Our discussions of Munzerian Xtianity are almost better left ‘virtual’, but they point to the need for some practical realizations of ‘churches’ on the way to realization…in real time. The first five plus plus attempts are going to abort, because the past is past, and the path to the future is a ruthless discipline. But it doesn’t follow that this is the standard path via what is misleadingly called ‘secularism’. A reformation of religion is secular, par excellence. It is how the modern world first defined itself. But that can be misleading. The Reformation was a while back, please…it is moving toward a New New Testament and this must evoke a new future.
We have been critical of the new atheists but they express the hidden frustration of the futuristic spiritual world calling from the virtual future (?). As many linger in the past these wolf hounds start to howl and bark and can get very canine. They will tear the past to pieces, and complaining of their misunderstanding isn’t really the point. Do garbage collectors have to understand the garbage?
The question is a mystery of the past and future seen in the past…The legacy of archaic Israel was, if you strip away the updating, a fairly primitive/standard version of Near Eastern Temple religion with an entering monotheism. Sounds familiar: a reformation. But the bible is misleading here. The real monotheism’s entry point is not quite clear. It is obvious that there was a lot of resistance, and it may be that only after the Exile and its caesura was the first monotheism really able to root itself. The point is that we cannot predict the future from the Reformation of the early modern. It is still apart of the older era. But the trap was to think that crude scientism was going to be the new religion. But we see that modernity is in a class by itself: it isn’t really analogous to the Axial Age ‘reformations’. It is a challenge of opposites in a way that the old Israelitism wasn’t. The ‘opposites’ in the Axial Age were surely there, but geographically displaced, viz. archaic Greece.
The modern transition is a stark contrast of religious and ‘greek-like’ modernist thematics (the Greek Enlightenment). The stark opposition is forcing human thought to jump into a new and higher future. Just as Israelitism was really a masked version of Near Eastern temple religion (and ominously sacrifice still survived into the result) aborting in many ways on the threshold of real renewal, but of course with a radical seed monotheism put into that old bottle, (with an attempt at revolutionary jumpstarting in the next phase of xtianity), so in the modern era we can see that the Reformation is really still gazing backward.
That is perhaps why the early communists/radicals of the nineteenth century wished to radically break with the past via scientism, materialism, and a harsh anti-religion. They set the tone for the future, even if they failed to really transmit the reformation. But the radical nineteenth century left will carry the day, if they can also learn to recreate the core of a religious transmission. And the nature of that is still unknown.
The new atheists like wild dogs are going to the classic ‘dog ate the paper’ on the subject of the ‘new age’ of ‘good news’, the reformation of the Reformation.
Sam Harris is getting to sound like the Hound of the Baskervilles, yes?