02 10 11 - 19:39We stumble onward, arrogant, and then discover what we needed was hiding in our history books:
Phase three is more interesting. As of the late 1990s Habermasâ view of religion is more benign. Religion is now seen as having a useful public function, quite apart from its private consolations. The âcolonizationâ of society by âturbo-capitalismâ (nice termâI donât know if Habermas coined it) has created a cultural crisis and has undermined the solidarity without which democratic rationality cannot function. We are now moving into a âpost-secular societyâ, which can make good use of the âmoral intuitionâ that religion still supplies. Following in the footsteps of Ernst Bloch and other neo-Marxist philo-Godders, Habermas also credits Biblical religion, Judaism and Christianity, for having driven out magical thinking (here there is an echo of Max Weberâs idea of â the disenchantment of the worldâ), and for having laid the foundations of individual autonomy and rights.
Habermas developed these ideas in a number of publications and media interviews. The most interesting source (not discussed by Portier in the article) is a 2007 publication by a Catholic press, The Dialectics of Secularization. It is a conversation between Habermas and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (at the time of this exchange head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, subsequently Pope Benedict XVI). Habermas here gives credit to Christianity for being the purveyor of a universal egalitarianism and for an openness to reason, thus continuing to provide moral substance for democracy. Not surprisingly, Ratzinger agreed. - The American Interest
The only reason Christianity is tolerable at all is that it compiles knowledge. Pagan Animism, Greek Monism, Hindu transcendentalism, and Jewish wisdom all went into it, and then the best minds of Europe hammered it solid for several centuries.
The problem is that as always, the insidious Crowd injects its dogma. In other words, Christianity needs to be interpreted only through those who understand what it is -- like its roots, a way of describing the world in which we live through spiritual symbolism.
I wouldn't mind seeing it patched to include (a) Zen nihilism and (b) Pagan amoral bloodlust and conqueror ethos.