19 December 2015

Modernity's Ignorance & Presentism


Much has been (and yet will be) posted on this blog about the absolute arrogance and narcissism of moderns, especially many of those presently occupying academia. (See here and here, for some stellar examples.)

So I recently came across a great piece on this same topic at The Imaginative Conservative. I found this passage particularly intriguing:
In order to avoid the chronological snobbery that presumes the superiority of the present over the past and which causes this lack of proportion and focus, historians must see history through the eyes of the past, not the present. [Which they are failing to do in epic fashion.] They must put themselves into the minds and hearts of the protagonists they are studying; and to do this adequately they must have knowledge of philosophy and theology in order to understand their own academic discipline and in order to remain disciplined in their study of it. An ignorance of philosophy and theology means an ignorance of history.
But "ignorance" of theology is just part of the problem. One must have understanding of theology or, in other words, an understanding of the spiritual. Herein lies the problem with a number of academic historians who would scoff at such a notion. But, as this writer further notes, "History is, therefore, best studied through the prism of theology, a fact that has effectively made the study of history impossible in the post-theological modern academy." And adding, "Modernity’s ignorance is indeed a great tragedy, but its ignorance of its ignorance is a greater if darker comedy . . ."

And the piece closes with this gem: 
Yet, although the hollow men are lost—and there are none so lost as those who do not know that they are lost—there is no reason for future generations to follow them into the wilderness of the Waste Land of just deserts that they are building for themselves. The task for those of us who have not succumbed to the malaise of modernity is to ensure that future generations have the gift of a real and true knowledge of the humanities. As Chesterton said, and it is right that the last word is his: “Teach, to the young, men’s enduring truths, and let the learned amuse themselves with their passing errors.” ~ G. K. Chesterton
More here. And I have no doubt that "the learned" will continue to amuse themselves.

1 comment:

ropelight said...

It's not a difficult concept to grasp, yet the learned men persist in advancing their systemic perversions of history - so hot do collectivist political passions burn hollow men wittingly abandon intellectual integrity and succumb to base nostrums, swear allegiance to false gods, and seek to lead a children's crusade against the very hands which feed, clothe, and pay them.

And, all in the pursuit of a self-aggrandizing delusional creed long outworn.