Jordan Peterson’s lectures and writings on psychology, philosophy, and religion have been a cultural phenomenon. Yet Peterson’s own thought is marked by a tensive suspension between archetype and reality—between the ideal of Christ and the God who acts in history.
About the Book:
The person most responsible for reintroducing God and the Bible into mainstream secular culture today is not a pastor, a Scripture scholar, or a bishop, but a psychology professor with no church membership. Jordan Peterson’s lectures and writings on psychology, philosophy, and religion have been a cultural phenomenon, attracting tens of thousands to arenas and millions to his social media sites, and prompting many to leave behind secularism and reconsider Christianity.
Yet Peterson’s own thought is marked by a tensive suspension between archetype and reality—between the ideal of Christ and the God who acts in history. When asked if he himself is a believer, Peterson responds, “I try to live as if God exists.” More recently, in the wake of great personal suffering, Peterson’s wrestling with the figure of Christ and, in his own wording, the profoundly “sane” quality of Catholicism, has reached a kind of crescendo in both his life and work.
Jordan Peterson, God, and Christianity: The Search for a Meaningful Life is the first systematic analysis, from a Christian perspective, of both Peterson’s biblical series on YouTube and his bestselling book 12 Rules for Life, with an epilogue examining its sequel, Beyond Order.
Christopher Kaczor and Matthew R. Petrusek draw readers into the depths of Peterson’s thought on Scripture, suffering, and meaning, exploring both the points of contact with Christianity and the ways in which faith fulfills Peterson’s project. Taking the “mere Christianity” of C.S. Lewis as its point of departure, Jordan Peterson, God, and Christianity is an indispensable analysis, not only for Christians hoping to better understand the significance of the Peterson phenomenon, but also for Peterson fans who are, perhaps for the first time in their lives, thinking seriously about what it might mean to believe.
"If the religious instinct does not find its satiation in religious activity, it searches for what nourishment it can find elsewhere, in politics and business and education and, for that matter, within the confines of our private lives. Under such circumstances, everything becomes contaminated with unrecognized religious urgings and promptings and produces a zealotry whose intensity and danger is disproportionate to its putative cause. In consequence, it is now incumbent upon us all to engage in a most serious discussion about just what is Caesar’s and just what is God’s, understanding that some must be reserved for the latter, lest what is absolute and divine be attributed to the former. Perhaps my own forays into such matters and the response consequently generated—not least within the pages of this volume—might contribute helpfully to that long overdue discussion."
Author of 12 Rules for Life and Beyond Order
"This book is the first systematic analysis, from a Christian perspective, of both Dr. Jordan Peterson's biblical series on YouTube and his bestselling book 12 Rules for Life, with an epilogue examining its sequel, Beyond Order. Written by Christopher Kaczor and Matthew R. Petrusek, both Fellows of the Word on Fire Institute and both teachers at Loyola Marymount University, Jordan Peterson, God, and Christianity: The Search for a Meaningful Life offers readers a wonderful summation of the points of contact between Peterson’s work and the Christian faith. Although their analysis relies heavily on the insights of Augustine, Aquinas, and the rest of the great Catholic tradition, it largely takes the "mere Christianity" of C.S. Lewis as its point of departure. The result, I hope, is a book that will be of interest, not only to Christians hoping to move beyond all the political rancor and better understand the spiritual and social significance of the Jordan Peterson phenomenon, but also for Peterson fans who are, perhaps for the first time in their lives, thinking seriously about what it might mean to be a Christian."
—Bishop Robert Barron
Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles and Founder of Word on Fire
"For the last number of years, Jordan Peterson has been one of our culture’s most influential thinkers. His insights on the Bible, his perspectives on a life well lived, and his words of caution regarding the rise of cultural Marxism have undeniably formed and informed millions of people. In this book, Christopher Kaczor and Matthew R. Petrusek examine and unpack the ways in which Dr. Peterson can be understood from a Christian perspective. Whether a person is a newcomer to Peterson’s thought or well-versed in his work, they will find that Kaczor and Petrusek have not simply rehashed Peterson’s teachings, but rather have provided a helpful commentary and fair critique."
—Fr. Mike Schmitz
Speaker, author, and host of The Bible in a Year