Lasch-Quinn on Cultivating an “Inner Life”


Over, Syracuse University history professor Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn calls for a “new inwardness.”  Here is a taste:

We live in an era in which “self-reigns” is supreme. In the era of the selfie, isn’t the problem that too many have been looking within, at the expense of looking outward at the needs of others?

Many do think plenty about themselves–what they want, what they need. But everything from a sustained community life, to enduring personal bonds of love requires caring for others in a way only accessible and renewable by means of an inner life. The: I, Me, Mine mentality derives not from an excess of inwardness, but the exact opposite, the world of externals. The question, “Who Am I?” is answered through image and appearance, as though the question were really, “How Do I Appear to Others?”

In place of self-obsessiveness producing only unhappiness and anxiety and a self-concept dependent on others’ reactions and impressions of us, self-cultivation through spiritual discipline can provide a genuine way forward.

Read the entire piece here.

I am very excited that we have secured Lasch-Quinn as a keynote speaker at the 2018 meeting of the Conference on Faith and History.  (BTW, a call for papers will be out very soon).