books-type

The American Hour: A Time of Reckoning and the Once and Future Role of Faith

The American Hour is a searching assessment of the strength of the American republic at the end of what has been called the “American Century.” In an incisive analysis, Os Guinness examines the ways in which the current crisis of cultural authority strikes at the heart of American identity. As he shows, this crisis has occurred because America’s beliefs, traditions, and ideals – civic as well as religious – are losing their power to shape the private and public lives of countless Americans. He first charts this growing crisis in America’s moral and cultural order, tracing its roots early in this century to the first open phase of conflict, which began to build in the fifties and climaxed in the cultural revolution of the sixties. He goes on to examine the subsequent conservative counter-revolution, focusing throughout on the impact of this crisis on three areas vital to the health of the republic – on American identity, as in the currently contested notion of what it means to be an American; American public philosophy, including the now controversial relationship of religion and public life; and American republican character, including our distinctive emphasis on the importance of the “habits of the heart.”

Guinness also examines the historical role of religion in American society and its integral function in American public life. He explores how religion came to lose its power as a vital shaping force of America’s moral and cultural order, and he considers the consequences of this loss. He then establishes four scenarios that range from the continued decline of religion in public life to a resurgence of faith, showing how each possible outcome could affect American society in the upcoming century. Examining closely the recent controversies over religion and politics, Guinness concludes by setting forth a vision of how we can move beyond these struggles and provide America’s diverse faiths with a revitalized and constructive role in public life.

More Resources
Signals of Transcendence: Listening to the Promptings of Life

Signals of Transcendence: Listening to the Promptings of Life

IVP
There must be something more to life. The modern world is a place of great distraction, and it can be difficult to make sense of our human existence. But at some point in our lives, we may experience particular moments that prompt us to searchRead More
Buy Now
In his usual erudite clarity, Os Guinness illuminates the dark paths of history's chaos, traumas, and violence with Signals ofRead More
Makoto Fujimura, artist and author of Art+Faith: A Theology of Making

There must be something more to life.

The modern world is a place of great distraction, and it can be difficult to make sense of our human existence. But at some point in our lives, we may experience particular moments that prompt us to search for something deeper. Sociologist Peter Berger described these hints and clues as “signals of transcendence” that awaken us to unseen realities.

Os Guinness tells stories of people who experienced signals of transcendence and followed them to find new meaning and purpose in life. Notable figures such as Leo Tolstoy and C. S. Lewis as well as lesser-known individuals experienced a variety of promptings that signaled to them that life could not continue as they had thought. Through unsatisfied longings or disillusionments that yet yielded glimpses of beauty or joy, these moments drew people toward epiphanies of transformation. And the same can be true for us, should we have the courage to follow the signals wherever they may lead.

Listen for the signals. And discover what more awaits those with ears to hear.

Buy Now
In his usual erudite clarity, Os Guinness illuminates the dark paths of history's chaos, traumas, and violence with Signals of Transcendence. This book is a gold mine of wisdom, a gift for generations to come. For all of us meandering as border-stalking artists, drowning in the undertows of cultural currents that wash away our confidence in institutions of faith, classical learning, and worldly systems, Guinness is a pedagogical North Star that guides to enlarge our imaginations and to give courage for that journey. I found myself gripped with every page of this book, called into the minute particulars of every word, in order to behold, to begin to mend the fragments of broken fissures in our time.
Makoto Fujimura, artist and author of Art+Faith: A Theology of Making
A tremendous little book, crackling with challenge, insight, and truth. Essential reading for anyone brave enough to open their mind and think.
Norman Stone, director of the original Shadowlands
The Great Quest: Invitation to an Examined Life and a Sure Path to Meaning

The Great Quest: Invitation to an Examined Life and a Sure Path to Meaning

IVP
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” —Socrates What is life all about? What are we here for? Is there any meaning or purpose to our existence? Thinkers throughout the centuries have pondered these questions. While the distractions of the modern world prevent many fromRead More
Buy Now
This slim volume is a masterpiece. Guinness brings a breathtaking range of thought—to aim at the key question of life:Read More
Shelby Coffey, Former Editor, LA Times

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” —Socrates

What is life all about? What are we here for? Is there any meaning or purpose to our existence? Thinkers throughout the centuries have pondered these questions. While the distractions of the modern world prevent many from grappling seriously with such matters, the truth is that humans cannot live without meaning any more than we can live without breathing or eating.

Os Guinness invites us to examine our lives and join the great quest for meaning and a life well lived. For those who are up to Socrates’ challenge, it is a search that is indispensable to making the most of life. Guinness charts the course of the thinking person’s journey toward faith and meaning, calling for a firm grasp of reason, an honest awareness of conscience, and a living sense of wonder. He affirms that there is a time for questions, and that following those questions can indeed lead us to answers, evidence, and commitment.

When life becomes a question, the search is on for an answer. Come find yourself on a sure path to meaning.

Buy Now
This slim volume is a masterpiece. Guinness brings a breathtaking range of thought—to aim at the key question of life: What is the meaning of life, and how do we, individually, determine it? This is a summa and a gift to questing souls of all persuasions.
Shelby Coffey, Former Editor, LA Times
The Dust of Death: The Sixties Counterculture and How It Changed America Forever

The Dust of Death: The Sixties Counterculture and How It Changed America Forever

Crossway
Guinness charts the journey of a generation, from the erosion of Christianity to the failure of the counterculture to provide an effective alternative to faith. The author calls for a new direction for the Western world, one which combines conviction with compassion and deep spirituality.
Buy Now

Guinness charts the journey of a generation, from the erosion of Christianity to the failure of the counterculture to provide an effective alternative to faith. The author calls for a new direction for the Western world, one which combines conviction with compassion and deep spirituality.

Buy Now