Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life

Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life

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by Elizabeth Scalia
     
 

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Elizabeth Scalia's "Strange Gods" offers readers a surprising look at the ways in which modern people still commit the sin of idolatry in their everyday lives. While literal golden calves no longer dot the landscape, Scalia shows readers that idolatry is alive and kicking, causing havoc and unhappiness. Scalia describes how legitimate loves become

Overview

Elizabeth Scalia's "Strange Gods" offers readers a surprising look at the ways in which modern people still commit the sin of idolatry in their everyday lives. While literal golden calves no longer dot the landscape, Scalia shows readers that idolatry is alive and kicking, causing havoc and unhappiness. Scalia describes how legitimate loves become obsessively twisted into idols: "spiritually deforming hate is very often conceived in love. We love our country; we love our community; we love our church; we love our traditions; we love our perception of ourselves; we love life; we love babies. Because we love these things, we are willing to engage in activities that support them. But sometimes . . . we become fully-enthralled activists, with our perspectives so narrowed that there leaves little room for give-and-take, or dialogue. Our blinders cut off our peripheral vision until mercy becomes invisible; there is only room for battle." Identifying idolatry in a number of everyday experiences—friendships that become needy or possessive, commitments political and religious that grow so intense they lead to hatred of others, to name a few—Scalia points to the incarnation of Christ and authentic worship of him as a way out of idolatry and into peace, happiness, and love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
False gods are everywhere, and even those who hold a staunch religious faith worship them. So says Scalia, best known on the Internet for her popular religion blog, The Anchoress. While there may not be any literal golden calves as in Moses' time, a plethora of obstacles stand today between believers and God. These can disrupt the spiritual life and slowly guide people on paths toward despair, unhealthy solitude, and desolation. Among the laundry list of idols include technology, desires for wealth, casual sex, and a warped sense of patriotism. Everyone, according to the author, can be tricked to contort that which is good into something that saps the spirit and breeds cynicism. Scalia does not write as though she is above her readers—she knows she wrestles with the same idols as everyone else. Her thoughtful and often witty anecdotes pepper her analysis and serve to lighten a very serious topic. This is a welcome invitation to self-reflection that many spiritual seekers will find edifying. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594713422
Publisher:
Ave Maria Press
Publication date:
05/06/2013
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
308,938
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Scalia is a Benedictine Oblate and managing editor of the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com, where she blogs as The Anchoress. She is also a columnist at First Things and for The Catholic Answer. Scalia was a featured speaker at the Vatican's much-noted 2011 meeting with bloggers from around the world and has a multi-media presence that includes contributions to NPR and CBS News Online, and a stint as a regular panelist on the Brooklyn-diocese-produced current events program, In the Arena, seen at NETNY.net. She is the author of Caring for the Dying with the Help of your Catholic Faith, was a contributor to Disorientation: How to Go to College Without Losing Your Mind, and has been involved with the editing of both religious and secular books, most notably, Why We Hate Us: American Discontent in the New Millennium.

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Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Eclectic_ReaderPA More than 1 year ago
I enjoy Elizabeth Scalia's columns and decided to try this book. It is an eye-opener. Man so often puts something before God and this shows how many ways we unknowingly put nonsense before our love of God.