Thursday, August 23, 2007

How we got the public & Monasteries paganized us

This challenging argument below is vital to wrestle with. And it must be balanced by some thoughts on a Christian sensitivity to the rhytms of time, holy order, and kairos; perhaps from a Celtic perspective (complines, anybody?)

The shift in consciousness is important to track, however.. as is the reminder that church can often be the most secularizing force in society..especially in shift eras.. I find Whiteheead at times overly Schaeffer..but am pleasantly surprised at the relevance of both authors for these days we live in.

Mark D and Len H. will have valuable insights here :

A tool or a machine (any form of technology) is a constituent of man's symbolic recreation of his world. Moreover, machines that have been owned and operated by only a few members of a society have often influenced the entire society.

Moveable type, for example, completely alyered, within a relatively s hort time, the entire cnceept of medieval man and society. As McLuhan notes in Gutenberg Galaxy:

"Printing from movable types created a quite unexpected new environment-it created the PUBLIC..."

There is, however probably no better illustration of technology altering Western culture (and eventyaly, the world) than nvention of the clock...Lewis Mumford calls the clock "the key machine of the modern indistrial age. In his Techics and Civilization, he describes how during the Middlel Ages the ordered life of moasteries affected life in communities adjacent to them:

"The monastery was the seat of a regular life..the habit of order itself and regulation of time sequences beame almost second nature in the monastery...As this took place,Eternity ceased gradually to serve as the measure and focus of human actions"

...It was in the medieval monasteries, moreover, with their need for rule ansd synchronized order, that the clock started its modern development ..

.Clocks, essentially an extension of man';s own biological clock, became, in effect, autonomous machines. Once started clocks ran by themselves John Whitehead The End of Man, p 114

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Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!