The False Gospel of Expressive Individualism

David Qaoud There’s a newish gospel in town. Or at least some make it out to be. Have you heard of it? It’s called expressive individualism. What is Expressive Individualism? To be sure, expressive individualism has been around for a while. But it seems to be more popular today than ever before. Borrowing from the work of Charles Taylor, James K.A. Smith speaks about expressive individualism when he writes, “Emerging from the Romantic expressionism of the late eighteenth century, it is an understanding ‘that each one of us has his/her own way of realizing our humanity,’ and that we are called to live that out (‘express’ it) rather than conform to modes imposed by others (especially institutions).” To say it another way, expressive individualism believes that each and every single person has the right to feel, believe, and think about themselves however they so choose. But even more, after you discover yourself (if you like the phrase), you’re free to express yourself. In

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