24 November 2008

How to Engage Culture When There Is No Culture to Engage

Prof. Anthony Esolen of Providence College wrote an insightful essay "The Last Embers of the Fire" which can be found over at Inside Catholic. It deals with the struggle to "engage culture" when culture as properly understand does not exist.

We Catholics are commonly urged to "engage the culture"; not to flee for monasteries of our own making, but to work within the institutions of mass media, mass education, mass marketing, and mass entertainment to advance the banners of Christ, our King.

I do not wish to criticize those who toil at that thankless task. Nor will I suggest that their work will be futile; no true service of the Lord can be without fruit. But I do believe we have mistaken the signs of the times. We seek to engage a culture, when there is no culture to engage. Our task is rather to revive the memory of what a culture is.

One of my goals with this blog is renewing the ideal of authentic Christian chivalry which likewise depends on a renewal of the Christian culture which gave birth to it during the Middle Ages. As challenging as this is we can and must look to the Catholic Church to reform our culture and society. Pope Benedict understands this and has begun a process of reform in the Church that will allow it to transform culture rather than be transformed by it as has happened over the past 40 years.

A wonderful book on the topic of culture is the Leisure, the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper. In our fast paced world we have forgotten how to relax, to find leisure where we can reflect and contemplate God's goodness.

No comments:


This blog and the opinions are all my own and in no way imply the endorsement from any organization. Nor does a recommendation of another blog or web site imply my agreement or endorsement of everything found on their site.