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"An Anxious Age"

According to Joseph Bottum, public life is now a supernatural game and as such, for many Americans, how we vote has become how we are saved. In his new book, "An Anxious Age," Bottum argues that the notion of politics as a mode of spiritual redemption stems from the collapse of the Mainline Protestant churches over the last fifty years. Where those churches once defined the liberal consensus of the nation, they have nearly disappeared from public life, and in their place have risen strange new beings. What is particularly interesting, as Bottum notes, is how this unconscious spirituality has been splashed across our supposedly secular life. In "An Anxious Age," Bottum argues for the religious character of the nation, warns about the strange angels and even stranger demons with which we now wrestle, and deciphers just what this means for American public life today. Bottum is one of the nation's most widely published and influential essayists. He's the former literary editor of the Weekly Standard and editor-in-chief of First Things. He spoke with Karl Gehrke on Dakota Midday.