The Immanent Frame has an interview today with John Milbank. IM describes Milbank as “an Anglican theologian whose ideas, distinguished by a profound skepticism of secular reason, have given shape to Radical Orthodox theology (in opposition, Wikipedia says, to Radical Theology à la Spong) and provided the underpinnings of the Red Tory and Blue Labour movements in British politics.”
Here’s the pull quote IM uses from that interview:
If you are going to be an atheist and nihilist, then be one. Only second-raters repeat secular nostrums in a pious guise. Such theology can never possibly make any difference, by definition. It’s a kind of sad, grey, seasonal echo of last year’s genuine black. All real Christian theology, by contrast, emerges from the Church, which alone mediates the presence of the God-Man, who is the presupposition of all Christian thinking.
Increasingly, people are coming to describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” Do you think, however, that there is value—perhaps even potential for political movements—in the growing detachment of people’s religious lives from traditional authorities, and in this newfound autonomy?
JM: It is good that people can no longer so easily be coerced into faith; faith itself has to welcome that, for faith-based reasons. In a way, we have returned to the situation of the first few Christian centuries. At the same time, though, autonomy and freedom from tradition can never be real. One has to come to terms with one’s own legacy, and children have to be taught something. The idea that they might be offered only “choice” is of course crazy. Before we choose, we are inducted into an habitual way of life.
True? And, if so, is the Episcopal Church losing young people because it encourages choice without sufficient induction?
Read all the interview here. There’s plenty to chew on or agree/disagree with.