Christianity and culture : the idea of a Christian society by Eliot, Thomas Stearns

By Eliot, Thomas Stearns

Two lengthy essays: “The thought of a Christian Society” at the course of non secular concept towards feedback of political and financial structures; and “Notes in the direction of the Definition of tradition” on tradition, its that means, and the risks threatening the legacy of the Western world.

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Additional info for Christianity and culture : the idea of a Christian society and Notes towards the definition of culture

Sample text

We have all observed individuals occupying situations in life for which neither their character nor their intellect qualified them, and so placed only through nominal education, or birth or consanguinity. No honest man but is vexed by such a spectacle. But the doctrine of Clites implies a good deal more than the rectification of such injustice. It posits an atomic view of society. The philosopher whose views on the subject of Clites deserve the closest attention, both for their own value and because of the influence they exert, is the late Dr.

It is only when we imagine our culture as it ought to be, if our society were a really Christian society, that we can dare to speak of Christian culture as the highest culture; it is only by referring to all the phases of this culture, which has been the culture of Europe, that we can affirm that it is the highest culture that the world has ever known. In comparing our culture as it is today, with that of non-Christian peoples, we must be prepared to find that ours is in one respect or another inferior.

At a higher stage still, we find that some functions are more honoured than others, and this division promotes the development of classes, in which higher honour and higher privilege are accorded, not merely to the person as functionary but as member of the class. And the class itself possesses a function, that of maintaining that part of the total culture of the society which pertains to that class. We have to try to keep in mind, that in a healthy society this maintenance of a particular level of culture is to the benefit, not merely of the class which maintains it, but of the society as a whole.

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