Wednesday 24 August 2016

Nostalgic aestheticism

Fred Lawrence calls Nietzsche's critique of modernity a postmodern propaedeutic for a recovery of the sacred that transcends nostalgic aestheticism. [Lawrence, "Lonergan, the Integral Postmodern? Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies 18/2 (2000) 97.] Nostalgic aestheticism: there is a danger that religion / faith can get stuck at this kind of thing. Though, as Cardinal Martini points out, the aesthetic can also be one of the ways by which we go to God, or that God draws us to himself. And that is very familiar: so often, one's appreciation of a scriptural text is more aesthetic than really religious. And perhaps even one's being touched by a religious service or a moment of prayer. The truly religious, I guess, begins when one is touched and called into question, and when one gives in to grace and responds to the call. So Kierkegaard distinguished the aesthetic dilettante from the moral and then the religious person.... Not exactly the same thing, but something there all the same. 

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