Well-known American writer and journalist Rod Dreher has fallen in love with middle Europe. For two years he has been staying at the Danube Institute in Budapest as a visiting researcher. During this time, he delightedly visits Slovakia and surrounding countries. His works aim at the interactions among religion, culture, and politics. In his book “Do not live by lies”, he analyses the phenomena, which he calls “soft totalitarianism”. He sees the solution in the stories of Christian anti-communist dissidents from middle European countries. He especially focuses on the story of the Slovakian underground church and its members Kolakovič, Krčméry, Jukl, or Mikloško. In the examples from Slovakia, Czech Republic Poland, and Hungary the hope for Western civilization. He will discuss his fascination and inspiration which he imbibes from middle Europe.
Rod Dreher is an author and journalist whose best-selling books have been translated into 12 languages. He is a leading commentator on the relationship between Christianity and public life. He is a senior editor at The American Conservative, where he writes a popular blog about religion, culture, and politics, and he publishes often in other journals. In 2017, his best-selling book "The Benedict Option" was described by The New York Times as "the most important religious book of the decade." In 2019, his book "Live Not By Lies," a warning about what he regards as the coming soft totalitarianism, became another bestseller in the United States. He dedicated the book to the memory of Father Tomislav Kolakovic, the founder of the Slovak underground church. He is an Orthodox Christian who lives with his wife and children in Louisiana.
He is currently an internal PhD student at Charles University in Prague. His research focuses on the history of Catholic political thought in the 20th century. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Heidelberg and Cambridge and a master's degree in history from Oxford. He graduated from the Kolegium Antona Neuwirtha and collaborates with the Ladislav Hanus Fellowship, where he leads academic seminars and co-organizes the Bratislava Hanus Days Festival. In recent years, he has worked as a political advisor in the National Council of the Slovak Republic and at the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic