By T. S. Eliot
Lengthy essays: “The concept of a Christian Society” (on the course of non secular concept towards feedback of political and monetary structures) and “Notes in the direction of the Definition of Culture” (on tradition, its that means, and the risks threatening the legacy of the Western world).
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Additional resources for Christianity and Culture: The Idea of a Christian Society and Notes Towards the Definition of Culture
The traditional unit of the Christian Community in England is the parish. I am not here concerned with the problem of how radically this system must be modified to suit a future state of things. The parish is certainly in decay, from several causes of which the least cogent is the division into sects: a much more important reason is urbanisation-in which I am including also sub-urbanisation, and all the causes and effects of urbanisation. How far the parish must be superseded will 24 Christianity and Culture depend largely upon our view of the necessity of accepting the causes which tend to destroy it.
And a skeptical or indifferent statesman, working within a Christian frame, might be more effective than a devout Christian statesman obliged to conform to a secular The Idea of a Christian Society 23 frame. For he would be required to design his policy for the government of a Christian Society. The relation of the Christian State, the Christian Community, and the Community of Christians, may be looked at in connexion with the problem of belief. Among the men of state, you would have as a minimum, conscious conformity of behaviour.
Accordingly the more serious authors have a limited, and even provincial audience, and the more popular write for an illiterate and uncritical mob. The Idea of a Christian Society 33 You cannot expect continuity and coherence in politics, you cannot expect reliable behaviour on fixed principles persisting through changed situations, unless there is an underlying political philosophy: not of a party, but of the nation. You cannot expect continuity and coherence in literature and the arts, unless you have a certain uniformity of culture, expressed in education by a settled, though not rigid agreement as to what everyone should know to some degree, and a positive distinction-however undemocratic it may sound-between the educated and the uneducated.
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