Tag Archives: consumerism

Perfect Consumers

consuming

David Bentley Hart on the happy nihilism behind our idea of freedom:

“We live in an age whose chief value has been determined, by overwhelming consensus, to be the inviolable liberty of personal volition: the right to decide for ourselves what we shall believe, want, need, own, or serve. The ‘will’, we habitually assume, is sovereign to the degree that it is obedient to nothing else, and is free to the degree that it is truly spontaneous and constrained by nothing greater than itself. This, for many of us, is the highest good imaginable. And a society guided by such beliefs must, at least implicitly, embrace and subtly advocate a very particular moral metaphysics — that is, the non-existence of any transcendent standard of ‘The Good’ that has the power or the right to order our desires toward a higher end. Continue reading

The Sentinels Of An Epoch

Kirche San Romerio

As an American who’s used to seeing dilapidated ‘historic sites’ no older than four hundred years old, I dream of visiting the numerous thousand-plus year old sites of Europe still standing and often functioning in the capacity for which they were built.  And so many of Europe’s historic sites are cathedrals, parish churches, and monasteries.  A quick image search of historic churches of Europe will yield an amazing amount of breathtaking examples of Celtic/English, Frankish/Norman, Greek, Italian, Kievan/Russian, Kartvelian, and Scandinavian Christian architecture, some dating from the fourth century.  At the center of nearly every ancient or medieval town across Europe stands one of these jewels.  A note on a compilation of historic European churches by the Huffington Post quipped, “Churches seem to be nearly as abundant in Europe as drugstores are in Manhattan.”  A comparison like that once again highlights the obvious difference in the scenery of America and Europe. Continue reading