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The triumph of orthodoxy

By Hywel Williams

We are living through one of the least heretical periods in western history – and it is our loss

This is the year’s midnight. There’s a hush to the dark, short days between Christmas and the New Year. Some still see it as a sacred time, a period of meditation. Others – now the great majority – see the time in cyclical terms. At the time of greatest darkness, they share the primitivist itch to celebrate life roots and slowly returning light.

Between the sacred history of the one tendency and the natural history of the other, there is a gulf of taste and temperament. It’s the difference between the Stravinsky of the Symphony of Psalms and the Stravinsky of The Firebird. But when they wonder at the meaning of these days, both the Christian and the pagan use metaphors of dark and light, rebirth and renewal. And in using those metaphors of natural order to draw out symbols and significance, the two systems reveal their orthodoxy.

Paganism is now the cultural consensus of our time – as unthinking in its premises as any of the religious systems it displaced. Instead of the gods of the altar, it offers the gods of the marketplace and celebrity. It has its own theology enshrined in the jargon of modern government. Perhaps the greenery of environmentalism is the holiest of new paganism’s holies, since it finds in nature something of the constancy that Christians once saw in their God. And like the Christians, they wish to protect their deity against sacrilege.

Read the original article at: Mathaba.Net

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