Great popular Delusions

Comet of 1680. From a pamphlet by Simon Bornmeister (1681). Nurenberg.

Snared by the hot button issues of the day, we serve ourselves best by standing back a bit and reading, or rereading, previous texts that anchor the mind in the longue durée. Or at least release us from the pressures of the moment. Philip Larkin’s quip that sex began in 1963 applies to a great many things, including those myths and inclinations driving the ecclesial culture that produced Laudato Si. Herewith, a small bouquet for remembrance. Begin with Charles MacKay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, first published in 1841 and still in print. Continue Reading