Dear Lord! When will it all end?
Should the Synod of Bishops truly do this, this would be a stepping over boundaries and a clericalist presumption, which the state authorities would then have to reject.
A Critique of the Instrumentum Laborisfor the Amazon Synod
By Cardinal Walter Brandmüller
June 27, 2019
It is truly astonishing that, contrary to previous assemblies, the upcoming Synod of Bishops will deal exclusively with a region of the earth whose population is just half that of Mexico City, that is to say, 4 million. This is also a cause of suspicion concerning the true intentions which are to be implemented in a clandestine fashion. But one has to ask especially about the understanding of religion, of Christianity, and of the Church, which is the basis of the recently published Instrumentum Laboris. This shall be examined with the help of individual elements from the text.
Why a Synod on this region?
One has to ask in principle why a Synod of Bishops should deal with topics, which – as is now the case with ¾ of the Instrumentum Laboris – have, at the most, very little to do with the Gospels and the Church. Obviously, the Synod of Bishops with this document makes an aggressive intrusion into the purely worldly affairs of the state and society of Brazil. What do ecology, economy, and politics have to do with the mandate and mission of the Church?
And more importantly: what professional expertise authorizes an ecclesial Synod of Bishops to make statements in these fields?
Should the Synod of Bishops truly do this, this would be a stepping over boundaries and a clericalist presumption, which the state authorities would then have to reject.
On Natural Religions and Inculturation
Furthermore, throughout the whole Instrumentum Laboris can be found a very positive assessment of natural religions, to include indigenous healing practices and the like; yes, even mythical-religious practices and forms of cults. In the context of the call for harmony with nature, there is talk about the dialogue with the spirits (no. 75).
It is not only the ideal of the “noble savage” as presented by Rousseau and the Enlightenment that is being contrasted with the decadent European. The line of thought in the Instrumentum goes further, up to the turn to the 20th century, ending in a pantheistic idolatry of nature. Hermann Claudius (1913) created the hymn of the Socialist Worker's Movement, “When we walk side by side...,” a stanza of which reads: “Birches' green and the green of seeds, how the old Mother Earth extends her full hands, with a pleading gesture, that man may become her own...” It is remarkable that this text was later copied into the songbook of the Hitler Youth, probably because it corresponded to the National-Socialist blood-and-soil myth. The ideological proximity with the Instrumentum is remarkable. The anti-rational rejection of the “western” culture which stresses the importance of reason is characteristic of the Instrumentum Laboris, which speaks in no. 44 of “Mother Earth” and of the “cry of the earth and of the peoples” (no. 101) respectively.
Accordingly, the territory – that is to say, the forests of the Amazon region – is declared to be a locus theologicus, a special source of Divine Revelation. There are places of an epiphany where the planet's reserves of life and wisdom show themselves, which speak of God (no. 19). The anti-rational rejection of the “western” culture that stresses the importance of reason is characteristic of the Instrumentum Laboris. Meanwhile, the subsequent regression from Logos to Mythos is being raised to a criterion of that which the Instrumentum Laboris calls the inculturation of the Church. The result is a natural religion with a Christian masquerade.
The notion of inculturation is perverted in the document, since it proposes the opposite of what the International Theological Commission had presented in 1988 and of what the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity, Ad Gentes, taught.
On the Abolishment of Celibacy and the Introduction of a Female Priesthood
It is impossible to conceal that the “synod” intends especially to help implement two most cherished projects that heretofore have never been implemented: namely, the abolishment of celibacy and the introduction of a female priesthood – starting first with female deacons. In any event, it is about “accepting the role, the leadership of the woman inside the Church” (129a3). In a similar manner, there now “open up new spaces for the creation of new ministries, as this historic moment calls for it. It is time to listen to the voice of the Amazon region...” (no. 43).
But here the fact is omitted that, lastly, John Paul II also stated with highest magisterial authority that it is not in the power of the Church to administer the Sacrament of Holy Orders to women. Indeed, in two thousand years, the Church has never administered the Sacrament of Holy Orders to a woman. The demand which stands in direct opposition to this fact shows that the word “Church” is now being used purely as a sociological term on the part of the authors of the Instrumentum Laboris, thus implicitly denying the sacramental-hierarchical character of the Church.
On Denying the Sacramental-Hierarchical Character of the Church
In a similar manner – though expressed in passing – no. 127 contains a direct attack on the hierarchical-sacramental constitution of the Church, when it is being asked whether it would not be opportune “to reconsider the notion that the exercise of jurisdiction (power of government) must be linked in all areas (sacramental, judicial, administrative) and in a permanent way to the Sacrament of Holy Orders." (no. 127) From such an erroneious view stems (in no. 129) the call for the creation of new offices which correspond to the needs of the Amazonian peoples.
The liturgy, the cult, however, is the field in which the ideology of a falsely understood inculturation finds its expression in an especially spectacular manner. Here, certain forms of the natural religions are positively adopted. The Instrumentum Laboris does not hold back from demanding that the “poor and simple peoples” may express “their (!) faith with the help of pictures, symbols, traditions, rites, and other sacraments” (!!) (no. 126e).
This certainly does not correspond to the precepts of the Constitution “Sacrosanctum Concilium,” nor to the ones of the Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity, Ad Gentes, and it shows a purely horizontal understanding of liturgy.
Summa summarum: The Instrumentum Laboris burdens the Synod of Bishops, and finally the Pope, with a grave breach with the depositum fidei, which in its consequence means the self-destruction of the Church or the change of the Corpus Christi mysticum into a secular NGO with an ecological-social-psychological mandate.
After these observations, of course there are questions: is there to be found, especially with regard to the sacramental-hierarchical structure of the Church, a decisive breach with the Apostolic Tradition as it is constitutive for the Church, or do the authors rather have a notion of the development of doctrine which is theologically presented in order to justify these above-mentioned breaches?
This seems to be indeed the case. We are witnessing a new form of the classical Modernism of the early 20th century. At the time, starting with a decisively evolutionary approach, one presented the idea that, in accord with the continuous higher development of man, are found also higher levels of consciousness and of culture, whereby it can turn out that that which had been false yesterday, can be true today. This evolutionary dynamic then applies to religion, as well, that is to say, to the religious consciousness with its manifestations in doctrine and in cult – of course also in morality.
However, the understanding of the development of dogma presupposed to this view is sharply opposed to the genuine Catholic understanding. The latter understands development of dogma and of Church, not as a change, but, rather, as an organic development of the subject which remains true to its own identity.
That is what the two Vatican Councils teach us in their Constitutions “Dei Filius,” “Lumen Gentium,” and “Dei Verbum.”
It is to be stated now with insistence that the Instrumentum Laboris contradicts the binding teaching of the Church in decisive points and thus has to be qualified as heretical.
Inasmuch as even the fact of Divine Revelation is here being questioned, or misunderstood, one also now has to speak, additionally, of apostasy.
This is even more justified in light of the fact that the Instrumentum Laboris uses a purely immanentist notion of religion and that it considers religion as the result and form of expression of man's own spiritual self-experience. The use of Christian words and notions cannot conceal that these are being merely used as empty words, despite their original meaning.
The Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon Synod constitutes an attack on the foundations of the Faith, and in a way that has not heretofore been thought possible. Thus it must be rejected with all decisiveness.
Translated by LifeSiteNews' Maike Hickson
I thank God for Cardinal Brandmuller. I have been wanting to say a whole lot more, but charity won't allow it. I will pray.
Cardinal Brandmuller versus the intellectual lightweights PF surrounds himself with. No contest
True, but only for rational people. For the intellectual lightweights, feelings will trump reason.
Can someone please help this lay catholic to understand why HFPF continues to allow this craziness to continue. I truly am at a loss for words. I just don't get this at all. Why? I am asking this sincerely. There is no sarcasm in my thinking. Rather than spew vitriol I am open to someone more learned explaining this to me.
How objective is the Cardinal being here? Before we rush to judgment, perhaps we should read the Instrumentum Laboris for ourselves instead of relying on a clearly biased account that even raises the specter of female ordination—you know, like we should actually read the Mueller Report itself instead of relying upon AG Barr’s “summary” or other accounts biased the other way.
Perhaps the Instrumentum is indeed as troubling as the Cardinal suggests, but we need to determine this for ourselves if we seek to be as objective as possible, despite the unavoidable biases we all have. I just tried to find a copy online but it seems to be available only in Spanish (is there one available in English?). I did find the following Vatican Press release, however:
Has anyone here read the Instrumentum yet or have other good and accurate information to share? Has there been a previous thread on the topic that I have missed?
P.S. Did the Cardinal really need to play the Hitler card to make his point? Isn’t this another reason for questioning his objectivity? My antennae always deploy when Adolph is brought into the discussion.
Maybe the Cardinal is a closet liberal. They play the Hitler card non-stop!
'Perhaps the Instrumentum is indeed as troubling as the Cardinal suggests, but we need to determine this for ourselves if we seek to be as objective as possible, despite the unavoidable biases we all have."
Anonymous2, that is a Protestant-like approach.
As Catholics, we defer to the authority of the Church, in her magisterial teaching, in order to humbly accept and submit in our intellect to the truth she proclaims. And we do this by listening to those faithful servants such as Cardinal Brandmuller who in studying documents such as the Instrumentum Laboris, and in reading and analyzing the content therein, applies his considerable knowledge of the Faith and its teachings, in conjunction with the wisdom attendant to a faithful occupant of the office he holds, to enlighten those who are less knowledgeable and informed. With the proper spiritual frame of mind and attitude, we will accept with humble obedience and acquiesence what the Church provides us in the Holy works of her revealed teachings and those who faithfully proclaim them.
Of course, it is a terrible situation the Body of Christ finds itself in today where you have much contention, dissension, and discord. A spirit which is not of Divine origin is at work within the Church.
It is incumbent on us to pray for those who are in leadership positions, in that what they propose and proclaim, originates from the Spirit of God and not that of man, since come what may we must be and remain faithful sons and daughters of the Church, which is God's Holy and Divine established institution on earth, the Instrument of Salvation established and instituted by Christ as the Sacramental
means for our Eternal Salvation.
Large grandiose meetings are often held for one of two reasons. The first is they can often guarantee that nothing changes. The second is to implement a change that had already been decided on. I liked the part where he referred to the new church as a secular environmental ngo. There is a lot of truth in that.
Read Instrumentum Laboris? Ha! The writers show their hypocrisy and cultural elitism by not releasing it in even ONE of the languages of the indigenous Amazonian tribes. This is clericalism and elitism hiding behind patriarchal structures.
Well, this has nothing to do with the controversy related to this blog, but in the picture the cardinal is wearing a very stylish chasuble. Someone could tell me what type that is? I certainly don't see it at my parish in 30327 or in any other ones nearby.
Cardinal Brandmüller has presented his take upon the Instrumentum Laboris. His opinions in question may be valid, or not.
There are "experts" who have produced/signed "Open Letters," "Corrections," etc., that have demonstrated supposedly that Pope Francis has expressed "heretical" teachings.
Additional "experts" have declared that said "Open Letters/Corrections" are preposterous.
Cardinal Burke has declared that the SSPX is in schism. Via his "expert" opinion, we have been informed by Cardinal Burke that "is not legitimate to attend Mass or to receive the sacraments in a church that's under the direction of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X."
Is Cardinal Burke, a canon law expert, to be taken seriously in regard to his assessment of the SSPX?
Archbishop Chaput said that compared to the Traditional Latin Mass: "...in fact I find the Novus Ordo, properly celebrated, a much richer expression of worship;"
Is his above assessment to be taken seriously?
Just because a Cardinal (or bishop) has offered assessment "X" doesn't mean that assessment "X" is valid.
Cardinal Brandmüller's opinion of the Instrumentum Laboris is just that — no more, no less — just his opinion.
Clericalism and elitism? I would say, in addition, outright colonialism of the worst kind, using the Amazonian people as pawns to further the Modernist agenda of the "Enlightened" West.
George, I love it when you visit this forum! Your comments always reveal thoughtful wisdom, without contentious attitude. Thank you.
As George puts it, herein is the real problem today in our Church:
“Of course, it is a terrible situation the Body of Christ finds itself in today where you have much contention, dissension, and discord. A spirit which is not of Divine origin is at work within the Church.”
One expects this in the political arena and indeed in Godless society at large, but to experience it in the Church is disheartening beyond reckoning. We have the weapons to destroy this spirit of confusion and disunity, given to us by Christ Himself and His Blessed Mother. The Church provides the Sacramental house in which to strengthen those weapons within us. It is up to us to use those weapons, and not rely on self-promoting, ultimately self-defeating overthinking and overreacting.
We are born with God-given intellect and a purity of mind and heart that leads to a rudimentary sense of right and wrong if properly directed. With good parental guidance and correction, relying on God’s Grace, intellect is nourished, morality is formed, and a productive person results. But life can whittle away or even destroy the purity and leave only the intellect intact. Intellect without purity to guide it is open fodder for evil to thrive. In these troubled times, I’ve begun praying daily for purity to reestablish itself in my life so that my intellect is properly directed. It’s all I know to do.
What is your opinion on the said Instrumentum Laboris? You are fond of quoting others, but remarkably reticent when it comes to giving your own considered judgement.
Touche! You’ve chased MT “I never answer s direct question” away for awhile
Thank you for your comment. I echo what JDJ says about your visits to this forum. And JDJ rightly zeros in on the key point in your comment—one that makes it very difficult to defer to the magisterial teaching of the Church when the voices that constitute that teaching are so split. I have always tried to resolve the resulting dilemmas by deferring to the Pope and the collective voice of the hierarchy expressed, for example, through the USCCB. That approach is not popular in this forum because much of what the current Pope says and of what the USCCB says does not align well with the preferences of many who post here.
Regarding the Instrumentum specifically, before we even reach the “opinion” issues of what a particular text or pronouncement means or what its implications are, we have to establish the “facts” of what it actually says. That was the central point in my comment yesterday, as my comparison with the Mueller report indicated, although I should have expressed it more clearly. I hate to have to say it but I simply do not trust a “summary” of the Instrumentum given by someone who is hardly neutral with respect to Pope Francis.
I understand your concerns. It is important that we read and come to know as much as we can about what is in Scripture and what the Church teaches and always have as our guide that which the Catholic church has authoritatively taught. Note that the Cardinal refers to a number of documents: "Sacrosanctum Concilium", "Ad Gentes", and the Vatican Councils Constitutions in "Dei Filius,” “Lumen Gentium,” and “Dei Verbum.” These are available online for anyone with access to a computer and Internet access to read. It is good that if we do have the opportunity to read the Instrumentum Laboris, we can then refer back to these documents as pertinent to revealing any possible issues, either from lack of clarity or imprecision in what is written, or from seeming or actual conflicts with what the Church teaches. This is how it is when things are in the process stage. It is so important that we offer frequent prayer and sacrifice in these times of great difficulty for the Church for both the Holy Father as well as for her bishops and priests.
You gave up pretty quickly on your Hitler comment! You must have recalled its frequent use on CNN, MSNBC and the faculty lounge! Cheers
Mr. Nolan. I have not completed my reading of the document. But I believe that the document begins well. The flavor is very much Catholic.
The document is Christ-centered. Great emphasis has been placed up preaching the Good News throughout the Amazon region.
After having read several pages from the beginning, I skipped to pages throughout the document.
Time and again, I encountered a document that is beautifully pro-life.
I have been blessed via the document's Christ-centered, Gospel, pro-life flavor.
Those are conclusions, not analysis. Strange you claim to be pro life but you are a lefty which is pro death.
Clandestine meetings, ambiguous documents...
A2, you are absolutely correct in observing that it becomes “...very difficult to defer to the magisterial teaching of the Church when the voices that constitute that teaching are so split.”
I personally don’t receive much clarity from the USCCB, however. I have spent years attempting to do so, including watching the biannual meetings. From my perspective, dissension and split decisions seem to rule the day in that body.
These days, I tend to keep it simple but then I am more simple-minded than many on this forum!) and find more clarity in the CCC and in simply reading scripture.
It is up to you whether you respond to TJM. I am not going to do so as it seems he is off to the races again with his irrelevancies and slurs, express or implied.
P.S. I would also like to read the document but could only find it in Spanish, which I do not have (any more). Do you know of an English version? French, German, or Latin might also work but I assume that if it is in those it is also in English. Thanks.
Rorate published the full Vatican text in English over a week ago. And yes, the document makes assumptions which are highly questionable. Mark Thomas homes in on the 'feel-good' phrases and glosses over anything that might be contentious. He reminds me of those dyed-in-the-wool fellow travellers who, despite mounting evidence, could not bring themselves to confront the reality of Soviet socialism.
Thank you John. That helped me find it.
Aside from the issue of whatever parts of the Instrumentum laboris my or may not be orthodox, we need to recognize and acknowledge the situation the Church finds itself in today. An uncle of mine (now deceased) was sent from the United States by the Redemptorists order to serve as a missionary priest in the interior of Brazil. I don't know in what year that was, only that he was ministering to the spiritual needs of people the down there from the 1950s into the 1970s. While missionary orders such as the Redemptorists are still sending priests to serve in different parts of the world, the needs are and have always been greater than the numbers they can provide. With the steep decline in vocations over the last sixty years, the situation has become more and more acute and this leaves many more areas underserved. So the Church today finds herself grappling with the shortage of priests in attempting to find a solution to the spiritual needs of areas such as Amazonia. We can ever hope and pray that whatever means are decided on and implemented by the Church to serve the people of that region, it will be in accord with what God desires.
You can't admit you made a silly comment about the Cardinal using the Hitler analogy. I called you on it because your fellow travelers in the media and academia have worn it out just like the race card. You are hardly the person to be giving advice to our resident empty suit.
Apparently TJM still cannot read: “My antennae always deploy when Adolph is brought into the discussion.” One doesn't need to go far in the dictionary to find the word "always." And, unlike his great hero DJT, I do not lie.
LOL. You and your fellow "liberals" lie all of the time, particularly about your political opponents, in this case, the most pro-life president and the most pro-America worker president in our lifetime, Donald John Trump. You hero, Obama LOVED abortions and he lost over 200,000 manufacturing jobs on his watch. He was even stupid enough to say he wanted to destroy the coal workers livelihood, whereas on DJT's watch, over 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in the US.
Is your Adolph attennae up when the Hitler reference is applied to Republicans by CNN, MSNBC, and your colleagues?
P.S. And even if I were the most rabid liberal under the sun, and even if I played the Hitler card myself every day, it still wouldn’t make it appropriate for the good Cardinal to play that card. Applying objective standards about appropriate use of the Hitler card would instead lead to criticizing its inappropriate use by the Cardinal or anyone else, whether on the Left or the Right, and would also open me to the charge of hypocrisy. But, of course, the hypocrisy of A is irrelevant to the objective evaluation of B. As so often, then, TJM, like his hero DJT, engages in the tactics of distraction (I won’t call him a master of distraction because it is so b****y obvious).
Well, I have had enough of it (and other falsehoods)—from TJM, from DJT, from Republicans, from Democrats, from whomever. It is one more deception in this culture of deception that we now inhabit. Some of us can still think straight, and it is time to fight back to defend truth before it is too late and the culture of deception engulfs us so completely that we can no longer tell the difference between truth and lies (assuming it isn’t too late already). Along these lines, if you really want to ruin your day, Google “Deepfake videos.”
TJM just either cannot or just will not get it. He reminds me of the fanatical Marxist student (and Communist Party member) at my college who had an answer for everything or the fanatical fundamentalist Muslim cleric who also has an answer for everything, because their worldviews are entirely self-contained and internally coherent and consistent. Although the assertions that derive from these worldviews are so often based on false premises it is impossible to engage in meaningful rational enquiry with such people because they never allow their worldview and their assertions to be put to the question and tested by the principle of falsifiability. And this problem is compounded today by our generalized culture of deception. It is with good reason, then, that people speak of the cult of Trump.
When TJM is in this mode it is pointless to engage with him. And so, although I have already answered his question quite clearly, he either cannot or will not accept it.
I don't think it is inappropriate for a German born in 1929 to refer to National Socialist ideology, which he would have been exposed to in his childhood.
Yes, I thought of that too, John. But then we need to ask whether a person’s experience being born and growing up in pre-War Germany makes it more objectively justifiable to bring National Socialism into the conversation, even though it may make it more understandable. And in today’s cultural climate, surely anyone should realize that references to Nazis and/or Hitler have the effect of shutting down conversation and rational enquiry, whoever does it (which is why I am so suspicious of_anyone_who does it—TJM take note)
While the Cardinal is more oblique about it (doesn’t this make it more insidious, though?), the effect (and intent?) of what is ultimately the same rhetorical sleight of hand is clear: guilt by association, that is, “Those behind the synod are like Nazis and Pope Francis is like Hitler,” even though this association may operate unconsciously. Do we really think this is legitimate?
One way to test our intuitions about this is to ask: How did I respond when I read that passage in what the Cardinal wrote? What thoughts and images were conjured up by it?
P.S. Of course, if a person sincerely believes that those behind the synod are like Nazis and Pope Francis is like Hitler, then I guess the analogy would be seen as quite appropriate. Does the absurdity of such a belief require any further comment?
And think about what the Cardinal did_not_say that could, perhaps, have made the comment less inappropriate, or how he could have referred to pagan and pantheistic worldviews without bringing Nazis into it.
Of course, the Cardinal may have been quite innocent of the innuendos that flowed from his comment but then I submit he should have been more careful and should know better. But, again, if I understand correctly, he is not exactly in Pope Francis’ corner, is he?
What I find alarming is the ideological proximity with pagan and pantheistic worldviews which certainly have echoes in 'Blut und Boden', which the National Socialists made much of, although the basic concept originated in 19th century romantic German nationalism.
The Cardinal was not making an analogy, but was pointing out a connection. I would have made the same connection (it's fairly obvious to anyone acquainted with 20th century history). 'Inappropriate' is a subjective comment which is overused. In my opinion the connection was apposite.
To infer from this that I think PF is like Hitler and his henchmen like Nazis would indeed be absurd. Francis in any case is more Juan Peron than Adolf Hitler.
Since you and I represent a voice of sanity on this blog, and since I have no interest in American party-political mud-slinging (I have enough of this at home), and assuming that you have now read the Instrumentum Laboris, I would be interested in hearing your take on it.
I am sorry to be so late in replying to you. I started reading the Instrumentum when you shared the information about where it could be found but then had to stop. I completed the reading on Thursday but have been occupied with other tasks since then.
Anyway, FWIIW, here are some preliminary thoughts:
(1) I can certainly understand the Cardinal’s concerns but, as best I can tell, at this point they are concerns about potential risks, and whether those risks in fact materialize will depend on future events. Some of the Cardinal’s conclusions, therefore, seem premature. For example, although I am no expert theologian, charges of heresy and apostacy seem somewhat overdrawn. Also, I see no clear indication that the synod will definitely result in the ordination of female deacons, let alone female priests.
(2) As I was reading through the document, two sets of images kept on going through my mind—St. Paul at the Areopagus in Athens (and then I encountered the quote from First Corinthians in section 115), and the film Avatar which, although burdened by false theology and a heavy handed message, does still make an instructive and important point about a clash of worldviews and about true seeing of the Other.
(3) So, my sense is that the Cardinal performs a valuable service in alerting us to potential risks (which hopefully will not materialize) but overstates the present case (and the explicit reference to National Socialism still seems to me to be a bit below the belt).
(4) For some reason, section 27 struck me quite forcefully and made me wonder whether the Amazon synod is not part of a larger (Jesuitical?) strategy.
(5) Apart from these very general impressions, I would be happy to engage on particular passages if that would be more helpful to the conversation. Thank you again for the reference. (For some reason, though, sections 107, 108, 109, and some of 110 seems to be missing from the translation posted by Rorate.)
P.S. Regarding point (4) it may be helpful to anyone still reading this thread to reproduce section 27 so they don’t have to hunt for it:
“The Amazon cosmovision and the Christian worldview are both in crisis due to the imposition of mercantilism, secularization, the throwaway culture and the idolatry of money (cf. EG 54-55). This crisis especially affects young people and the urban contexts that lose their solid roots of tradition.”
To focus the point, as we have noted on some earlier threads, there may be a more or less direct line of thought, for example, from a concern to protect life in the womb of the sacred (because God-given) Amazon rainforest to a concern to protect life in the womb in modern Western societies that have become deforested, desacralized and secularized, especially in the cities.
Thanks. I also think that Brandmüller overstates his case; this is merely the working document although I suspect the conclusions of the Synod will have been predetermined.
Regarding section 27 I suspect that the translation leaves much to be desired. 'The Amazon cosmovision' is simply gobbledegook. Mercantilism was an economic theory which didn't survive the 18th century. Tradition, properly understood, can flourish as much, if not more, in an urban context as in a rural one - hence the etymology of 'civilization'.
Deforestation is not an issue in Western society, where trees are a sustainable resource. Like most people, I am concerned at the threat to the rain forest, but I'm not sure that quasi-mystical mumbo-jumbo will help in this regard.
As for the people, it is easy for anthropologists to idealize primitive societies since they do not share the ignorance, disease and squalor which usually accompany them.
Yes, translation is always an issue. But I think we know what is meant—something like “view of the cosmos” or, simply, “worldview” again.
Mercantilism does indeed refer to a now discredited theory of international trade (although someone needs to tell President Trump who seems unable to understand this point). But I believe it is also used in the more general sense of “commercialism.” This said, I agree it would have been better to avoid use of the term given the potential for confusion.
I agree too about the flourishing of tradition in cities. However, perhaps the document has in mind the very real divide between urban and rural attitudes in Western societies. In this country this divide is certainly much talked about with respect to the States generally, and here in Georgia in particular.
Regarding deforestation, for the literal sense I cast my mind back to ancient times in the U.K., and to a few decades ago for Europe (the EU is certainly concerned about it), and for the metaphorical sense am thinking again of the urban-rural divide and the loss of rootedness in the land.
No argument about overly romanticizing less developed societies. This said, I am confident we “more developed” types can still learn from them, as they can from us. Indeed, isn’t the most fruitful type of “dialogue” generally that which results in mutual learning?
Thanks again for engaging on the topic.
'Rootedness in the land'. In other words, Blut und Boden. We're into rather dubious ground (no pun intended).
I understand that Georgia was established as a haven for debtors, who would have been imprisoned over here.
Post a Comment