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Category Archives: Modernity

Critiques of Individualism as Will to Power

Critiques of individualism are as legion as critiques of modernity in theological circles. But anymore I’m not even sure what a critique of individualism is supposed to do. Ostensibly authors of books lodging theological critiques of individualism are hoping to somehow reshape society or at least generate some substantive sub-cultures that don’t fall prey to […]

The Church’s Unrest

Jürgen Moltmann’s The Church in the Power of the Spirit continues to be one of the most impressive books I’ve yet encountered from him. In fact, I’ve found Moltmann’s work here quite helpful in light of the recent discussions about the viability of Hauerwas’s ecclesiology that have emerged from Nate Kerr’s book, Christ, History and […]

Why Modernity is Not a Christian Heresy

In the comments of the last post, someone brought up the question of whether or not a good way to describe modernity is as a “Christian heresy.” I don’t think this is a good way to describe modernity. The notion of modernity as heresy is just too easy. It places “Christianity” safely insulated from the […]

Why Modernity is Not the Problem

I’m completely and utterly tired of massive Christian critiques of “modernity.” Its not that I don’t think there something useful to learn from many of these, its just that they tend to go way off the rails. We often hear statements like “modernity is a dead end and the only way forward is the recovery […]

Technology vs. The Body

Wendell Berry seems to never quite get old. He’s right on the money with these observations from a few years back: The danger most immediately to be feared in “technological progress” is the degradation and obsolescence of the body. Implicit in the technological revolution from the beginning has been a new version of an old […]

Welcome to the Age of Sisyphus

It is the pathos of modern philosophy and theology to try to figure out the nature of modernity and late modernity on the basis of which mythological Greek figures things correspond to. Nietzsche’s notion of Dionysus against Apollo (and “the Crucified”) has become a standard way of talking about the matter. Also common is to […]

Rebelling Conformists

I continue to be struck by how prescient J.C. Hoekendjik’s work is in regard to the nature of Christian mission and modern culture. One could even argue that he diagnoses the much joked about condition of the modern Christian hipster culture–which is, of course a sort of social-cultural ricochet of late capitalism in the West.  […]

The Dismemberment of the Church

When did the church begin to fall into its current state of fragmentation, incoherence, dismemberment? Here is Barry Harvey’s answer: “It began when the Christian community exchanged its distinctive way of life as a company of fellow pilgrims garnered from every tribe and language, every people and nation, to serve the nations as a sign […]

Is Christianity a Civilizational Project?

There is an interesting tendency among many theologians today to adopt, at least in broad strokes, one of two declension narratives about the church. The quest for “when things went wrong” is quite a nefarious endeavour, and one that it seems few of us can resist. It is also, despite its dangers and problems, an […]

Nihilism, Tragedy, and Apocalypse

In his superb book, Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo, David Toole argues that there are three possible responses to the horrors that have taken place in modernity: Nihilism, Tragedy, and Apocalypse. He frames his discussion using the rather incredible story of the staging of Samuel Beckett’s play, “Waiting for Godot” which was staged in Sarajevo […]

Modernism and Postmodernism or Early and Late Capitalism?

Amongst theologians and churchmen today talk of “postmodernism” is legion.  Everywhere people are trying to figure out what it is and how to deal with it from a Christian perspective.  This is particularly seen amongst evangelical Christians who certainly spill more ink on the cultural and philosophical issues of modernism and postmodernism than Christians from […]

Christendom and Modernity

One of the trends I notice in contemporary political theology is how theologies tend to do one of two things regarding the cultural formations of Christendom and modernity.  On the one hand, some lump Christendom and modernity together as a sort of mother and child phenomenon that is either largely negative (Stanley Hauerwas, John Howard […]

Reclaiming Christ’s Time

Throughout the history of the Christian church, one of the crucial ways in which the church has fostered is particular ethos and distinctive identity has been through the rhythms and celebrations of a particular calendar.  The Christian liturgical year embodies a way of ordering time which is distinctively shaped by the Christian narrative.  The seasons […]

The Pernicious Domination of Choice

In various discussions of ecumenism and ecclesiology one of the elements that often comes up is the issue of the church’s givenness, or non-givenness.  One of the standard lines is that the Roman church is a structure that is greater than the sum of its parts, it is a “given”, whereas Protestant churches are self-made […]

Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age: The Fundamental Flaw

In A Secular Age, Charles Taylor offers an incredibly significant and erudite analysis of the nature and history of secularization in the modern west.  However, his book has one fundamental flaw.  That ridicuously annoying dust jacket! To all publishers everywhere: Do not, repeat DO NOT make dust jackets which only cover half of the book.  […]

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