Wednesday, 25 April 2012

John Milbank on the implications of modern secularism and equality

"...It is good that people can no longer so easily be coerced into faith; faith itself has to welcome that, for faith-based reasons. In a way, we have returned to the situation of the first few Christian centuries. At the same time, though, autonomy and freedom from tradition can never be real. One has to come to terms with one’s own legacy, and children have to be taught something. The idea that they might be offered only “choice” is of course crazy. Before we choose, we are inducted into an habitual way of life..."
 "...In one sense, the freeing of sex from the law has always been implied by Christianity; the 1960s’ “liberation” remains an event within Christian history. At the same time, what one saw here was a kind of democratization and commercialization of “bohemian” morals, which had themselves earlier been newly legitimated and normalized for an elite, as Phillip Blond has pointed out. The problem here is that self-pleasure can become either explicitly or tacitly a goal in itself. When the romantics earlier spoke of the importance of marriage being “free,” that seems to me nearer the mark, as a goal. Human fulfillment lies more in the direction of faithful love and inserting oneself in the continuity of generations. Marriage and the family, for all their corruption and misuse, are at base democratic institutions. Fascism for me comes into the picture because I think (following Adorno, amongst others) that the gradual separation of sex from procreation is regarded naively if we do not realize that this is what the state wants. Covertly, it wants to secure “Malthusian” control over reproduction and to deal with the individual directly, rather than through the mediation of couples. Much of liberal feminism is actually, in practice, on the side of economic and political neoliberalism. It is too rarely noticed that sexual permissiveness has today become a kind of opiate that covertly reconciles people to the loss of other freedoms—both in relation to the state and to the workplace...."
"...What we need is not a return to former legal coercion and social ostracism in the sexual field, but a change in ethos, which will promote both relational fidelity and the encouragement of human creativity and participation in the workplace and in civil life. As part of this, I think it is important both to support gay civil partnerships and yet to oppose the idea of “gay marriage.” Many more gay people in Europe approve of this combination than do in the US..."

The full interview is here

1 comment:

  1. Not related, but does anyone know where I could find preferably for free) the score of "little" Pelham Humfrey's Communion Service? It's delightful and very baroque, yet singable by a congregation...
    If someone wants to send a scan of it to me: spasblagATramblerDOTru

    + PAX et BONUM


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