answers to modern disillusioment

August 17, 2008

I’ve been thinking about writing on postmodernity for quite some time now. Two years back when I started blogging, I decided never to use the word postmodern, because I felt the meaning has become hollow with popularity, with everybody just using it however they want to, same with modernity. Rather, I decided to use alternative words which would better describe what I wanted to say, such as rationalism.

Well, it’s two years down the line, and I still feel quite the same. But the fact is, I still believe that a paradigm shift has happened, and is now working it’s way through every level of society, and this we need to talk about. Many call this postmodernism, and there seem to be a lot of good reasons for using this term.

Personally I become more and more convinced that the origin of this change in worldview should be traced to two things, first being Einstein’s theory of relativity, which helped us to see that time is not fixed, but relative to speed, and opened up doors to the obvious next step that then maybe many other things is relative to the point of vision. The second is the disillusionment with the optimism of man and the optimistic view of rationalism after especially the second world war. If Germany was capable of this kind of atrocities, and if rationalism wasn’t able to notice this kind of evil, then something must be extremely wrong!

This disillusionment is leading to the search for a new worldview. But now the problem is, what will it look like? Many are realizing that something is wrong, and many others have possible solutions for the way ahead. But should every possible answer to the disillusionment be considered postmodern? And if not, who is to judge? In short: Which changes to our worldview, which answers to our disillusionment, will provide a possible way ahead, and which will simply lead to a dead end?

We’ve seen the rise in Pentacostal and Charismatic expressions of faith in the same time that this disillusionment kicked in, does this make is a way forward? I don’t know. What about the rise of fundamentalism that increase as the last decade or so continue? Does this make it a good response to this disillusionment?  When should we talk about postmodern? Which maybe just bring me back to my point of two years ago… shouldn’t we maybe use more descriptive words when talking about either modernism and postmodernism?

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