Book Review Editor’s Introduction: February/March 2022

[1] Our reviews this month cover the latest books by progressive scholar Catherine Keller and Rod Dreher, writer for The American Conservative. Both authors speak of present and looming dangers, and they offer perspectives for moving forward. In Facing Apocalypse (2021), Keller addresses the climate catastrophe and democracy. Returning to the Book of Revelation, a site of her previous work, she offers a sophisticated theological conversation for a broad audience seeking to understand and address the apocalyptic moment we face.

[2] In Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents (2020), Dreher takes up his theme of the culture wars and sees threatening totalitarian tendencies on the left.  Using stories of Eastern European dissidents, he describes differences and similarities between Soviet-style totalitarianism and a new “soft totalitarianism” in the United States. He urges Christians to cultivate the specific virtues and values that he identifies as lessons from survivors of Soviet-style oppression. While Dreher addresses totalitarian tendencies he sees as coming from the left, it would be interesting to read his book in light of dangerous tendencies at the other end of the political spectrum as well.

Nancy Arnison

Nancy Arnison is a lawyer, theologian and nonprofit executive and serves as the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Lutheran Ethics.