Editor’s note: This piece was originally published December 23, 2016.
How much do we trust the mind? How much should we—when thoughts lead on to thoughts, conjectures build atop conjectures, hypotheses extend upon hypotheses until it all seems just . . . too . . . much, a daydream from which we shake ourselves awake?
Do we need a theory of managerial class disintegration? Such an ambitious question can at the least be ventured given our headlines: Brexit, Trump, Le Pen, the European Union and the larger rise of the Euronationalist parties, and the questioning of postwar international institutions, to name a few.
It is often said, by both Christians and non-Christians, that we live in a “post-Christian” society. In many respects that seems a plausible assessment. In a lecture given at Cambridge University in 1939, however, T. S. Eliot offered a provocative contrary perspective. While acknowledging the weakness of Christianity in his own time, Eliot suggested that “a society has not ceased to be Christian until it has become positively something else.” And he contended that “[w]e have today a culture which is mainly negative, but which, so far as it is positive, is still Christian.” (T. S. Eliot, The Idea of…