Although the primary audience for Last and First Men will be readers on the left (marxists will no doubt boycott the text completely), the book can be of assistance to religious groups who are disoriented by ‘secularist’ thinking. However, the book is on no account an attempt to create cheap compromises with religion, e.g.Xtianity. The model of history shown is a challenge to historical materialism. But it is also a challenge to Xtian views of history. Those of Moslems I must leave to one side: I can’t have a safe discussion there, so I will concentrate on Xtianity.
The new model of history shows the way for Xtians to create an ‘exit strategy’ to a new and more robust secularism, which can include a completely recreated Xtianity.
Here’s the problem: the new model of history in LFM shows the way ‘spiritual action’ is present in the emergence of civilizations (although the term ‘spiritual’ is a problem in search of a replacement) but it doesn’t follow that ‘god acts in history’. The evidence of the Axial Age shows that if ‘god’ acted in history at that point he also created atheist religions like Buddhism, and secular or proto-secular cultures like Archaic Greece, a true ‘miracle’ (in quotation marks) that puts the Israelite category in the category of ‘mess of pottage’. The design argument fails in the main case, Israel myths of revelation. But the standard materialist or other secular types of theory also fail. We need to confront the mystery with a new kind of analysis.
So I can’t create false compromises with religion to pursue a new theory of leftist activism. It is a difficult situation, because the likelihood is that all parties will get it wrong.
So the question, does ‘god’ act in history suffers silence, since the quotation marks are a disguised rattle snake. But I am optimistic here: the next stage of an Xtian Reformation is here, and it should try to understand its ‘god’ confusions, and to enter a new era of modernity in a form that is a recreation, but without the confusions of theology which are not going to be viable much longer.
Face the reality: Xtians have made a hopeless mess of theology.The Moslem world always understood this, and tried to correct the situation, in vain.
We must suspect that the original monotheism was, as the glyph IHVH suggests, not all all about the god chatter so prevalent in Xtianity now. You can’t hope that the spiritual domain supports this, and for all we know are setting the dogs on you (the New Atheists) as garbage disposal. Taking the name of god in vain is a two millennia old viceof these Xtian impostors. \
In any case, it needs to be clear that LFM is not some new form of religious cooptation of so-called secular or leftist thoughht. I think the historical model shown can lead to a far better understandding of religion in the end than the religions can provide for themselves. Liberation theology could thrive in this context.