I have a new book out! It’s Modern and American Dignity: Who We Are as Persons, and What That Means for our Future.
Here’s a review/blurb:
Peter Lawler is today’s wisest guide through the conceptual thicket of dignity, virtue, and democracy in America. His usual wit and charm are on display in this new book, a tour of technology and tradition, faith and freedom. Lawler doesn’t flinch from the paradoxes of modernity and postmodernity. In fact, he relishes the hard questions—the sources of our anxiety and disorientation—and even though he doesn’t beguile us with easy answers, he doesn’t leave us wholly without hope. Peter Lawler is one cool customer, and Modern and American Dignity is Lawler at his best. –Adam Keiper, Editor, The New Atlantis
Here’s a paragraph from the book:
Thinking realistically about personal virtue begins by correcting the autonomy freaks with the observation that persons or erotic or animated by love. That means that charity or carregiving is a higher virtue than justice, precisely because it’s more personal. By neglecting–in the name of autonomy–thinking about or cherishing intentionally the social or relational dimensional of being personal, we’e actually made personal existence seem more contingent–or detached and ephemeral–than ever. But that’s not say that persons have, or even could, become unreal; the very good news is that who we are continues to elude our efforts at rational control.