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Monday, March 2, 2009

Tradition: Concept and Claim (ISI), by Josef Pieper

Book Review

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Some believe progress is at odds with tradition, but Josef Pieper argues otherwise. In this essay collection, the eloquently simple-spoken German philosopher makes meaningful distinctions between tradition and social habits, tradition and knee-jerk conservatism. Learning can't proceed without memory and Pieper puts forward sacred tradition-whether Greek mythology, apostolic Christianity or the Hindu pantheon-as the guardian against forgetfulness. Social and historical amnesia, after all, have afflicted such sectors of society as academia, pop culture and the Bush administration, leading to ill-educated consumers, inane trends and ill-conceived policies all around.