BATON ROUGE – Best-selling author Rod Dreher, a 1989 LSU graduate, will speak about his new book, “The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation,” on Friday, March 24, at 3 p.m. in Hill Memorial Library. This will be the keynote lecture of the Ciceronian Society’s annual conference, being held that weekend at LSU. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Dreher’s new book, hailed by the New York Times’ David Brooks as “already the most discussed and most important religious book of the decade” and a #1 bestseller in its category on Amazon.com just days after its release, takes its title from the final chapter of Alasdair MacIntyre’s 1981 classic, “After Virtue,” where the question is raised whether, imitating Christian monks after the collapse of the Roman empire, adherents to the Aristotelian moral tradition must turn to “the construction of local forms of community within which civility and the intellectual and moral life can be sustained through the new dark ages which are already upon us.” “The Benedict Option” shows believers how to build the resistance and resilience to face a hostile modern world with the confidence and fervor of the early church.
Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Dreher’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Weekly Standard, Beliefnet and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and the BBC. Helives in Baton Rouge with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written three books, “The Little Way of Ruthie Leming,” “How Dante Can Save Your Life” and “Crunchy Cons.”
“Dreher’s argument for the ‘Benedict Option’ is getting serious attention from leading conservatives today, particularly those who have been frustrated by cultural changes in American society,” said James Stoner, director of the Eric Voegelin Institute, co-sponsor of the event. “Whether you identify as liberal or conservative, and if the latter, whether or not you think that cultural decline is irreversible or can be countered by political engagement, Dreher presents a thesis that every citizen can profitably reflect upon and adopt or dispute. We’re pleased to offer him a platform here at his alma mater to make his case.”
The Ciceronian Society is an interdisciplinary, intellectual society devoted to the examination of three core themes: Tradition, Place and “Things Divine,” developing academic conferences that explore the many and various topics related to these themes. The Eric Voegelin Institute, named for one of LSU’s original Boyd Professors, is a humanities and social science institute at LSU that sponsors research, lectures and conferences, publications, and teaching focused on the ideas and questions that animated Voegelin’s wide-ranging thought.
Contact Josh Bowman
Eric Voegelin Institute, LSU Department of Political Science
LSU Media Relations