March 1, 2002

I’m finally close to finishing

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I’m finally close to finishing Schmemann’s For the Life of the World, which I’ve been enjoying (judiciously, of course). Here’s his very helpful analysis of secularism:

Secularism, I submit, is above all a negation of worship. I stress: — not of God’s existence, not of some kind of transcendence and therefore of some kind of religion. If secularism in theological terms is a heresy, it is primarily a heresy about man. It is the negation of man as a worshiping being, as homo adorans: the one for whom worship is the essential act which both “posits” his humanity and fulfills it. It is the rejection as ontologically and epistemologically “decisive,” of the words which “always, everywhere and for all” were the true “epiphany” of man’s relation to God, to the world and to himself: “It is meet and right to sing of Thee, to bless Thee, to praise Thee, to give thanks to Thee, and to worship Thee in every place of Thy dominion….”

His subsequent discussion of secularism presents it as the result of the medieval theologians’ radical disconnection of the “symbolic” from the “real,” so that the two were set in opposition to each other, a move which led to the division of life into the “sacred” and the “profane.”

Posted by John Barach @ 12:38 am | Discuss (0)

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