70 episodes

A new podcast from The American Conservative, presented by Kale Zelden and bestselling author Rod Dreher, exploring faith, culture, and public affairs.

The General Eclectic The American Conservative

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 64 Ratings

A new podcast from The American Conservative, presented by Kale Zelden and bestselling author Rod Dreher, exploring faith, culture, and public affairs.

    "Reality Bites Back" The General Eclectic #3.6

    "Reality Bites Back" The General Eclectic #3.6

    Rod and Kale discuss the seemingly chronic breakdown of infrastructure in a variety of fronts, from churches and schools, to literal infrastructure, namely, the derailment in Palestine, Ohio. Our leadership class is more concerned about addressing historical injustices than dealing with chemical spills and competency breakdowns. The house is on fire, and our leaders are fixated on window-dressings. Are these the new luxury beliefs? They then move on to talk about Peter Zeihan's The End of the World Is Just the Beginning. What happens economically and politically when a populace has lost faith in the future? If people in the culture no longer have the faith and commitment to sacrifice and even die for it, what happens to the future? discussed: -Synod in for the Church of England -train derailment in Palestine Ohio -Peter Zeihan -Genesis and "be fruitful and multiply" -McIntyre and Christian Smith -kids as a luxury good

    • 39 min
    Strange Magic: The General Eclectic #3.4 with Rod Dreher

    Strange Magic: The General Eclectic #3.4 with Rod Dreher

    Rod and Kale discuss the retreat of Christianity and its replacement with Neo-paganism, which is really just old Paganism in a slightly different register. Too often people dabble in alternate spiritualisms, yet fail to account for the non-benign. Christianity's ascent was based on the power of miracles, more powerful than existing pagan magic. Modern Christianity has fallen in love with the idea. Ideas do not convert, but experiences do. The allure of psychedelics opens people up to a reality, but a reality that is unearned and thus dangerous.
    Topics and Links:
    Rod's post on Dark Enchantment: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/psychonauts-plinths-re-paganizing-pop-culture/
    Robert Knapp's Dawn of Christianity: https://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Christianity-People-Magic-Miracles/dp/0674976460
    Edward Watt's Final Pagan Generation: https://www.amazon.com/Final-Pagan-Generation-Christianity-Transformation/dp/0520379225/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

    • 37 min
    "Cardinal Screwtape is Not Obsessed with Sex": The General Eclectic with Rod Dreher #3.3

    "Cardinal Screwtape is Not Obsessed with Sex": The General Eclectic with Rod Dreher #3.3

    Rod and Kale meet up to talk about two topics: Cardinal McIlroy's call for changes in the sexual teachings of the Catholic Church, and the horrific tragedy of a young woman killed after a night of drinking and debauchery.
    This is a two part show, but connected with our culture's continuing difficulty of making sense out of the sexual revolution.
    Topics and Links:
    -Cardinal McIlory's piece in America Magazine: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2023/01/24/mcelroy-synodality-inclusion-244587
    -Rod's post on McIlroy: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/cardinal-screwtape/
    -What does "communion" mean?
    -Rod on Andrew Sullivan's Dishcast: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/lesprit-descalier-dishcast-edition/
    -"In This House We Believe" at walmart: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/the-elite-class-who-hates-life/
    -Young Woman in Baton Rouge killed: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11675153/TikTok-bar-Madi-Brooks-seen-shows-students-swigging-straight-bottles.html
    -Louise Perry's Case Against the Sexual Revolution: https://amzn.to/4066Ln7
    -What we do with our bodies matters
    -Sex and the City is 25 years old!
    -Binge drinking is connected to the meaning crisis
    -Freedom in Chastity

    • 1 hr 16 min
    The General Eclectic #3.2 "The Disintegration Machine"

    The General Eclectic #3.2 "The Disintegration Machine"

    Rod and Kale record a conversation about the prophetic vision of Lewis' That Hideous Strength as a way into the notion of the Experience Machine, and the allure of the blue-pill versus the red-pill. See the links below for all the titles they discuss.
    Connecting Lewis with Iain McGhilchrist, they jump off into a discussion about Left Hemispheric bias and the turn towards madness in modernity.
    The stakes are high; no higher than humanity and the forces that would blithely take us into the post-human.
    Topics (in order) with links (affiliated):
    - That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis: https://amzn.to/3kjKKRk
    - The Master and His Emissary by Iain McGilchrist: https://amzn.to/3XG0yMB
    - The Matter With Things by Iain McGilchrist: https://amzn.to/3kv0LEf
    - Hartmut Rosa on Resonance: https://amzn.to/3J1pBpE
    - Rod on the Experience Machine: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/robert-nozicks-experience-machine/
    - Rod on Young Christian and Eager to Escape: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/young-christian-and-eager-to-escape/ 
    - Churchill: "we build our buildings, and they in turn build us"
    - Homo Deus and the prophets of post-humanity
    - the idea of embodied reality in Crawford's Soulcraft book: https://amzn.to/3ZQupUw
    - The World Beyond Your Head: https://amzn.to/3XpImHm
    - The Disintegration Machine vs. the Experience Machine
    - Hierophany at Chartres
    - Paul Connerton's How Societies Remember: https://amzn.to/3ku3o9m
    - Is our "holy story" really profane?

    • 1 hr 5 min
    The General Eclectic #3.1 "The Death and Life of Benedict"

    The General Eclectic #3.1 "The Death and Life of Benedict"

    Kale and Rod kick off season 3 to discuss liminal thinkers and the breaking up of old frames to see through, and the emergence of new ones. Standing inside and outside affords new perspectives.They go on to discuss Rod's attendance at the funeral for Pope Benedict XVI, what he saw, and how to make sense out of this giant of the 20th century. Are we in the time of Antichrist? Jumping off from Seewald's magisterial biography of Ratzinger/Benedict, we talk about what he meant and what he means.topics and links (some of these are affiliate links, fyi):
    -Mary Harrington (@moveincircles) and Louise Perry (@louise_m_perry) as rethinkers from alternate priors: Mary's Feminism Against Progress and Louise's The Case Against the Sexual Revolution.
    -Joseph Ratzinger's New Paganism address
    -Rod's 2002 NR Cover story on Catholicism and The Netherlands
    -the myth of the "Panzer Pope" and the gentle, monk-scholar
    -Rod's Benedict "Lessons from the funeral" and here
    -Robert Knapp's The Dawn of Christianity
    -Ratzinger and the rise of the time of AntiChrist
    -Sochi The Secret of Benedict
    -NT Wright's Revelations for Everyone
    -Benedict as katechon
    -Peter Seewald's Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the Biography of Benedict

    • 1 hr 13 min
    The General Eclectic #2.25 "Hope in the Darkness"

    The General Eclectic #2.25 "Hope in the Darkness"

    Rod and Kale sit down for a discussion looking forward to the coming year. The first half revolves around the war in Ukraine, the circus of Trumpland and his wobbling strength, the ongoing masque of the groomer clown shows and the "friend-enemy distinction" enchanting the Right.In part two, Rod and Kale tack to a discussion about the weak Christian response to the rising tide of neo-paganism. Is this the "final Christian generation?"They look to patterns, rather than outward signs, and see a hope in the coldest darkest days of the year.Links:
    -Freddie Sayers and John Mearshiemer: "we're screwed!"
    -NYT on Charlene Richard
    -Kingsnorth's Basilisk
    -Rod on St. Cecilia and Paganism

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
64 Ratings

64 Ratings

Jbspwa ,

More Rod - Less Kale

Kale speaks to much. He needs to listen to Rod and learn both truth and humility.

Djekdkslsnsbjwn ,

Good stuff but please stop interrupting guests

This is a great podcast, but the episodes with guests are hard to listen to. Kale should stop interrupting guests and give them space to talk.

El Vacquero ,

Right on the mark

Really an excellent podcast. Kale and Rod are way ahead of most of thier conservative peers in articulating how today’s social and cultural changes threaten the best elements of our character.

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