Allegory

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by seagull, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That's not modernism though. As far back as Aquinas and even earlier we have known that it is possible to arrive at the idea of God as well as Ultimate Nature of Things using reason alone, so there's nothing modernist or even Enlightenment-era about that.

    Modernism is a specific cultural movement that took root in the early 20th century, building on prior movements before that. It can be seen in rejection of classical arts replaced by Cubism and other abstract monstrocities... in the rejection of classical architecture replaced by 'modernism' proper but ultimately by 'post-modernism' now with its zig-zag buildings that have no shape or form. A new type of literature called 'modernist' literature such as e.g. Joyce began to replace the classic writers such as Dumas and Conan Doyle.

    At the heart of modernism was a desire for a wholesale rejection of anything that could be termed traditional in European culture, fueled by the fumes of the Industrial Revolution which promised that eternal incrementality would be forever possible, and during every Tomorrow, everything that was good Today could be considered Obsolete.
     
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  2. seagull

    seagull Active Member

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    With all due respect, you have failed to answer the question/point I put in my third paragraph. The one commencing, "now you tell me".

    Since Moslems are creationist and anti-feminist, it is interesting that you find the growth of Islam (which is mainly due to demographic reasons) "sad".
     
  3. Jeff F

    Jeff F Well-Known Member

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    OK, let me see if I can address all of your questions, statements, and debates. As to the Quad, I don't reject or accept it, it doesn't have a place of importance either in the American church, nor in my thinking. The creeds were clear and concise, and as I said the Quad was an attempt to blend in with Rome and somewhat repetitive.

    The CoE is resting on that wobbly 3 legged stool and public opinion correlates into pounds in the collection plate, so I hope they choose biblical truth over appeasing sub-sections of society voting with their finances.

    I also believe the popularity of Islam in your country is much more than demographics, the two worldviews are diametrically opposed to one another, and if the state church has more of a Unitarian mindset, they will flourish.

    Jeff
     
  4. seagull

    seagull Active Member

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    Speaking as a regular CofE churchgoer and lay office holder, I do not recognise the "wobbly three legged stool" you describe.

    So I can take it, with regard to the Quad, that the Nicene Creed, the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion and the Historic Episcopate are not important to you?

    The growth of the Moslem population in England is almost entirely due to immigration from Pakistan and the Middle East. The numbers of Christians, atheists, agnostics, Hindus, etc converting to Islam is statistically insignificant.
     
  5. Alcibiades

    Alcibiades Member

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    Found it! And as I said by private communiqué I quite see the distinction you are making between 'modernism' and 'modernity'.

    However, I think that there is some mixed thinking in the History of Ideas here, particularly with the movement from Neoclassicism to Modernism whilst completely bypassing Romanticism which I suppose was hugely formational, particularly in the arts, on modernist cultural products. It is the Romantics who are raising questions of the relationship between subjectivity and objectivity, the role of the observer in understanding what is observed and such, and I appreciate this is all a bit tangential but it is worth remembering that running counter to expressionism and avant-gardism etc. was a movement still adamant upon realism which was embraced by many communist thinkers, not just within the soviet bloc either, I think particularly of Lukács critique of Joyce's writings in this instance.

    Yet in it's own way Socialist, and in fact Fascist, rejection of 'decadent, bourgeois' modernism did not mean an embrace of what had gone before, each of those ideologies too represent a the flowering of distinctly 'modern' ideas that stem from a rejection of tradition.

    But more importantly, I think that 'modernism' was not an embrace of a whiggish view of history of constant progress, but exactly the opposite; following the appalling horror of WWI, this cosy view of human progress was shattered and actually a lot of modernist art and literature and music show the strong dissonance evident in human affairs as opposed to the false consonance that was seen to be projected by their forerunners.

    The thing is the rejection of 'tradition' as informative upon understanding, really pre-dates Modernism and I suppose has its beginnings in the Reformation. Suddenly the individual conscience before God is pushed forward, understanding the truth of God can be done by reading it for yourself in the Bible, and although I know the Reformers were heavily indebted to much of tradition, I think the rapid emergence of a diverse plurality of movements with different opinions from each other indicates that actually there is a rejection of tradition. At any rate there is this rejection of the religious authority of the Catholic Church. Yet this questioning of authority begins to spread further, to questions of political authority, of Scriptural authority etc.

    Instead there are these attempts to rebuild knowledge from the ground up (Think Descartes), starting from irrefutable principles we build up our knowledge without recourse to any kind of tradition. Which of course later on actually starts an interest in classicism as some sort of glorious unalloyed time before all that Christian myth and superstition got in the way. Voltaire after all is not a scion of the Modernist movement, nor is Hume or British Deism etc. Schleiermacher and liberal Christianity equally are a response to the de-mythologising I suppose, of nature and history and a thoroughly Romantic attempt to ground religious Truth within the realms of Experience, upon which dogmatic metaphysical truths (which Kant had already declared as being unsubstantiable in any way meaningful to the new thinking and mindset and therefore basically irrelevant) could be hung.

    It's not the modernist movement that has affected religious understanding. I think the issue lies much further back in European history. I think you are being a bit unfair on Aquinas, coincidentally, although of course it was common for later Scholastics and thomists to maintain a distinction between 'grace' and 'nature', as far as I comprehend Thomas, he actually maintains that 'natural reason' can only be exercised because it is already the product of grace- in this case the gracious act of a deity who creates order out of disorder. The criteria for truth are only really possible if one begins with a Divine creator, and to understand in terms without reference to that creator somewhere is something that's rather post-Aquinas I think. We can use reason to establish the existence of a 'higher power' because it is the higher power the guarantees that things are reasonable. The idea of Reason alone establishing truths about things without the Sacra Doctrina is I think post-Aquinas and really not part of the pre-modern mindset at all.

    But it is from that idea that Reason can operate with Grace that the real cogs of modernity begin to turn and actually modernism and post-modernism with their gradual chipping away at the certitudes of reason and rehabilitation of the role of 'traditions' in shaping our understanding of ourselves of the world, as I have said elsewhere, really offer the opportunity for religion to find a way back in to serious intellectual discussion. (Coincidentally, living near to London, I happen to quite like more recent architecture- I particularly enjoy the more playful postmodern works- give me the Cheesegrater over the Canary Wharf buildings anyday and both, actually, over any rancid faux-olde bourgeois nostalgia creations...I look scathingly at detached houses in a mock-tudor style in particular).
     
  6. Alcibiades

    Alcibiades Member

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    Sorry, that was really more a stream of consciousness kind of thing than any well thought-out or properly substantiated, I suppose, argument...