It is in Christianity that our arts have developed; it is in Christianity that the laws of Europe have —until recently — been rooted. It is against a background of Christianity that all our thought has significance. An individual European may not believe that the Christian Faith is true, and yet what he says, and makes, and does, will all spring out of his heritage of Christian culture and depend upon that culture for its meaning. Only a Christian culture could have produced a Voltaire or a Nietzsche [both unbelievers]. I do not believe that the culture of Europe could survive the complete disappearance of the Christian Faith. ... If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep to give the wool out of which your new coat will be made. You must pass through many centuries of barbarism. We should not live to see the new culture, nor would our great-great-great-grandchildren: and if we did, not one of us would be happy in it. (T S Eliot, ‘Notes Towards the Definition of Culture’, 1948, in Christianity and Culture, p200)When posting your comments please give a full name and location. Comments without this information may not be posted.
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Why now would be a very bad time for disestablishment
The disestablishment of the Church of England makes very good theological sense. At the same time, I firmly believe that now would be a very bad time for it, since those who advocate it the loudest do so, I suspect, not for the effect it would have on the Church of England but for the effect it would have on our society. And what they intend, I'm sure, would would be very bad: