion, Confucius, English theologian John Henry Newman, and feminist writer Andrea Dworkin. He pushes the view of God as rational through the work of Thomas Aquinas, and the need for a day of rest with the life and writing of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Ahmari argues being spiritual but not religious lacks "existential seriousness" and fails to bind community the way rituals associated with religion can and should. He uses Alexander Solzhenitsyn to question unchecked freedom of liberalism and Seneca to teach about the good death. While Ahmari's arguments are intriguing, he is more concerned with telling a story than engaging with his points. Secularists will disagree with Ahmari's basic argument, but those who worry about the decline of religion will appreciate this adamant call to return. (May) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

New York Post opinion editor Ahmari (From Fire by Water) argues in this sweeping work that the West needs to re-engage more meaningfully with religious traditions in order to flourish. He asks 12 questions about the nature and duties of life that "confident, progressive modernity should readily be able to answer" but cannot (such as "How Do You Justify Your Life?" and "Can You Be Spiritual Without Being Religious?"), and offers his own replies, drawing from a wide range of eras, traditions, and thinkers, including second-century Gnostic Christian Marcion, Confucius, English theologian John Henry Newman, and feminist writer Andrea Dworkin. He pushes the view of God as rational through the work of Thomas Aquinas, and the need for a day of rest with the life and writing of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Ahmari argues being spiritual but not religious lacks "existential seriousness" and fails to bind community the way rituals associated with religion can and should. He uses Alexander Solzhenitsyn to question unchecked freedom of liberalism and Seneca to teach about the good death. While Ahmari's arguments are intriguing, he is more concerned with telling a story than engaging with his points. Secularists will disagree with Ahmari's basic argument, but those who worry about the decline of religion will appreciate this adamant call to return. (May) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"We've pursued and achieved the modern dream of defining ourselves-but at what cost? The New York Post op-ed editor makes a compelling case for seeking the inherited traditions and ideals that give our lives meaning. As a young father and a self-proclaimed "radically assimilated immigrant," opinion editor Sohrab Ahmari realized that when it comes to shaping his young son's moral fiber, today's America comes up short. For millennia, the world's great ethical and religious traditions taught that true happiness lies in pursuing virtue and accepting limits. But now, unbound from these stubborn traditions, we are free to choose whichever way of life we think is most optimal-or, more often than not, merely the easiest. All that remains are the fickle desires that a wealthy, technologically advanced society is equipped to fulfill. The result is a society riven by deep conflict and individual lives that, for all their apparent freedom, are marked by alienation and stark unhappiness. In response to this crisis, Ahmari offers twelve questions for us to grapple with-twelve timeless, fundamental queries that challenge our modern certainties. Among them: Is God reasonable? What is freedom for? What do we owe our parents, our bodies, one another? Exploring each question through the life and ideas of great thinkers, from Saint Augustine to Howard Thurman and from Abraham Joshua Heschel to Andrea Dworkin, Ahmari invites us to examine the hidden assumptions that drive our behavior and, in so doing, recapture a more humane way of living in a world that has lost its way"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

We’ve pursued and achieved the modern dream of defining ourselves—but at what cost? An influential columnist and editor makes a compelling case for seeking the inherited traditions and ideals that give our lives meaning.

“Ahmari’s tour de force makes tradition astonishingly vivid and relevant for the here and now.”—Rod Dreher, bestselling author of Live Not by Lies and The Benedict Option


As a young father and a self-proclaimed “radically assimilated immigrant,” opinion editor Sohrab Ahmari realized that when it comes to shaping his young son’s moral fiber, today’s America is woefully lacking. For millennia, the world’s great ethical and religious traditions have taught that true happiness lies in pursuing virtue and accepting limits. But now, unbound from these stubborn traditions, we are free to choose whichever way of life we think is most optimal—or, more often than not, merely the easiest. All that remains are the fickle desires that a wealthy, technologically advanced society is equipped to fulfill.

The result is a society riven by deep conflict and individual lives that, for all their apparent freedom, are marked by alienation and stark unhappiness.

In response to this crisis, Ahmari offers twelve questions for us to grapple with—twelve timeless, fundamental queries that challenge our modern certainties. Among them: Is God reasonable? What is freedom for? What do we owe our parents, our bodies, one another? Exploring each question through the lives and ideas of great thinkers, from Saint Augustine to Howard Thurman and from Abraham Joshua Heschel to Andrea Dworkin, Ahmari invites us to examine the hidden assumptions that drive our behavior and, in doing so, to live more humanely in a world that has lost its way.