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Publisher's Summary

Modern culture is obsessed with identity.

Since the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision in 2015, sexual identity has dominated both public discourse and cultural trends — yet no historical phenomenon is its own cause. From Augustine to Marx, various views and perspectives have contributed to the modern understanding of the self.

In this timely audiobook, Carl Trueman analyzes the development of the sexual revolution as a symptom — rather than the cause — of the human search for identity. Trueman surveys the past, brings clarity to the present, and gives guidance for the future as Christians navigate the culture in humanity’s ever-changing quest for identity.

©2020 Carl R. Trueman (P)2020 Crossway
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self

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Best book I read in 2021 by far

I’ve read rather broadly in 2021 on critical theory, social philosophy and neo postmodernism. Two books stood out from the pack…. Critical theories by Pluckrose and this one. The former provided tremendous detail without necessarily giving a tenable path forward. This one was far better at the application portion even with its own statement of trying not to swing to broadly. I think this work will be a critical standard for many and lead to great scholarship to avoid the coming shipwreck of western culture.

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Insightful, accessible analysis

This work’s content carries relevant and wide-reaching explanatory power. I would commend it to Christians who want to not only understand the presuppositions of their neighbors but even the Christians’ own impulses and values.

I routinely encounter the ideas discussed here, not only in various public media but in my interaction with my peers. I expect this exposition of ideological genealogy will better prepare me to engage my friends in meaningful discussion of ethics and the premises that shape our own sensibilities about them. Already the book is informing how I approach such conversations.

Dr. Trueman’s tone is generally one of a descriptive history, rather than an evaluative critique. Now, he by no means underemphasizes the sweeping emotional significance of his subject matter, but it would be hard to maintain that his relatively dispassionate presentation is polarizing or that it obscures his reasoning.

The work is moderately accessible. Its style is more erudite and academic than I am accustomed to reading since my school days. To follow along you may occasionally wish you had a dictionary at hand. But by no means do you need a specialized degree. Some of Dr. Trueman’s sources would indeed be incomprehensible to most, but Dr. Trueman’s goal is to express those ideas in a manner accessible to the common woman or man, and I believe his efforts have succeeded. In my case, I had a strong high school education and a STEM degree at a liberal arts college; the degree to which this book challenged my vocabulary was perfect. Not only am I happy for the intellectual exercise, I recognize that such a philosophical work would lose depth and precision were it to fully restrict itself to my shallow everyday English.

The vocal performance is clear and professional, engaging and easy to listen to. Dr. Trueman’s speaking voice is more than adequate for narrating his own book.

I would have liked to have taken a class from Dr. Trueman. Like this book, the education would be well worth the investment.

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Heady work for modern times

This is a thorough and well considered examination of the forces at play in our society now and the sources of the critical features of historical philosophy that make seemingly impossible assumptions possible.

This is not a message of faith, it is a warning that the realms of faith are under assault from quarters we would not guess, from the past and the weakness that makes us human.

This is not a suicide note, but a warning that we must renew and reaffirm our faith in an unchanging God, a pivot on which the future turns

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Excellent analysis of our current society

Carl Trueman does an excellent job In communicating why our society is in conflict today with long held values. It was not an overnight event but rather the changing morals and attitudes from the Romantic period long ago that began our drift from a Christian foundation to where we are today. It is not an easy listen but a deeply thoughtful one. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand why we are where we are today culturally and spiritually.

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eye opening

this book was informative, fascinating and somewhat terrifying all at the same time. while the author clearly has particular point of view on our current culture it is also clear that the aim of this book is primarily historical and philosophical. it is worth reading for anyone involved in thinking about transgenderism and what it means for our culture

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A thorough exploration of the philosophy underpinning modern society

Possibly the most important book in a generation. By exploring how the modern “social imaginary” has slowly evolved, this book presents a compelling argument to how society has reached the point we’re at. Beyond the narrative itself, Trueman’s work further expanded my understanding of philosophy. This book isn’t some dogmatic essay, rather each of the ideas leading to the “modern self” are portrayed in a fair light, and in many cases those ideas are presented in the own words of the individuals who first formulated or observed them.

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Fantastic

Incredibly insightful very deep thought-provoking and an important read for anyone trying to understand the world today

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In praise of Trueman’s Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self

He nails it. Prepare for incoming persecution. Got just a bit drowning toward the end, but in general: believe the hype abt this one.

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A great listen!

Certainly the deepest book I’ve gone through on evaluating what brought us to where we are now, and how it can be viewed socially, sexually, politically and ethically as a downward curve. Caused me to reread some old philosophers as well as new. Although deep in the history and evaluation, a little shallow in the modern day application but hopefully stimulating more thought and action.

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Essential Listening for the Christian

This book is essential for any Christian living in our modern day that wants to understand how the craziness that has become accepted as normal in our society has come to be.

That being said, this is a very long book and somewhat academically oriented. So if that's not your sort of thing you may want to opt for Carl Truman's shorter version of this same book.

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  • Ms H-J
  • 06-15-22

Mind Blown

The book charts the rise of the modern self and expressive individualism. I've been there, and done that, right through to a gender studies course at university and LGBTQ activism (I was involved in the days before the IA and +). This book resonates deeply as being true regarding the sentiment and motivation (both good and bad) such things represent.

I've moved on from that. Aside from interesting discussion about the role Christianity and the church can play, this book has given me a good framework and model from which to critique this ideology and will, I hope, enable me to take more effective action and form a more robust defensive outlook.

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  • Tellef A. Granaas
  • 06-14-22

Highly valuable

I’m grateful for this book. Trueman draws the thought lines that led us to where we have arrived in our day and age.

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  • Mr M Bennett
  • 05-26-22

A thoroughly engaging book from start to finish

This amazing book was engaging, educational and enlightening. Well framed and thought through argumentation

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  • Patrick Powell
  • 05-25-22

Brave, lucid and needed.

Coherent. Worth another listen, at least. Ordered the book to study in detail. Recommended. If only to understand the origins of current identity politics, and the principles that religion must embrace in what has become a corrosive, identity driven context.

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  • Daniel D
  • 05-20-22

Brilliant

Prophetic, well-written, balanced, and dispassionate. A brilliant book. And Trueman delivers the audiobook expertly.

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  • MT
  • 05-02-22

A Most Magnificent Prolegomenon

If an average person were to run a marathon with a runner, they may for a few minutes have a false sense of confidence that they can keep up. Pretty soon they will realise that they are out of steam and the runner was merely warming up. Such was the case with this book. Stretched to my capacity, Trueman was merely warming up. However, it’s impossible not to take something out of this work.

Trueman achieves his aim of creating a prolegomenon.

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  • Lydia
  • 03-11-22

Universal must read

Incredible read. Needs to be part of every curriculum in high school, primary and university. Insightful and jaw dropping information, thought provoking and dissecting the current season of thinking. Please read the book twice maybe thrice

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  • Steven Davis
  • 12-10-21

Answered so so many of my questions…

I am so grateful for this contribution by Carl R Trueman to the cultural self and ‘how it travelled to be here in the 21st Century’. There was great value not only in the substance of content which demonstrated the author’s numerous disciplines but also his personal reading of the book as he expressed clearly what he wanted us to know and take away. Carl Trueman has answered many questions that I have asked over the years. I want to also encourage Professor Trueman in the following…an astute comment by a mentor of mine with which I heartily agree (but I also acknowledge this was not his stated intention in the volume). ”My only disappointment was that the accuracy of his assessment needs to be matched with an equally exceptional delineation of the gospel and how it meets the modern self. I certainly don’t think that any prescriptions outside of Christ are achieving much.” Thank you Carl Trueman.