Ancient Philosophy’s Return Amidst the Triumph of the Therapeutic

Oak Park Chronicles

The Me Century.

What we have today is a fragile culture centered on the self’s needs and wants, which sociologist Philip Rieff aptly called therapeutic.

In his 1966 classic The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith after Freud, he observed modern changes in the deep structures of custom and belief as resulting in a whole new outlook. [Emphasis added]

Something aggressive this way must come in the living of one’s life.

(Not to allocate praise for oneself, but I do recall decades ago in Oak Park, watching the elementary school board at work and calling it — the approach, style, etc. — therapeutic, which I surely wrote down somewhere.)

Another word-bite from the article, out of Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal:

Rieff’s work was one of the first sustained efforts to make sense of the transition from a culture based on faith to a…

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