Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Quote of the Week

"Postmodernism, at least as applied to history, is an intellectual dead end which will one day be equated with pseudo-sciences such as phrenology ["reading" the bumps on people's heads] in the early nineteenth century and the study of the paranormal later...[It] will be seen - sooner one hopes rather than later - for an 'emperor's clothes' phenomenon, and...there will be wonderment that so many clever people wrote, believed, and applauded so much manifest nonsense, and were promoted for doing so; and that it it inspired the writing of so much ugly, pretentious, jargon-ridden English."
- R. M. Thomson reviewing K. Ashley and P. Sheingorn, Writing Faith: Text, Sign and History in the Miracles of Sainte Foy, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999 in The Journal of Religious History 30:3 (October 2006): 375.

The same issue of the JRH has an excellent article by Joanna Cruickshank, "Appear as Crucified For Me: Sight, Suffering, and Spiritual Transformation in the Hymns of Charles Wesley," of which you can read an abstract here. For a lengthier synposis you can visit the August 1st entry on Joanna's blog.


a triumph of time said...

Hi Glen,

that's some quote. However, I think that postmodernism may prove to be more than an historical oddity. I'm not aware of many who would suggest that postmodernity is the new modernity. That is, the new dominating worldview which will direct the next few centuries. Rather, it is a turning away from certain aspects of modern thought which have left us jaded. I consider it a "wake up call" which is sparking a new emerging mindset, the shape of which we cannot yet fully determine. As such, I think that postmodernity will prove to be historically interesting as the initiator of change, either in the form of reforming modern concepts, or ushering in a new dominant worldview.

that's my two cents.


Ludicrousity said...

Interesting quote. I'm not really sure what I think about it. Part of me wants to agree with it, but not entirely. I tend to think it's more of a neutral era. I think there are some great things about postmodernism, but there are also some unhelpful wishy washy things that give people an excuse to do whatever they want to without much accountability. I tend to think that postmodernism is ok, it's just now you interact with it.


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