I don’t know Burton personally, but I think we have some friends in common and travel in similar circles. We both have advanced Oxbridge degrees. It just so happens that the topics Burton discusses are the topics that upper middle class people with degrees from selective colleges participate in. They are also the things that Vox readers find interesting. This is all to say that Strange Rites is pitched to an audience of a particular social class. It would be helpful, though, if she were upfront about that. Burton’s book would have been stronger if she had noted how all these movements had a particular post-Christian stance. She does offer a brief history of what she calls “intuitional” religion in chapter two, but the movements she describes make much more sense in terms of reactions against Christianity. The strange rites in the book are strange rites that come from the backdrop of middle-class white Christianity in the United States.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
… Everyone Worships | The Russell Kirk Center. (Hat tip Dave Lull.)