Frog and Saucepan
James Lee/ Flikr
Jeff Mirus illustrates the fulfillment of Holloway's 1950 prediction.

Jeff Mirus illustrates the fulfillment of Holloway's 1950 prediction.

Jeff Mirus writes here on modern murder mystery novels. He says “Unfortunately, I’ve run into a number of telling cultural trends in these stories which make it more difficult to relax and enjoy the solution to 'a good clean murder'". He well articulates the over representation of politically correct themes, which we have become very used to from Hollywood: from the ubiquity of sexual immorality through the positive stereotyping of same-sex attraction and agnosticism, to the negative stereo-typing of Christians. He notes, "It is very difficult to screen out the obsessive prejudices of our dominant culture."  This shows the deep reaches of post-Christian relativism, crying out for diagnosis. 

Edward Holloway’s recently published 1950 work, “Matter and Mind”, notes,

“… [the] gulf between the Church and the scientific mind … widens with each generation, and modern means of diffusing knowledge by the press, radio, and film, have brought us now to such a pass that the Christian, and especially the Catholic, whose beliefs are enriched in their religious manifestation by the ceremonies and practices of a most ancient past, finds himself considered the initiate of a recondite cult whose practices are not only unintelligible to men around him, but savour to them of superstition and magic.” (p.12)

He argued,

“… a new culture is foreshadowed in the turbulence and spiritual confusion of [our] times …  our certainty of imminent change is based … upon the worldwide breakdown of established social order and traditional culture; … nowhere more marked or more disastrous than within that civilisation … that goes by the name of Christendom.” (p.4)

Holloway went on to argue that only one type of diagnosis of our post-Reformation, post-modern science, relativism is possible:

“the survival of a great civilisation depends upon the vitality of those basic convictions, and generally accepted ideals which shape the ends of the society they inform.  … it is not possible that a decline which can be traced to the sixteenth century, and which in our own day is gathering momentum towards the collapse of a culture, can be related to anything except an inability of Christian speculative thought to inform and inspire the minds of men.” (p.7)

Faith Magazine

September-October 2016

Recent Blog Posts

  1. Bishop Barron Misses the Impact of Modern Science

    Bishop Barron Misses the Impact of Modern Science
    On his blog and in a recent Catholic Herald piece (9.9.16) Bishop Robert Barron offers some excellent reflections upon a recent Pew survey looking at reasons why young people are leaving Christianity in droves. He well shows how Roman Catholic leaders and teachers are dangerously underestimating ...
    Read More
  2. Contextualising Brexit

    Contextualising Brexit
    On 23 June 2016 a referendum was held in which a narrow majority of voters in the United Kingdom (nearly 52%) voted in favour of leaving the European Union, the so-called “Brexit”. This contrasts with the large majority (67%) who had voted to join the then European Community in 1975. ...
    Read More
  3. A 1980 Post-mortem of a Rebirth

    A 1980 Post-mortem of a Rebirth
    Thirty odd years after this overview of twentieth century Catholic intellectual culture, the points of James Hitchcock seem even more relevant. Below are some extracts but the, significantly longer, full article repays study. [Post-mortem on a rebirth. The Catholic Intellectual Renaissance, from ...
    Read More
  4. 'Desire Trumping Ideas': A Too Simple Diagnosis

    'Desire Trumping Ideas': A Too Simple Diagnosis
    The great analyser of relativist culture, Jeff Mirus, seems to have downplayed a bit too much the role of the intellectual. In part of his insightful series on “gender” ideology he argues: (our comments in blue).Modern Western culture is weakened by a great vacuum of systematic though...
    Read More
  5. Refounding Human Dignity

    Refounding Human Dignity
    A Guardian editorial in May described the decline in numbers and influence of Christianity and affirms that Christianity gave us “the idea that people have some rights just because they are human, and entirely irrespective of merit, [it] certainly isn’t derived from observat...
    Read More
  6. Experimental Success contra Aristotelean Natures

    Experimental Success contra Aristotelean Natures
    Mgr Charles Pope recently turned his deft blogging hand to a subject close to our heart. Pulling up Roots from Reality – A Review of a Cogent Analysis of the Post-Cartesian West.Like Fr Edward Holloway and others he acknowledges that a key moment in the rise of relativism was René De...
    Read More