Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The ABC Talks about Religion and Culture

Let me start by listing five things that are often associated with Europe when people seek to identify what it has contributed to world history and culture since roughly the early seventeenth century (the significance of this particular time scheme should be clearer as we go on).

It's ultimately a very hopeful speech. He contrasts a true Christian worldview with the nihilism so common in current post-modern life. Both Islam and totalitarianism as alternatives to Western culture get addressed as well. Read the whole thing here.

If there's one somewhat irksome point is that ++Rowan prefers "European" over "Western"and I have to seems to slyly denigrate the US frequently in this speech. He labels much of American culture "derivative" of European models. Although democracy is listed as one his five things Europe has contributed (see above) he doesn't seem to admit that the US practiced it before even England. I hardly think that actuating ideas that may have had their roots in European thinkers constitutes being derivative, especially in the area of democracy. Thomas Jefferson's thinking was just as original as Rousseau's and Locke's. I have heard the ++Rowan has an anti-American bias of sorts (e.g., his refusal to meet with Gene Robinson) and I wonder if this is showing here as well.


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