These eager, well-intentioned reformers not only lacked artistic judgment; they also lacked a respectful understanding of art itself, sacred or secular. From silly devotions, and sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us. Finally, there is a third element that has nothing to do with religion.
This trend has been aggravated by the many Catholic colleges and universities that now seem socially embarrassed by their religious identity.
The loss of great music, painting, architecture, poetry, sculpture, fiction, and theater has limited the ways in which the Church speaks to people both within and beyond the faith. There is no singular and uniform Catholic worldview, but nevertheless it is possible to describe some general characteristics that encompass both the faithful and the renegade among the literati.
They no longer command much social or cultural power. Such literalism is not only reductive; it also ignores precisely those spiritual elements that give the best writing its special value. Ethical dilemma in counseling essay Ethical dilemma in counseling essay pro nuclear energy essays.
Catholics also generally take the long view of things—looking back to the time of Christ and the Caesars while also gazing forward toward eternity. This essay, however, will focus mostly on the first group, with some references to the second.
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From its earliest stages, American society has displayed a streak of anti-Catholicism, which originated in Protestant, especially Puritan, antagonism toward Rome. Thomas Aquinas knew there were occasions to put theology aside and write poetry. Jazz, blues, film, detective fiction, science fiction, and photography were all arts that emerged without elitist approval, and yet they all made indisputable contributions to American culture.
Why would a serious critic even bother to know such cultish trivia. Those few figures would account for most of the Catholic artists visible in our culture. Sixty years ago, Catholics played a prominent, prestigious, and irreplaceable part in American literary culture.
Despite its proclamations of diversity and multiculturalism, contemporary American letters has little use for Catholicism, and Catholics have retreated from mainstream cultural life. Its influence is especially powerful since globalized commercial entertainment—movies, television, popular music, and video games—now shapes the imagination of young writers more pervasively and continuously than do literary texts.
I am prepared to believe in miracles, but the notion that the Catholic hierarchy will make literature and the arts a priority and then exercise good judgment in supporting them exceeds all credulity. Meanwhile, the less-established writers, who have made Catholicism the core of their artistic identity, work mostly outside mainstream literary life in a small Catholic subculture that has little impact on general cultural life.
Catholic authors were reviewed and discussed in the general press. Culture is a conversation. They grow out of the efforts of a few catalytic individuals who reject a bankrupt or moribund status quo and articulate a compelling new vision.
Today, if any living Catholic novelist or poet has a major reputation, that reputation has not been made by Catholic critics but by the secular literary world, often in spite of their religious identity.
The influence of these journals, even the largest like First Things and America, is limited to a shrinking subculture. They rightly refuse to become homogenous and generic writers in a global secular culture. These writers published in the mainstream journals and presses of the time, as well as with specifically Catholic journals and presses.
Has this situation disturbed Catholic leaders. Catholics generally prefer to write about sinners rather than saints. But even in secular terms, this position is myopic and self-defeating not to mention undemocratic. Catholicism rightly revels in its theological and philosophical prowess, which is rooted in two millennia of practice and mastery.
By contrast, the second largest group, Southern Baptists, has sixteen million members. There is still a small, imperiled, and largely segregated cohort of Catholic magazines such as Commonweal, America, and Crisis, as well as serious ecumenical publications such as First Things and Image, and scholarly ones such as Christianity and Literature and Renascence.
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Art educates our emotions and imagination. The second observation, that the cultural establishment once accepted Catholicism as a possible and permissible artistic identity, also needs to be substantially revised. A different person might summarize the situation slightly differently, or argue with the phrasing of particular observations, but I doubt that any honest observer of current literary culture could refute this sad summary of Catholic letters today.
Such misplaced faith or charity is folly. She does not believe that faith alone justifies an artist. It was not a rebirth but a nativity—the sensibility of an ancient faith heard in a new world for the first time.
The Catholic Writer Today This essay concerns Catholic imaginative literature—fiction, poetry, drama, and memoir—not theological, scholarly, or devotional writing. Nature is sacramental, shimmering with signs of sacred things.
Indeed, all reality is mysteriously charged with the invisible presence of God. Catholics perceive. Change can be a good thing essay. Le dressay florence bellevue college application essay, objective essay on abortion. Two essays on analytical psychology jung hermeneutica y filosofia analytical essay on sacramental things essay writer trans fat essay.
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Meglio che scendi dissertation. How does sacramental theology describe the symbolic link between God and Christian disciples through Jesus Christ, the Church and sacraments - Essay Example. On sacramental things essay writing. Share this post: Facebook 0.
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