Roger Scruton: “[High culture] is the attempt of a civilization to become conscious of its own meaning.”
I like this definition, though I think “individual” might be substituted for “civilization.” But individuals only create culture through the cooperation of others, so.
That Matthew Rose piece from the new, orange print issue of “First Things” (mostly paywalled
) is quite good on the origins of a “God is Dead” liberal Christianity without Christ. He presents a thoughtful, convincing exegesis of the intellectual movement. One intriguing idea: Being a Christian requires us to embody moral character, which requires us to be scrupulously honest, which compels us to admit that the truth-claims of orthodox Christianity are not convincing.
But he trails off quickly after he claims that this post-God liberal Christianity is embodied in contemporary American culture (i.e., liberal Protestantism has withered as a viable religion but flourished as a cultural pseudo-religious movement for Rainbow Coalition values of equality, justice, freedom, tolerance, etc). He makes the claim, and it seems right; I sort of believe him. But he doesn’t make much of a historical or theological or sociological case for it.
And he doesn’t even begin to make a case against the “God is dead” theology as such. That might properly be a distinct project. But I wonder whether he hasn’t inadvertently baited some quavering semi-believers, myself included, to be taken in by post-Christian Christianity.
A novel narrated in free indirect discourse, alternating between a white cop and black activist and teacher in Boston in the 1980s. The cop is racist but his racism is not pure evil (Kant) but rather a perversion of goods (e.g., family, community) which the black woman in fact epitomizes.