This essay is the journal editor's introduction to part 3 of an ongoing symposium on quietism. With reference to writings of James Joyce, Francis Picabia, J. M. Coetzee, Charles Taylor, Alasdair MacIntyre, Elaine Pagels, and Karen King—and with extended reference to Jonathan Lear's study of “cultural devastation,” Radical Hope—Jeffrey Perl explores the possibility that the fear of anomie (“anomiphobia”) is misplaced. He argues that, in comparison with the violence and narrowness of any given social order, anomie may well be preferable, and, in any case, may be no more than another name for quietism.

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