Against All Reason is a survey of the religious life in western Christendom -- of the various ""life styles"" of religious orders both Catholic and Protestant, of the philosophy which underlies them, of the whys and wherefores and of the destiny of the religious life in the twentieth century. Moorhouse views the situation of the traditional religious life as one that is undergoing radical change, not only in externals but in the concepts -- such as that of obedience -- which has given to that life its particular cast. Where will it all end? Perhaps, he says, at a point at which the religious will be indistinguishable, except for his vows and his communal existence, from the ordinary Christian. He paints an arresting picture of oases of tranquility in a frantic world -- but he never does manage to explain satisfactorily why it is that religious today are deserting that haven by the thousands every year. A perusal of the various Rules carried in the Appendices may give the answer: aggiornamento, in religious houses, has too often taken the form of a great leap forward from the thirteenth into the eighteenth century. Still, the book is a well written, interesting presentation, at the day-to-day level, of a strange and anachronistic world, one pursued ""against all reason."" It is, nonetheless, rather special.