a man who wanted to turn the whole world into a factory

Comments about secular modernity, Karl Marx, John Ruskin, classical liberalism, capitalism and nationalism from David Bentley Hart (in conversation with Jason Micheli) on Episode 230 of the Crackers and Grape Juice Podcast: David Bentley Hart— Once Upon a Time. This is my own transcription (used with permission but noting that all errors are my own): The wordContinue reading “a man who wanted to turn the whole world into a factory”

we distant children of the pagans would not be able to believe in any of these things

Modernity is what comes …when Christianity has been displaced from the center of a culture and deprived of any power explicitly to shape laws and customs, and has ceased to be regarded as the source of a society’s highest values or of a government’s legitimacy, and has ceased even to hold preeminent sway over aContinue reading “we distant children of the pagans would not be able to believe in any of these things”

all these beliefs rest securely upon a more fundamental and radical faith in the nothing

David Bentley Hart’s Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies (2009) lakes up a theme that he’s gone much farther with in recent articles: Those of us who now, in the latter days of modernity, are truest to the wisdom and ethos of our age place ourselves not at the disposal of God,Continue reading “all these beliefs rest securely upon a more fundamental and radical faith in the nothing”

this connection between the universal and the parochial

In Landmarks, Robert Macfarlane has much to offer regarding the connectedness of place and language. Patrick Kavanagh’s insight that the local parish is our only access point to Aristotelian universals is profound (see last excerpt in this post). To share a frustration, Macfarlane’s claims often exaggerate the powers of language alone to tie our heartsContinue reading “this connection between the universal and the parochial”

the Good God will of course take into account the age and conditions in which we live

From With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man by Saint Paisios the Athonite: Question: Geronda, why does St. Cyril of Jerusalem say that the Martyrs of the last days will surpass all Martyrs? Answer: Because in the old times we had men of great stature; our present age is lacking in examples—and I am speakingContinue reading “the Good God will of course take into account the age and conditions in which we live”

strange vacuum covered by this truly demonic word

Today no one, except the peculiar and esoteric race of men called “liturgiologists,” is interested in what was in the past a major preoccupation for Christians: the feasts and the seasons, the cycles of prayer, a very real concern about the “kairos“–the time of liturgical celebration. Not only the average layman, even the theologian seemsContinue reading “strange vacuum covered by this truly demonic word”

our world would be more silent if it were more strenuous

It is customary to complain of the bustle and strenuousness of our epoch. But in truth the chief mark of our epoch is a profound laziness and fatigue; and the fact is that the real laziness is the cause of the apparent bustle. Take one quite external case; the streets are noisy with taxicabs andContinue reading “our world would be more silent if it were more strenuous”

an offering for the Dryads

C.S. Lewis in “Is Theism Important? A Reply” from the Socratic Digest (1952): When grave persons express their fear that England is relapsing into Paganism, I am tempted to reply, “Would that she were.” For I do not think it at all likely that we shall ever see Parliament opened by the slaughtering of a garlanded whiteContinue reading “an offering for the Dryads”