Monday, September 14, 2009

on modernity

"w/ mechanistic and scientific views of the universe gaining hegemony & analytical minds swearing unyielding antipathy toward any invincible mystery that couldn't be broken down by controllable parts, nation-states and their cultures rose above ecclesiastical influence."

Wow what a sentence. I could never comprise that.

I read it in "A New Kind of Christian"by Brian D McLaren. This guy breaks down the evolution of the human mindset from Medieval times to tomorrow. He focuses primarily on Modernism and describes what it became and how it affects both secular culture and christians. He claims that we are now being thwarted out of modernism and into a new age that is now in its infancy and discusses how Christianity itself is adjusting.

You know, I wonder if the protestant reformation kinda saved the church. Some say that it is the worst thing that has ever happened to the church and that it fractioned our establishment and fractured the truth. While part of that statement may be true, it also may have saved it from dying out with feudalism. The rediscovery of science and philosophy (along with the help of the printing press to spread ideas) prompted individual analysis- "the universe is an intelligible machine and science the master screwdriver to take it apart via analysis." Humans got a little prideful in their ability to figure out everything (refer back to initial quote.) and many began to see religion as an old explanation for the unknown and turned from the church- evident in Western Europe's empty cathedrals. Humans began a conquest of knowledge and explanations that continued excitedly through Freud and Darwin. In the 1940s, analyzers realized that every answer evoked a new question and that some age-old questions remained unanswerable. We are still wading in the Renaissance's wake; best sellers argue old concepts instead of making fresh strides- ex: Dawkins. Back to my initial statement concerning the protestant church. Christians do not go untouched by cultural changes. We don't today and we didn't in 1485. Without this feeling of a personal freedom to analyze the existence and compositions and flaws of organizations like feudalism and the roman catholic church, people like Martin Luther may not have thought to criticize. Had the church refused to transition with society, then those empty cathedrals may be all we'd have to show for christianity. Even Puritans were Calvinists- a reformation group. And most other groups who moved to America were individualized marketeers. These are just some thoughts. I have to eat and head to Josiah's to watch a patriots game.

No comments: