Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The take-aways and our dubious future

American politics nowadays is a spectacle of take-aways: especially resurgent are voices who wish to reduce the common life to a nullity.

Whatever one makes of it, early Christianity articulated a vision of the common life that possessed power to guide and direct Western (and world) civilizations for two millennia. Two hundred years ago, liberalism extracted from this vision of the common life a rationale--a needed one at the time, and still in many ways relevant--to restrict implications of this vision to 'religion'.

This religion over time has become increasingly psychologized, so that now discussing public notions of faith and values lead one to be regarded with suspicion. In the broader political and public discussion, conservatism, which itself is a powerful political philosophy, has been yoked to elements of psychologized religious liberalism. The result has little power to lead us forward together.

It remains to be seen whether someone can articulate a vision of our future that faces our real challenges and leads us to commit to securing a future together. In the current form, liberalism and conservatism are not up to this task.

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