Like a Roaring Lion


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By Orestes Brownson | Introduction and Notes by Gerald J. Russello

Like a Roaring Lion (first published in 1854 as The Spirit-Rapper: An Autobiography) is an intellectual tour de force and a spiritual odyssey through the religious kaleidoscope of nineteenth-century America. Orestes Brownson witnessed firsthand the obsession of his age with spiritualism and the occult, and in Like a Roaring Lion he undertakes the daunting task of illustrating its temptations and dangers. Today, no less than in the 1850s, does the spirit of the age and the lord of this world still whisper that we humans can be as gods.

 The denial of all demonic influence and invasion, and the attempt to explain all the so-called Satanic phenomena on natural principles…generates a skeptical turn of mind, and the rationalism resorted to will in the end be turned against the supernatural facts of religion.

Orestes Brownson (1803–1876) was one of the most important American writers of the nineteenth century. Deeply engaged with the philosophical and theological issues of his day, he became a Catholic in 1844. Brownson wrote works of history, philosophy, and political theory, including The American Republic and his autobiography, The Convert.

Gerald J. Russello is author of The Postmodern Imagination of Russell Kirk and has edited two volumes of work by Christopher Dawson. He is editor of The University Bookman (

Paperback: 273pp.

ISBN: 978-1944418397