Modern vs. Post Modern: Helpful Hints

The extravagant display of hubris by literary studies throughout the West since the mid 1970’s is waning.  Michel Foucault, Jacque Derrida and the host of other manic modernists have left a canon of criticism whose edge is blunted by the simple human desire for a more synoptic approach untarnished by impotent adolescent rage.

Yet I cannot help but to admire a truth often propagated by such clerics of treason.   Namely, the death of the modern age.

What characterized the modern age was Europe.  When Europe extended its power over other continents, cultures and civilizations.  Characterized by white rule, power of the state, the idea of schooling with the primacy on liberal arts, the centrality of family, an age for the dominance of coin money (not fiat paper).  It was the age for the book!  What we can recognize is that the power and prestige of Aristocracy has permanently declined.  Democracy marches on.

Our post modern world is characterized by an age of implosion.  The deification of progress, the cult of absolute equality (egalitarianism), the advance of the welfare state (a slouching Leviathan), the licentiousness of a radicalized autonomous self, the transmutation of moral values, and the love of abstractions.

The clerics of treason who have dominated the wing of liberal studies and craft were not so much wrong in their identification of trends as bereft in advancing an agenda worthy of sacrificial effort to restore the undeclared theology grounding western civilization.

The reductio ad absurdum that characterized so much of post-modernism should not be identified with stoicism.  For the agenda that garnished the sardonic wit remained a challenge that only the Church itself was qualified to meet.  The Brave New World of postmodernism ought to be identified with idealist forbearers.  Except this time its armor is the lethal charge of an embraced technology that comforts man.  What they seek is to breakdown and reconfigure the bonds of human solidarity.  They strike at the heart of man; the family, the conjugal act and marriage.  That challenge has been taken up by the Church.

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About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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