The “Strong Gods”

Rusty Reno, the editor at First Things Magazine, had an interesting piece two years ago concerning what he termed the “strong gods“–populism, nationalism, a notion of the sacred in public life, and others–and their resurgence in the wake of various problems experienced by the liberal political order. Reno predicted that the conflict between these “strong gods” and the existing order would intensify in the coming decades, as each would strive for dominance. In this new book, he expands on that thesis: Return of the Strong Gods (Regnery/Gateway).

“To understand the nationalist populism that has upended politics in America and Europe we have to understand the spiritual issues at stake. The postwar consensus that sought to weaken men’s oldest and strongest attachments is breaking down as the “strong gods” — nationalism and religion among them — reassert themselves. R. R. Reno considers the new form of conservatism that this historical moment requires.”