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Old 06-10-2015   #1
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Advice for aspiring monks

Maverick Philosopher: Waiting for St. Benedict. Various Withdrawal Options
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Old 06-10-2015   #2
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Re: Advice for aspiring monks

Thanks for this. It dovetails nicely with some things I've been reading lately about the calls for exercising the so-called Benedict Option among various conservative Roman Catholics. There's also a competing or complementary discussion about taking the less withdrawal-oriented Dominican Option. Both are based on the notion that the fundamental ethos of contemporary Western culture has become progressively and categorically antithetical to Catholic Christian social and religious ideals since the mid- or late 20th century. Then of course there's Morris Berman's proposal for a generalized New Monasticism centered on creating humane creative artistic, intellectual, and social structures to weather a barbaric civilizational dark age. Berman's idea is characterized by a central strategic intent to deliberately keep such efforts and projects out of the general public eye as represented by the mass media with its distorting/corrupting propaganda machine of corporate branding, economic gigantism, and universal commodification. I assume Berman was directly influenced by McIntyre when he came up with this. In any event, he was definitely influenced by the outworking of this trope in various works of dystopian fiction, including Fahrenheit 451 and A Canticle for Leibowitz. A few years after laying out the idea in his 2000 book The Twilight of American Culture he decided he couldn't figure out how to deploy or embody it himself here in the American cultural inferno, so he jumped ship and emigrated to Mexico.

I'll be interested to see where ye olde Maverick Philosopher takes his own version of these things.


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Old 06-10-2015   #3
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Re: Advice for aspiring monks

Well, the Maverick philosopher is a Theist, so he's fine with all that. Berman's 'problem' insofar as it could be considered that, is that he has no religious beliefs and tries to peddle what he calls 'sacred humanism', a total non-starter and contradiction in my eyes. I find Berman's idealisation of certain aspects of the Middle Ages a little naive, as he doesn't seem to appreciate that religious belief underlay all aspects of society. I've said as much to him on his blog, but he just brushed me off.
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