The Wisdom of Long White Beards

In the May edition of New Criterion, the skeptical doctor is tasked with reviewing a book by Dominic Green about the rise of modern spirituality, which began in the 19th century.

Thus Green is no Whig historian recounting Man’s smooth and constant ascent to a present realistic appreciation of his place in the universe. Rather, he is an ironist, demonstrating what we ought by now to know in any case, though we need to be constantly reminded of it, namely that ideas do not have to be good, or even clear, to have profound effects on human history. For me, life is too short for Emerson, but that does not mean that he was not a very important figure in his day.

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