Monastic Life in the 40th Century

A Canticle for Leibowitz was the first book that enabled me to truly understand the world of monasticism. Written 1959 at the height of the Cold War, Canticle depicts a 40th Century, post-apocalyptic world. Monks picking through the ruins of a civilization evoke determination amidst horrors.

Miller’s cautionary novel substitutes nuclear Armageddon for the fall of Rome and barbarian Wrath of God. Divided into three Cantos this story spans three era; meta-Medieval, new Modernity, and surreal future. The common thread is a Catholic Church that has metamorphosed in fantastic ways.

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