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Modernism, Science, and Spirituality

Some of the greatest Modernists, including the painter Georges Rouault, the poet T. S. Eliot, and the composer Igor Stravinsky, found in the language of abstraction, fragmentation, and primitivism ways to reconnect ancient religious truths with the conditions of the modern . . . . Continue Reading »

Preaching As Though We Had Enemies

I am just postmodern enough not to trust “postmodern” as a description of our times, for it privileges the practices and intellectual formations of modernity. Calling this a postmodern age reproduces the modernist assumption that history must be policed by periods. Just as modernity created the . . . . Continue Reading »

How the World Lost Its Story

I It is the whole mission of the church to speak the gospel. As to what sort of thing “the gospel” may be, too many years ago I tried to explain that in a book with the title Story and Promise, and I still regard these two concepts as the best analytical characterization of the church’s . . . . Continue Reading »

A Modern Jeremiad

The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics by christopher lasch w. w. norton, 576 pages, $25 Christopher Lasch has written a “loose, baggy monster” of a hook. He takes on nothing less than “the western human condition,” arguing determinedly and, to my mind, persuasively that the . . . . Continue Reading »

Being Modern

Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity by charles taylor harvard university press, 601 pages, $29.95  To describe Sources of the Self as a learned book would be a little like describing Michael Jordan as a skilled basketball player: accurate, but hardly adequate to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Should Politics Be Sacralized?

Twin Powers: Politics and the Sacred by thomas molnar eerdmans, 147 pages, $9.95 One of the most distinctive features of post-Enlightenment Western culture is its desacralization of the cosmos, the flip side of secularism. Not only has daily life been transformed by science—for example, we no . . . . Continue Reading »

Modernism & Its Consequences

Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Ageby modris ecksteinshoughton mifflin (a peter davison book), 396 pages, $24.95 Modris Eksteins’ disturbing and fascinating book ranges between the Sergei Diaghilev-managed opening night performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring . . . . Continue Reading »

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