Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson

3/5/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I've now lived 64 years, encompassing the several generations of significant change, including the TIME magazine cover proclaiming God's death on April 8, 1966 (I was a junior in high school).

The desire for God is hardwired into our most basic desire, the desire to live, to love, to serve a purpose larger than ourselves.  It's a desire that can never be extinguished, certainly not by the current academic ideology endured by the majority of college and university students, especially at the so-called "major" universities.  The day will come, I predict, when the unspoiled vitality and questioning of our youth will finally dismantle and overcome the postmodern ideology of their professors.  After all, the very professors proclaiming there is no truth and no God are human too and filled with longing for the very thing they deny. 

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/5/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: beauty, Liturgy, love, relationships, Terry Eagleton, Jesus, faith, Culture and the death of God, God is dead, priesthood, culture, enthsuiasm, renewal, reform, Catholic Culture, rubrics, worship, Holy Mass, Divine Liturgy, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Deal W. Hudson


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - I noticed recently that the distinguished British literary critic Terry Eagleton has published a book entitled Culture and the Death of God.  The book will be available in the US in a few weeks, so I haven't read it, but I did see an interesting review in The Guardian.  The reviewer was puzzled by Eagleton's basic thesis that despite Nietzsche's announcement of the death of God, and all the acolytes who have repeated it, God has survived. 

The reviewer's surprise made me chuckle, because I am reminded of my years in the academy where so many well-educated and articulate people actually believed the culture was as secularized as they described it, and as they wished it to be.  It's quite alarming how much of academic "analysis" is prescriptive rather than the dispassionate, descriptive account one should expect from a scholar.  Or, should I say, used to expect.  The academy, like the media who apes it, has been firmly in the hands of post-modernists who can't claim neutrality because they don't believe in objective knowledge of anything (except perhaps their political opinions)!

I don't mean this to be a wholesale rejection of ongoing scholarly work - there are many exceptions, such as the brilliant overview of American popular culture by LeRoy Ashby, With Amusement for All: A History of Popular Culture since 1830 (University of Kentucky Press, 2012). Ashby, in his book, has taught me more about the history of America than any three other books. Why? Because by tracing popular culture, Ashby creates a fascinating and insightful account of the needs, desires, and aspirations of common men and women, not those whose prognostications and proclamations bear little relationship to the majority of real people. 

This brings us back to the topic of the death of God in contemporary culture. I've now lived 64 years, encompassing the several generations of significant change, including the TIME magazine cover proclaiming God's death on April 8, 1966 (I was a junior in high school). That was nearly 50 years ago. Since then there have been several transpositions of the same message under the guise of secularity, multiculturalism, and postmodernism.  Tell that to the 74% of Americans who say they believe in God, the 72% who say they believe in miracles, and the 68% who believe Jesus is the Son of God. 

Polls, however, are not as important as the evidence of history from the ancient past to the present - God has never been less than a central preoccupation of human consciousness, whether as an answer to the question, "Why do I exist?," or to the question most often asked, "What is the purpose of my life?"  The artifacts of culture, whether books, music, TV, movies, plays, and the detritus of the Internet, provide evidence that God is as much a part of the human conversation as when He was addressed in the plural. 

From the table of contents, I have gleaned that Terry Eagleton will describe how God survived successive generations of skepticism (the Enlightenment), self-preoccupation (the Romanticists), denial (the Existentialists), and avoidance (the Post-Modernists). To the extent that such leading ideas and the human ideals they propagate are explained, this puts Eagleton's feet on real ground. But it's precisely the fact that most people during the Enlightenment did NOT embrace skepticism, or become Romantic egoists, or deny God, or follow postmodernism in avoiding any consideration of ultimates that explains a culture still asking the God question and, to a great extent, receiving an answer. 

I don't know if Eagleton will address the most fundamental question of human nature. The desire for God is hardwired into our most basic desire, the desire to live, to love, to serve a purpose larger than ourselves.  It's a desire that can never be extinguished, certainly not by the current academic ideology endured by the majority of college and university students, especially at the so-called "major" universities.  The day will come, I predict, when the unspoiled vitality and questioning of our youth will finally dismantle and overcome the postmodern ideology of their professors.  After all, the very professors proclaiming there is no truth and no God are human too and filled with longing for the very thing they deny. 

© Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D

-----
Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor and Movie Critic at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.This column and subsequent contributions are an excerpt from a forthcoming book. Dr. Hudson's new radio show, Church and Culture, is heard on the Ave Maria Radio Network.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More U.S.

FBI arrests Cliven Bundy leading to protesters' surrender in Oregon occupation Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy was arrested by the FBI moments after stepping off a plane (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy stepped off a plane at the Portland International Airport Wednesday evening and was taken to Multnomah County jail, where his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy were already being held. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Thursday morning the ... continue reading


Beauty and the Priest - Cleric indicted for murder in cold case from 1960 Watch

Image of Irene Garza was 25 at the time of her death. No motive has been established in the death of the beauty queen from McAllen, Texas, but John Feit is the only suspect.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A former priest has been indicted for a 1960 cold case murder of a woman. According to Texas authorities, then 27-year-old priest, John Feit, heard the confession of Irene Garza, then asphyxiated her afterwards. Her body was found in a canal days later. Feit will now ... continue reading


Former Catholic priest arrested in connection with beauty queen's murder - 56 years later Watch

Image of Now a married grandfather, former Catholic priest John Feit is accused in the 1960 murder of 27-year-old Irene Garza in 1960 (CNN).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Many thought, but few actually believed that a small town Catholic priest would be capable of such a savage crime. Fifty-six long years later, former priest John Feit, now a married grandfather living in Arizona has been arrested in connection with the 1960 ... continue reading


Ash Wednesday and Lent. It Works if you Work It Watch

Image of After receiving the ashes, we are exhorted to leave the Church as penitents and pilgrims and continue in a Christian way of life every day

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If we enter into the observance of Lent with our entire person, it can draw us, at its' closure, into a deeper embrace and experience of the power of the Resurrection, beginning right now and stretching into eternity. Our frequent liturgical celebrations present ... continue reading


No Catholic or other Christian Should Support the Candidacy of Bernie Sanders Watch

Image of Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, denies the fundamental Human Right to Life of children in the womb.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Legalized abortion on demand is an open rejection of the entire ethic of being our brothers (and sisters) keeper. There can be no enduring lasting solidarity upon which to build a secure future in a culture that kills its own children and calls it a right. No ... continue reading


Mardi Gras' several names and traditions: How is it celebrated around the world? Watch

Image of Mardi Gras is famous for its colors, masks, beads, food, floats and more (Pixabay)!

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

People around the world celebrate Fat Tuesday each year with regional traditions - but did you know it is a celebration with roots in Christianity?  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Fat Tuesday" is English for the French "Mardi Gras," and is traditionally ... continue reading


7 Fun facts about Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras celebrations Watch

Image of Mardi Gras first became a holiday in 1582.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday; it comes directly before Ash Wednesday. "Mardi Gras is a raucous celebratory affair that serves as a final shebang before the 40-day abstinence of Lent," explains The Huffington Post. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amidst all ... continue reading


605,000 undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses in California Watch

Image of California driver's licenses do not bestow any federal benefits to the recipient. State sources say the law is intended to make California roadways safer.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thanks to a new California law known as AB60, which took effect on January 2, 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV has handed out 605,000 driver's licenses to undocumented workers. It is estimated that 1.4 million migrants will receive licenses under ... continue reading


Center for Medical Progress releases another Planned Parenthood video despite injunction Watch

Image of Pro-life CMP stands against abortionists NAF (imgsuccess).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After ousting illegal actions performed by Planned Parenthood clinics, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and its founder Daniel Daleiden, have been ordered to cease further distribution of illegally-obtained Planned Parenthood footage. Unfortunately for the ... continue reading


Huff Po Gestapo, beats down Trump, First Amendment with editorial billy club Watch

Image of Huffington Post has found a way to turn the First Amendment into a billy club for their PC police duties.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Liberal mouthpiece, The Huffington Post (not to be confused with an actual news organization) is pandering to liberal readers by posting an addendum at the end of every story about Donald Trump. The addendum labels Trump a "racist" and a "serial liar." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:1-9
1 Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-15
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why is it that we and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 12th, 2016 Image

St. Buonfiglio Monaldo
February 12: He was one of seven Florentines who had joined ... Read More