My priest and spiritual father gave me an English translation of Saint Jean of Saint-Denis’s Technique de la prière (A Method of Prayer for Modern Times, published by Praxis Institute Press in 1993), which I’ve been reading off-and-on since the fall. Saint Jean of Saint-Denis was born Evgraf Kovalevsky and was the first hierarch of the […]
Rod Dreher’s magazine, The American Conservative, recently published a review of Professor Carol Any’s new book on censorship, self-censorship, and the Soviet Writers’ Union under Joseph Stalin. The review’s author, literary scholar Gary Saul Morson, makes an oblique reference to the “cherished causes and moralistic ideologies” of the present day, but apart from that does not draw too many analogous between the very concrete, horrific oppression described in Any’s book and “cancel culture” in 2021.
My foray into Rod Dreher and the culture war that follows him like his own personal raincloud began with this post from December, where I recorded Dreher’s engagement with several so-called “leftist Orthodox brigade.” These Orthoprogressives, warned Dreher, are on the march.
I begin this series on Rod Dreher’s Live Not By Lies by examining a nearly fifty-year-old essay that inspired the title of Dreher’s book: Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “Live Not By Lies,” dated February 12, 1974, the same day the KGB broke into Solzhenitsyn’s apartment and arrested him, seizing a draft of his Gulag Archipelago (already published and circulating through the West) as a pretense for his arrest.
Here’s the thing about Orthodoxy: once you’re in, it can feel like you’ve hit distilled Christianity. This might seem like a strange claim to my Evangelical/Exvangelical friends, many of whom imagine that pure Christianity is something that’s distilled or abstracted from the Scriptures, particularly the Gospels and the Epistles: the basic teachings of Jesus, for […]
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