Friday, April 20, 2007

England then and now
It was a multinational state, though not a multicultural one. It was a profoundly Christian society, in which religion was part of the language, of the state and of daily life in a way quite unique in Europe. It was a hierarchical country, in which people understood authority and respected it without grovelling to it, for it was also a society of individuals, nonconformists, dissenters, troublemakers, grumblers--self-reliant, given to banding together in unions, friendly societies and clubs, believing in law, but devoted to fairness. It was an educated, literate country with a strong musical tradition. Through its great literature, its verse and its hymns it had obtained an idea of itself that was comforting and powerful. It believed in the family and the home, that great zone of private life in which the state has no business.

... The breakdown has indeed been comprehensive.
— Peter Hitchens

The photo comes from here: A modified Prayer Book service with English Use ceremonial in a mediæval parish church... done by Orthodox: Drake Adams, crucifer; Michael Astley and Fr Barry Jefferies.

The Great Change
We all know it happened. Most who have thought about it have given it names and attempted to date it, trace its philosophical ancestry. I have sometimes called it The Asteroid, in reference to the massive change of all life on earth that was supposedly brought about at the end of the age of the dinosaurs. A change so radical, so deeply rooted, so all-encompassing, that the world of our grandparents is more alien to us than the world of tenth-century Germany would have been to Jane Austen.

It is this Before Time to which I am referring, half unconsciously, when I talk about a restoration of the traditional society. But we are all children of the Changed World. How can we ever internalize its lost presuppositions? I think we cannot, but we can rebuild what we are able to rebuild for those who come after us.
From Hilary White who has left blogging at least for now.

Of course I know what she means: it’s what friend Paul Goings calls ‘the end of the world’; the man who’s been my father confessor for 11 years went through electroshock treatments at the time because of it. Thanks to an accident of birth and circumstance I can claim to have experienced the Before Time in some ways up to 10 years after the big event and so in religion am both pre-modern naturally and pre-modern by choice, likewise part of the Changed World.

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