Upcoming Events
  • Fri
    04
    Dec
    2020

    Join us for a Christian Heritage zoom webinar

    +++

    'A New Humanity':

    Abolition or Absolution?

     

    with Andrew Fellows

    on

    Friday, December 4th at 7:30pm GMT (2:30pm EST)

     

    Part 8 of 8 in our 'Humanity Matters: Re-enchanting Homo Sapiens' series of webinars.

     

    If humans are in need of improvement how can this be accomplished? Should we aim to become 'posthuman' by merging with the machine, or is there a better path to our renewal?

     

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November 2020

As modern people, we like to think that we have got things firmly under control. We don't do well, as a rule, with those aspects of life which defy our management - the great realities which resist being tamed. Take the seasons, for example. Traditionally, the ebb and flow of creation's 'appointed times' - seedtime and harvest, summer and winter - ruled our movements, our activities and even our entertainments. These days, our drive to manage everything, coupled with our use of technology, leaves us less aware than any generation before us of the movements of the seasons. If you don't believe me, just ask yourself the following questions: when was the last time you cancelled a trip because of an inauspicious wind? Has your conscience ever smitten you for buying strawberries in January? Has a bad wheat harvest ever ruined your holiday plans? I could go on, but trust that the point is made. Our indifference to the seasons is part of a more general attitude change in regard to time. We see ourselves, we moderns, more or less as 'Time Lords': de facto owners and organisers of time. The suggestion that our activities, entertainments or diets should be constrained by...

Contemporary Western culture sees itself as broadly liberal, a value framework which has given us democracy, the rule of law, toleration, human rights and a market economy – all things to be grateful for. With the collapse of Communism, there was an air of self-congratulation.  Some spoke of the ‘end of history’, since we in the West had the best system and nothing could improve on it. But then came Islamic terrorism, the financial crash, Brexit and Trump - the rise of populism, and much elite angst. To address this, Patrick Deneen, an American academic at Notre Dame, has written Why Liberalism Failed and it became the basis for one of our lunch discussions. Deneen’s project is interesting, since his thesis has gained traction on both the political left and right, with many agreeing across party lines that there is a crisis afoot.  Deneen first describes how the crisis of liberalism has come to the fore. First, there is the economic insecurity and inequality brought on by globalisation – factory jobs lost to China, for example. Then we see social dislocation brought on by family breakdown and immigration. There is then a need to deal with the consequent distrust in government....