The Saviour Syndrome

(Trade paper)
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Who do we look up to? Christ the Savior is no more. In the modern West, the life of the most significant figure in the history of the culture is assumed to be obsolete. What remains?

Quite a lot, actually. In this groundbreaking work, acclaimed sociologist John Carroll argues that humans in the Western tradition are, by their nature, savior seeking. What he describes as a 'savior syndrome' impels humans to find someone, or some equivalent, to show the way to a better life and counter the quintessentially modern ordeal of unbelief.

Drawing on literature, history, and a range of popular culture sources from the Sopranos to the Bachelorette, he demonstrates how we are constantly investing people around us--teachers, leaders, performers, athletes, even children--with exemplary or transcendent qualities that we look up to and identify with, and strike to emulate. Jesus himself may be no more, but the archetype he founded continues to resonate long after his eclipse.