Bare Ruined Choirs
Number of pages: 272
The Catholic Church was the only the Church, according to Lenny Bruce—the extreme taken as a type, the most fixed part of religion's stable landscape. If the forces of change can make it crumble, then what social institution can hope to stand?
When first published in the years following the end of the Second Vatican Council, Wills shows the disarray of the Catholic Church as a model of institutional breakdown, tracing parallel agonies in church and state. The demise of liberalism, the rise of radicalism, the hardening of reaction—the same story unfolds in its sacred and its secular versions.
In his new preface for this edition, Wills, shows how the questions he raised in the original edition remain with us just as powerfully. Asking whether life can rise again from our institutional ruins, and finds promising signs of this, not only among Catholic prophets, but Protestant and Jewish ones as well.