But this strikes me as a very cumbersome expression. It seems to suggest that we have entered a post-Protestant era. But there are still many Protestants in the United States today. Does Bottum actually think that American Protestants are going to rally around the idea of a post-Protestant ethic? But how about a post-Catholic ethic?
In a sense, Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil represents a possible post-Protestant ethic, or at least one possible version of a post-Protestant ethic.
A Jungian approach to a post-Protestant ethic can be found in Erich Neumann's book Depth Psychology and a New Ethic (1969). Neumann's new ethic is the ethic that emerges in people after they have dealt with their own personal shadow. (Jung, like Nietzsche, was the son of a Protestant pastor. But Neumann was a Jew who lived in Israel.)
But I am reasonably certain that Bottum has not dealt with his own personal shadow. For this reason, he should not be taken seriously -- just as the Roman Catholic bishops should not be taken seriously for the same reason.
The Roman Catholic bishops and the practicing Catholics today who follow their dictates represent the spirit of the Old World. But we Americans today live in the New World. As a result, we Americans should work diligently to avoid being infected with the spirit of the Old World embodied in the Roman Catholic Church today and its outworn Tradition of thought.
(Article changed on April 24, 2014 at 14:02)