Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

in the din of the present

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 05, 2007

Earlier this year I called attention to R.R. Reno's excellent remarks on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the publication of Allen Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind. Reno was mainly concerned how the changes Bloom described had affected university life. In the current New Criterion, Mark Steyn has some incisive commentary on Bloom's observations with respect to the larger picture:

"Popular culture" is more accurately a "present-tense culture": You're celebrating the millennium but you can barely conceive of anything before the mid-1960s. We're at school longer than any society in human history, entering kindergarten at four or five and leaving college the best part of a quarter-century later -- or thirty years later in Germany. Yet in all those decades we exist in the din of the present. A classical education considers society as a kind of iceberg, and teaches you the seven-eighths below the surface. Today, we live on the top eighth bobbing around in the flotsam and jetsam of the here and now. And, without the seven-eighths under the water, what's left on the surface gets thinner and thinner.

One more reason not to let the liturgy get absorbed entirely into the present-tense culture.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($25,841 to go):
$150,000.00 $124,158.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 06, 2007 11:46 PM ET USA

    Of course, for most of history - even EUROPEAN HISTORY - people could barely conceive of the fact that there was seven-eighths of an iceberg below the water. In fact, they couldn't conceive of it all. Maybe his classical education could have given Steyn a little more facility with metaphors.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 05, 2007 7:11 PM ET USA

    the liturgy in the venacular is not present day culture... it goes back to the time of Jesus!

  • Posted by: - Nov. 05, 2007 3:31 PM ET USA

    We need to sing a new church into being!

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17