"This time however the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament. We are waiting not for a God, but for another - doubtless very different - St. Benedict." --After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre

Last night, it happens, I finished reading School(s) for Conversion. For anyone who read that, or the related CT article, or who has noticed with interest the diverse crop of places like this or this or this or this, you may find some weird and unexpected echoes going through your head as you read Angela Pancella's new @U2 piece on Soul at Work, a book by Margaret Benefiel which I blogged about when it came out. An appendix to the piece includes the whole section devoted to, not the band exactly, but what the author calls "the U2 community," in this book on "spiritual organizations."

Kudos to both Benefiel and Pancella (whom we should all thank anyway as she steps away from her @U2 role) for drawing our eyes to something undergirding U2's work that is rarely made explicit, not much asked about by reporters, and only highlighted by the band in occasional pieces like that "the hardest thing to do is to stick together" poem that came with the U2 iPods. (What a weirdly subversive thing to package with an iPod. But then, I guess you do things like that when "rather than being a once a week concept, it's sort of the way we try and live.")

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