Exploring the Social Imagination

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Rumor of Angels in the Social Imagination...

Professor Berger writes like one of those angels in his book, Rumor of Angels. He examines not those supernatural entities whose quantities occupied the theological scholastics of yore, but symbols of a supernatural order, centered in a transcendent Being whose existence the author discovers in the "signals of transcendence" that surround mankind. Berger is not a theologian but a social scientist (The New School of Social Research), and he employs the tools of his trade first to undercut the position of the "God-is-dead" school and then to demonstrate the existence and continuity of those "signals" which do clearly communicate to mankind the existence of a supernatural order and a Supreme Being.

Peter Berger was a sociologist like myself. He realized that high ideals, morals and ethics don't naturally arise out of 'natural' man ... given that in Darwinist terms, man is an animal.  Mary Baker Eddy responded to that in 1875 by saying, "Mr. Darwin is right with regard to mortal man or matter, but should have made a distinction between these and the immortal, whose basis is Spirit." I happen to agree with the both of them. Eddy is known for having organized the church of Christian Science and for starting The Christian Science Monitor in 1908. I don't agree with Eddy's organized church but her defense of God created man/universe is passionately solid.

In Eddy's day, there was already a phasing out of the sacred in American society. In 1902 she commented on the fact that within the past decade religion in the United States had passed from stern Protestantism to doubtful liberalism (R.Peel.1984:107). This was made evident to her in the observation of Christianity retreat from society as materialist science moved forward.

And, it moved forward even faster after WWI. When the lights had gone out all over Europe in 1914, few people could even imagine the magnitude of the disaster that would follow (R. Peel. 1984:112). War is always that which seeks to destroy the spirit though much flesh is lost the sadder victory is loss of hope not in the future but in mankind. And, sadder yet is that in these kinds of weakness it may appear that faith/religion is disappearing.

According to Carl Jung, it may rather mean that false gods have gained their entry. Jung, no enemy to religion, warned that in times of War and especially thereafter, a return to more "horrible" ancient religions is probable (R. Peel. 1984:113) We are witness to that today in full blown relativism demonstrated in the  promotion of abortion - eugenics, murder/sacrifice of human life, trans-humanism and free love sexual revolution of promiscuity including sex trafficking, gender role flip-flopping and or gender confusion. Yes, ancient religions practiced all that just listed.

Yes, the argument for leaving faith/religion is always 'science'. Of course, one is made aware of the advances in man's science. But, as technological advances grow the human spirit seems strangely adrift. Sociologists since Berger's time have fallen into the science of their observations. They are no longer human but indifferent to the human spirit and mechanistic. Always willing to slap on labels, squash and redirect their enthusiasm for the individual pursuit of happiness toward the worship of the state as a means to bring top-down equal happiness to all within it put together by 'magical experts' in some elite think-tank that looks at the numbers in terms of how to distribute 'top-down' happiness.

One has to ask, "why is that man is still driven to doubt his own spirit?" Especially, when all he has to do is reflect on all those who came through and or have come through horrible unimaginable cruel events/conflicts/dangers/persecutions and all other evils thrown his way. Is that science has taken over? The false god (s) and their practices?

Our hope is as Peter Berger reflected on... that which is in man, a spiritual yearning one that seeks for a deeper spirituality because in it is his true direction and path. For the world, it may be the only sure way to earth's future (R. Peel. 1984:119).

The Kingdom of God is within you... Luke 17:21.

*Online Source ~ https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/peter-l-berger-2/a-rumor-of-angels/
  Book Source ~ Understanding our Century. 1984. Publisher: The Christian Science Monitor.

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