Tackling the ‘Benedict option’

Tackling the ‘Benedict option’ David Quinn (left) of Iona Institute and Rod Dreher.

Some 350 people packed in to the historic Newman University Church on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green on Monday night to hear Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option. Mr Dreher has been speaking all over the world about his New York Times bestseller. Mr Dreher calls on Christians to prepare for a new Dark Age by embracing an ancient Christian way of life.

He argues that the way forward is actually the way back — all the way to St Benedict. This sixth-century monk, horrified by the moral chaos following Rome’s fall, retreated to the forest and created a new way of life for Christians. He built enduring communities based on principles of order, hospitality, stability, and prayer. His spiritual centres of hope were strongholds of light throughout the Dark Ages, and saved not just Christianity but Western civilization.

Mr Dreher describes The Benedict Option as “both manifesto and rallying cry for Christians who, if they are not to be conquered, must learn how to fight on culture war battlefields like none the West has seen for fifteen hundred years”.

The event was co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame Newman Centre for Faith and Culture and The Iona Institute.