The only tough part of a virtual roundtable like this book club series is figuring out how to either respond to all of the good points made or to pick from among them in a way that doesn’t neglect something valuable.
There are intentional forms of racism, but race also works as a social force that structures our perceptions, values, practices, institutions, etc. We need to distinguish between the intentional and structural varieties.
Dreher’s choice of the Rule of St. Benedict as the tool to frame his essay on Christian community seems to me a major reason for interpretive misunderstandings of how radically separated he intends this community to be. What he is actually proposing is no different from the basic strategies Christians have employed to create and influence local communities for centuries.
There is no question that a number of mysteries and tensions lie at the heart of the Christian faith. How should we live “in the world, but not of it”?