Sunday, January 08, 2006
A serious house on serious earth
It is such a tragedy that in the modern West Christianity is now most alive in its most shallow, primitive forms. Today's Christian fundamentalism is nothing but the mirror image of the 19th Century positivist science - it has no mystery, no breadth, no deep understanding of the tragic human condition - it is totally dominated by pure materialism. I was very lucky to have experienced in my Southern Ostrobothnian childhood a living, non-fundamentalist Christianity in the warm cadences and traditions of Finnish pietism. The Christian calendar was a living, meaningful way to measure the year. You felt living in a place with a natural context, the past and the present were fused together. The Twelth Night was not a random holiday from work and consuming but a day with its own precise meaning and traditions. I do feel a gigantic emptiness in the West where Christianity used to be - of course, I would not want the Church dominance back, but I would think that all world views must at heart be spiritual, mystical. To be significant. Natural science without this dimension would be totally empty of meaning. What we have now left are the Christian traditions of morality and ethics as translated into the secular world by Enlightenment liberalism. But Enlightenment itself is quickly being discarded from being in the way of the global market and its folk religion, the entertainment industry. We have no beliefs left.