The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, by Rod Dreher, Sentinel Press, 2017, 262 pp.
One might not be inclined to read a formal schismatic’s thoughts on how Christian’s should comport themselves in the secular world. But two things might persuade one to make an exception for Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option: first, a favorable mention of the book by the Rt. Rev. Abbot Philip Anderson of the traditionalist Benedictine monastery at Clear Creek; and second, the bitter dismissal of the book by many mainstream Catholic pundits. And one would not be disappointed. While the criticisms of some reviewers of the book as gimmicky and inconsistent have some justification, Dreher’s overall analysis of the current situation in Western Europe and North America is accurate, and his suggestions for a practical response to the situation are sensible. In fact, Dreher’s insights can very easily be developed into an argument for Catholic Traditionalism and against the anti-traditionalism of the Catholic mainstream since Vatican II.