Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cult and Culture

Dr. Veith over at Cranach allowed me the use of this poignant reflection. Thank you Dr. Veith.

"I’ve been at the CIRCE conference in Houston, which offered not only tips for classical education but, what is supremely classical, actual content. I learned some things that I’ll be posting on this blog.

For example, we had several presentations that drew on Russell Kirk, arguably the father of modern conservatism. One of his points was that the root of “culture” is “cult”; that is, the foundation of every culture is a religion with its distinct way of worship. (In cultures that reject religion, an ideology takes its place, as happened with Communism.)

That’s a profound point in itself, but then it made me wonder: I have always complained about Christians who conform to today’s culture with all its woes. But could it be that the problems in the church came first, creating our cultural woes? Did the secular liberalism of the European state churches produce the secular liberalism of modern Europe? Did the subjectivism of Christianity (which certainly began in the 19th century) produce the subjectivism of contemporary culture?

If so, reforming culture would simply be a matter of the church getting its act together."

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