Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Trouble with Post-Modernists

Zenit interviewed the former Chair of Philosophy at McGill on the influence of post-Enlightenment figues on the Roman Catholic liturgy. In Crisis magazine, some commentary from David Warren (HT: Blosser)

Postmodernists, Robinson suggests, are indiscriminate -- equally at home with everything from the Nicene Creed to hard pornography, from kitsch to high culture. The refusal to reject anything, he says, is what they take to be their escape from what they regard as the harsh, scientific, 'masculine' sort of thinking of modernism. Postmodernists seem to see themselves as living beyond value, beyond right and wrong, beyond truth and falsehood.

This sort of attitude, of course, has dire consequences for freedom, sanity and any serious version of the Catholic faith. Furthermore, Robinson sees postmodernism as the vehicle used by the self-anointed inheritors of the Enlightenment as one more tool to destroy the authority of tradition, thereby wrecking the partnership -- of which Edmund Burke wrote so eloquently -- between the dead, the living and yet unborn -- a partnership that is the only real guarantee of a freedom independent of the whims of sociology departments and high court judges. While admitting his ignorance whether any of this may considered viable politics, Robinson insists that something like Burke's attitude is probably necessary to Catholicism if the Church is to recover the integrity of its liturgical worship.

GKChesterton refers to Tradition as "the democracy of the dead."

The postmodern influence, by the way, is pithily captured in the quote found below:

Europe is mired in ways of thinking that preceded the rise of capitalism, the philosophies of Locke and Mill, and the individualism that is so strong in America.

It has, in other words, a backward political culture.

The cultural snobbishness of the remark is astounding. Europe has many problems, but it does have one thing that the US does not: buildings and roads which are more than 500 years old.

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