The latest issue of The City features an article by First Thoughts contributor Matthew Milliner: “The Tale of Two Art Worlds.”
Milliner recounts the trajectory of postmodern art criticism, which over recent decades has adopted a progressive political outlook that drives religious themes, questions, and convictions into the wilderness. Yet, as Milliner explains, postmodern theory is on the decline, and new opportunities for theological engagements with the arts are reemerging.
Milliner’s thesis is convincing. The contemporary intellectual atmosphere lacks coherence, and the old multi-cultural pieties, while still reiterated, no longer inspire. Therefore, instead of embattled resistance, Christians in the arts should see that that their old secular harpies have lost confidence and are in retreat.
Interesting. And probably true of a great deal of contemporary Western culture. By my reckoning, the postmodern establishment in the universities has gone stale, victims, perhaps, of their own success. After all, tenure tends to take the edge off the rhetoric of marginality.