Reading this article in The Wilson Quarterly, America: Land of Loners?, has inspired me to return to a topic I took up early last year in my personal blog, Notes from a Byzantine-Rite Calvinist. That topic is friendship, something that appears to have eroded in our highly mobile, post-industrial societies. Many observers have written on friendship in the past, including Aristotle’s reflections on it in books VIII and IX of the Nicomachean Ethics. In the Bible we read of the deep bond of friendship between David and Jonathan, which endured in spite of the hostility of the latter’s father, King Saul. Abraham demonstrates that it is possible to be a friend even to God.
In the coming weeks I will be posting occasionally on the topic of friendship, beginning in the very near future. I am increasingly persuaded that in our society the decline of genuine friendship, as opposed to mere acquaintance or the utterly meaningless facebook friendship, is adversely affecting the larger web of human relationships, including marriage, family and the variety of communities of which we are part. Stay tuned.