The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self
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Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution
Written by Carl R. Trueman
Modern culture is obsessed with identity.
Since the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision in 2015, sexual identity has dominated both public discourse and cultural trends—and yet, no historical phenomenon is its own cause. From Augustine to Marx, various views and perspectives have contributed to the modern understanding of self. In The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Carl Trueman carefully analyzes the roots and development of the sexual revolution as a symptom, rather than the cause, of the human search for identity. This timely exploration of the history of thought behind the sexual revolution teaches readers about the past, brings clarity to the present, and gives guidance for the future as Christians navigate the culture’s ever-changing search for identity.
“This is a characteristically brilliant book by Carl Trueman, helping the church understand why people believe that sexual difference is a matter of psychological choice. Indeed, Trueman shows how the story we tell ourselves about normalized LGBTQ+ values is false and foolish. With wisdom and clarity, Trueman guides readers through the work of Charles Taylor, Philip Rieff, British Romantic poets, and Continental philosophers to trace the history of expressive individualism from the eighteenth century to the present. The rejection of mimesis (finding excellence by imitating something greater than yourself) for poiesis (finding authenticity by inventing yourself on your own terms), in addition to the Romantic movement’s welding of sexual expression as a building block of political liberation, ushers in the modern LGBTQ+ movement as if on cue. This book reveals how important it is for thinking Christians to distinguish virtue from virtue signaling. The former makes you brave; the latter renders you a man pleaser, which is a hard line to toe in a world where there are so few real men left to please.” - Rosaria Butterfield, Former Professor of English, Syracuse University; author, The Gospel Comes with a House Key and The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert
“Moderns, especially Christian moderns, wonder how our society arrived at this strange moment when nearly everything about the self and sexuality that our grandparents believed is ridiculed. This genealogy of culture, clearly and elegantly written, will help all of us understand how we got to where we are, so that we can plot our own futures with more clarity and confidence. This book is a must-read for Christians and all others who are disturbed by the dictatorship of relativism that surrounds us.” -Gerald R. McDermott, Former Anglican Chair of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School
“Carl Trueman is a superb teacher. Sharp, perceptive, and lucid, this book is the worthy fruit of learnedness and insight. But more than a teacher, Trueman also has the voice of a prophet. He speaks truth masterfully, with power. In bringing clarity on how we got to our present desert wilderness as a culture, Trueman helps us understand our crooked ways―and situates us to make straight the way of the Lord.” -Adeline A. Allen, Associate Professor of Law, Trinity Law School
Hardcover with jacket, 432 pages, notes, index,
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