This book, originally published by Ignatius Press (with ecclesiastical approval) is available in print once again from Roman Catholic books. John Senior, an eminent great books scholar and Catholic writer of the recent past, here addresses what Christian Culture is, why it has nearly disappeared (particularly in America today) and what is required to bring it back. According to Professor Senior, society's removal from nature and manual labor, and particularly our heavy dependence on technology, have removed man from the most basic processes of learning and understanding that God planned for man to acquire by his natural surroundings. Humanistic philosophies are rooted in an emphasis on the greatness of man and his "creations" (i.e. technology) rather than glorying in God's Creation. According to Mr. Senior, a truly Christian culture requires a return to a basic understanding of the "stuff of life" by a far lessened and more controlled use of technology and other changes such as a return to the beauty and truth of the liturgy as it was celebrated in the past (the author respectfully argues that the traditional Latin Mass is a superior alternative to the Novus Ordo as it has commonly been implemented in the U.S. since Vatican II).
Even if you find his contempt for modern technology somewhat extreme, I would recommend reading his ideas in order to make yourself aware of how significantly our lives are impacted by technology today. Although it's not often talked about, I think it's vitally important for parents to understand that the problems with television for children go beyond simple concerns with regard to morally offensive content. People were not designed to sit in front of a box (be it a computer or a television). Although movies and computer games can enhance a child's education, they should be used in moderation or avoided. (You may also be interested in following this link in order to read Pope John Paul II's address on Television and the Media.
The author also addresses, in some detail, certain educational philosophies from a Catholic perspective. In particular, parents may find interesting a discussion of what literature is appropriate for Catholic children to read. I was particularly fascinated by his discussions of St. Benedict and traditional monastic life. I've always had a certain admiration for and interest in the idea of cloistered life (and even more so since reading Saint Benedict by Mary Fabyan Windeatt). I would like in some way to imitate the order, the motto of oro et laboro (I pray and I work) and the genuine sense of community within my own family. But I digress...
His remedy, involving a certain amount of good old-fashioned common sense and a return to a simpler life, is crowned by a rather splendid explanation of the necessary and central role of a return to a culture of Mary, the Mother of God and a strong devotion to her. He explains how this would be in imitation of the devotion of those simple people of the Middle Ages who spent their lives working to honor God through his Blessed Mother with beautiful cathedrals and artwork. The author contrasts this with the modern humanistic focus (if not "worship") of man-made objects (technology) which often reach no higher than utility and a glorification of what man can do.
I found this book surprisingly readable and delightfully filled with truth. Although parts of the book have a somewhat pessimistic flavor (and I don't agree with absolutely everything in the book), this is always tempered with a proper sense of hope and trust in God's providence. As a point of interest, John Senior's philosophies were apparently quite influential in the development of two of today's Catholic homeschool programs - Kolbe Academy and the Angelicum Academy.