Widespread belief that people are essentially "good" coupled with our culture's narcissistic mandate to "find oneself," the current American ethos has fostered a society of self-absorbed, uninformed, and overly optimistic individuals.
At the same time, however, there is a growing sense of dissatisfaction-faced with the imbalance of wealth and declining education and moral standards, Americans are left with the impression that something is wrong. In Blessed are the Cynical: How Original Sin Can Make America a Better Place, Mark Ellingsen contends that American problems are in fact primarily a function of our naively optimistic view of human nature.
Ellingsen maintains that Augustine's doctrine of original sin has been eclipsed in America's therapeutic, feel-good culture, and shows how this eclipse has degraded politics, education, business, and culture. This timely account shows how a renewal of the principle of original sin can bring America back to its biblical and constitutional roots and help us find fresh ways of addressing our social ills. Blessed are the Cynical should foster debate among political and social analysts, cultural leaders, and members of the Christian community. It is a fascinating and erudite analysis of American culture that will appeal to socially conscious Americans.