Frank Bruni, author of "The Age of Grievance," with the Rev. Phil Jackson
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni will join the Rev. Phil Jackson for the next Trinity Talks on May 30 at St. Paul's Chapel.

The Dangerous Age of Grievance

Author Frank Bruni and the Rev. Phil Jackson on how to bridge our great divides

These days, it can feel as if American society is impossibly, irrevocably fractured.   

A heated and consequential election is fast approaching. Political disagreements are causing painful fissures within families. Wealth inequality is exploding. Anger is metastasizing on social media. Victimhood is in vogue. People are quick to claim injury and even quicker to cast blame.  

How do we move forward when the threads that bind Americans together seem to be coming apart?

On May 30, at our final Trinity Talks event of the season, best-selling author and New York Times columnist Frank Bruni will join Trinity’s Rector, the Rev. Phillip Jackson, to discuss Bruni’s powerful new book, The Age of Grievance, which examines the ways in which the United States was founded and shaped in grievance — and how humility, community, and faith in one another might help us find a way past the anger. 

The conversation will take place in a location that was witness to these founding grievances: George Washington came to St. Paul’s Chapel to pray just after he was inaugurated as the country’s first president, asking for “temperate consultations, and wise measures on which the success of this government must depend.” 

In his book, Bruni notes that the ability to revisit our assumptions about ourselves and about the person on the other side of the aisle is critical to resolving difference. “While grievance reduces the people with whom we disagree to caricature, humility acknowledges that they're every bit as complex as we are,” he writes.  

Tolerance shares DNA with respect. It recognizes that other people have rights and worth even when we disagree vehemently with them.

“People have a right to disagree, to live differently, to talk differently . . . That doesn’t mean a surrender or even compromise of principles; a person can hold on to those while practicing tolerance, which has fallen out of fashion, supplanted by grievance. But tolerance shares DNA with respect. It recognizes that other people have rights and worth even when we disagree vehemently with them.”  

For the Rev. Jackson, healing the divisions in our society starts with following Jesus’s countercultural command to love our enemies. “Jesus challenges us to recognize the essential human dignity of every single person we meet,” Fr. Phil said in a recent sermon. “He calls us to use our Christian courage as a tool against the divisions that plague our world. He reminds us we’re all made in the image of God; so when you can’t see eye to eye with your neighbors — or your enemies, for that matter — don't give into fear. Resist contributing to the outrage. Christians are called to do better, to be better. "  

Please join us May 30th for this compelling discussion about how the U.S. got here and what it will take to break the hold of our grudges. Bruni’s book will be offered for sale, and he will be signing copies. 

Reserve a spot. 

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