Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Initial Take - We Have Made a Pack With the Devil

Guys, please don't leave me dangling out here, Porthos' post, which included 3 good articles, is too rich to leave behind without more comments. There is much good in them-ther articles, yet I am inclined to say that Lilla's essay bothered me the most as it offered much, but squandered everything by staying affixed to an un-grace-filled, dead language of modern secularism, Western culture refusing to look in the only place where meaning can be found.

Here is the article by Mark Lilla who is a professor of the humanities at Columbia University. This essay is adapted from his book “The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics and the Modern West,” which will be published next month.

The following is the last paragraph of the essay:

Our challenge is different. We have made a choice that is at once simpler and harder: we have chosen to limit our politics to protecting individuals from the worst harms they can inflict on one another, to securing fundamental liberties and providing for their basic welfare, while leaving their spiritual destinies in their own hands. We have wagered that it is wiser to beware the forces unleashed by the Bible’s messianic promise than to try exploiting them for the public good. We have chosen to keep our politics unilluminated by divine revelation. All we have is our own lucidity, which we must train on a world where faith still inflames the minds of men.
THE END! That's it? He leaves us to our own lucidity? I think the time has past for that kind of hands-off reporting.

I (Aramis here) can't help but think that as the Gospel, over time, prunes and purifies our 'political theology' centered on God, that granted we will experience sporadic human convulsions, which we will have to repent for, however to try to trivialize and minimize the Gospel in our lives, as we have tried to do with a political philosophy centered on man, leads to the Great Separation and in fact an expulsion of the Gospel. This compartmentalizing of man and God will only produce a more dramatic and violent return to paganism and the primitive sacred.

It seems to me that Lilla has attempted to clarify and in some ways justify the breach that our modern Western social sciences hides and that is our mimetic desire and our only salvation which comes from the True Transcendent Being. Lilla, like most intellectuals represent, quoting Rene Girard,
“A panic-stricken refusal to glance, even furtively, in the only direction where meaning could still be found dominates our intellectual life.”

1 comment:

Athos said...

Grace-filled minds think alike, Aramis. Pax