The Role of Tradition

Bad Escape PlanI have read many critiques of the modern world and I find that in almost every case I agree with the diagnosis but not the prescription. It is not hard to find fault with the modern West, it is much harder to produce a coherent plan for its improvement. I strongly suspect that the reason for this is that all such plans are in fact symptoms of the underlying problem. It is typical of modernity to try to fix a social problem by analysing its component parts then proposing new ways of rearranging them. As my friend said to the beggar, “Change comes from within.”

Anyway, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, gave what I consider to be a particularly good critique of the modern Western state in the 2002 Richard Dimbleby Lecture.

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Published in: on June 17, 2007 at 12:00 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. I really rather liked the last bit. – Apotropos.”This presents religious traditions with enormous opportunities – and enormous responsibilities. Because we know that religious involvement in public life has not always been benign; but those of us who have religious faith have learned something of how to engage with the social orders of the modern world; and it is up to us to articulate with as much energy and imagination as we can our understanding of that larger story without which the most fundamental and challenging human questions won’t even get asked, let alone answered.”

  2. Thanks – I printed the lecture and put in my reading pile, towards the top. Here is a post I wrote on a more recent lecture by Abp. Rowan.


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