Richard John Neuhaus's American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile PDF

By Richard John Neuhaus

ISBN-10: 0465013678

ISBN-13: 9780465013678

Christians are via their nature a humans misplaced. Their actual house is with God; in civic lifestyles, they're alien voters “in yet no longer of the world.” In American Babylon, eminent theologian Richard John Neuhaus examines the actual fact of that ambiguity for Catholics in the United States today.Neuhaus addresses the fundamental quandaries of Catholic life—assessing how Catholics can hold their heads above water within the sea of immorality that confronts them on this planet, how they are often patriotic even if their precise kingdom isn't really during this international, and the way they could reconcile their tasks as electorate with their dedication to God. Deeply discovered, usually combative, and constantly eloquent, American Babylon is Neuhaus’s magnum opus—and might be crucial studying for all Christians.

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The last book published by Pope John Paul II, whom history will, I believe, call John Paul the Great, is entitled Memory and Identity; it is a profound reflection on the connections between personhood and peoplehood, between national experience and God’s purposes through time, and one’s own little place in that drama. Of course, the book is about Poland and being Polish, both of which John Paul explores and affirms in a way that many might think scandalously chauvinistic, but I believe the book is provocatively wise.

Of course, America is that, in the sense that everyplace is a place of exile for those whose true home is the City of God. But that is not what these radical critics have in mind. qxd 1/9/09 1:15 PM Page 38 American Babylon time. It is not enough for America to have the soul of a church. It is an American Protestant trait to forget that, in the biblical image, the Church is not the soul of Christ but the body of Christ. It is a distinctive society through time—a society distinct from the societies in which, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, she is compelled to live through time toward the End Time.

In that way of telling the story, they were the New Israel. qxd 1/9/09 1:15 PM Page 36 American Babylon In some tellings of the story, they and the New World were Jerusalem, having escaped the captivity of the Babylon of the Old World and, most particularly, having escaped the Babylon of Catholicism and of the insufficiently Protestantized lowercase catholicism that was Anglicanism in the old country. From these Puritan beginnings, American thinking about America would radically reverse the image of exile.

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American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile by Richard John Neuhaus


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