Here’s a sample of Spencer’s first session on Romano Guardini’s The End of the Modern World. In his first session, Spencer introduces himself, the Maurin Academy, and covers the first chapter of the book. You can still sign up for this series either on our Eventbrite page or by supporting us on Patreon.
In next week’s session Spencer will be covering the rest of book one, chapters two and three. Reading is not required for this series, but is encouraged. Sessions will be hosted Tuesdays at 5 p.m. US Central Time, live on Zoom starting Tuesday, May 16 and then May 23, 30, and June 6. Those who sign up for the May 16 session will gain admittance to all other sessions, and so on. Those who sign up after May 16 will also receive video recordings from previous sessions.
What’s it about? Romano Guardini was a firsthand observer of the upheavals that wracked European society in the World Wars and in The End of the Modern World (published in 1956) he prophesied the coming of “post-modernity” (in every sense of the word), including ecological crisis. Consisting of two interrelated books, the first, The End of the Modern World, examines life in the era of “Mass Man,” the world in which mass-production, mass-communication, and mass-marketing threaten to crush individual character and initiative under “the power of the anonymous.” In its companion, Power and Responsibility, Guardini extends his analysis to focus on our current ambivalence toward the nature, uses, and propriety of power. It is the principle of individual responsibility that weaves these two books into a comprehensive and compelling moral statement.
Guardini tirelessly argues that human beings are responsible moral agents, possessed of free will and answerable to God and their fellow man. A brief excerpt, so you can check the vibe: Nature now, however, has emerged once again into history from within the very depths of culture itself. Nature is rising up in that very form which subdued the wilderness—in the form of power itself. All the abysses of primeval ages yawn before man, all the wild choking growth of the long-dead forests press forward from this second wilderness, all the monsters of the desert wastes, all the horrors of darkness are once more upon man. He stands again before chaos, a chaos more dreadful than the first because most men go their own complacent ways without seeing, because scientifically-educated gentlemen everywhere deliver their speeches as always, because the machines are running on schedule and because the authorities function as usual (pg. 92).