Strangers in A Strange Land

Strangers in A Strange Land

Living the Catholic Faith in A Post-Christian World

Book - 2017
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The archbishop of Philadelphia presents a hopeful treatise for Catholics on how to live the faith with confidence in today's post-Christian culture while evaluating the reasons behind declining Catholic numbers.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, [2017]
ISBN: 9781627796743
Branch Call Number: Philosophy & Religion 282.73 Cha


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Jun 02, 2017

Early on in Strangers in a Strange Land, Archbishop Chaput declares that his intended audience is "everyday Catholics who love Jesus Christ and his Church more than they love their own opinions". The word "love" is critical, since Chaput, unlike those for whom "truth" is no more than a political slogan, believes that Truth is not only real, but a Person - not only can Truth be sought but He is seeking us, and not only can Truth be found but finding Him demands a response from us, obligates us. So, too, the adjective "everyday", as the challenges of "living the Catholic faith in a post-Christian world" belong primarily not to the clergy but to an active laity aware of the grace granted to them by God - and aware also that for Christians this means not power and privilege but service and sacrifice. Finally, he might have said "more than their own illusions" or "more than the good opinion of their neighbors", since it is precisely these things which, he insists, we must be willing to lose if we are to follow "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" faithfully in twenty-first century America.

Archbishop Chaput has been alternately derided and celebrated as a "culture warrior", but no matter how accurate that title may be in recognizing his determination and courage, it does a major injustice to him if it is taken to imply that he is a partisan or a propagandist. To the contrary, Chaput is eminently sober, not given to rhetorical exaggeration, and gentle to his opponents without denying that opposition exists. Strangers in a Strange Land is consistent with this approach - thoughtful rather than bombastic, offering quiet strength instead of outrage.


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