In W.T. Stace’s 1948 essay “Man Against Darkness,” he outlines the decline of religion in the West and the implications this has for civilization. He notes that modern science suspended contemplation on final causes. This quickly caused a non-teleological cosmology to be widely accepted, either implicitly or explicitly. Religion rests on teleology, so this view of the universe eroded the core of religion, leaving it hollow and unbelievable. Religion is the foundation of values in the West, so Western civilization faces a profound crisis. Stace concludes by briefly examining the way in which we might pull ourselves out of this nihilistic crisis.
In the past, I have contemplated the meaning of various words such as wisdom, forgiveness, mirth, virtue, sincerity, courage, peace, hope, steadfastness, sacrifice, and love. This has been very fruitful, and I am glad of it. But recently, I realized that I had completely missed a tremendously important word. I had not contemplated worship. Continue reading “This Intellectual and the Beginning of Worship”