“Can a society really function without a sense of the sacred? In the absence of a shared sense of what we treasure, how can we keep our moral and cultural bearings? That Philip Rieff was a great scourge is plain. But it is not too much of an exaggeration to say that at his best he could also be a sacred messenger.”
–Elizabeth Lasch-Quinn, The New Republic
About the Author
Philip Rieff was born in Chicago in 1922 and received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1954. He taught at Brandeis University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Harvard University. For thirty years, until his retirement in 1992, he was the Benjamin Franklin Professor of Sociology and University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Freud: The Mind of the Moralist
and The Triumph of the Therapeutic
. Rieff died in July 2006.