Wednesday, April 11, 2007
If it's true that pomo's reaction to mo isn't really a worldview - then what is? I mentioned in my previous post that pomo might be akin to the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites after they had left the slavery of Egypt but before they made it to the promised land of Palestine. So, I want to think a little bit about what the "promised land" might look like.
There are a few ways to get there: we could look at the philosophical conclusions of the moves that pomo has begun, or we could talk about the deficiencies of mo that need to be corrected (similar angle), or we could look at similar shifts in the past and draw some parallels.
For my part I’m not sure that the reaction to or deficiencies of a particular worldview can necessarily predict the nature of the worldview that is yet to come (a.k.a. I’m not going to try the first two ways). I think our history has a lot to tell us about our future. The last time in history where there was a huge shift in worldviews (like McLaren et al are suggesting we are going through now) was the Reformation. What was going on during the Reformation that is similar to life today? Church life? World politics? Scientific thought? Maybe, but I don’t think so.
I think that the major similarity between the Reformation and today is the advent of a major change in the way that humanity uses language. Check out the snazzy graphics:
Now, if you’re not swayed by my astounding cgi skilz, I will attempt a cogent argument (a.k.a. blah-blah-blah). Thought and language are inextricably intertwined (maybe even equivalent). Way back at the beginning people had only oral language. Then not-so-far-back in the other-day some smarty-pants invented writing (spam came about 10 minutes later). Then between brats and beers, Gutenberg managed to crank out a printing press. So, the change in language from the written word to the printed word radically changed the way that human beings use language, which changed the way that we think. The advent of the internet has (thank you, Al Gore) produced a similar change in the use of language. Therefore, the changes in thought that we see are less about philosophy (postmodernism) than they are about the tie between language and thought.
I have some thoughts about what all this means, but I want to hear from you first.
Do you agree with my premise?
How does this language shift align with pomo?
How does it go beyond pomo?
If this is true, then what will the “promised land” look like?