Whenever the split began, we have been living with it for some time, and the problem is that the former greatest allies of faith now appear to be deconstructing humanity in ways that provide neither guidance for the common life nor compelling interpretations of the inner life. Waving the banner of postmodernism, contemporary thought has decentered the human subject, insisting that the human person is but a social construct. The individual, in this view, is not a soul, a mind, a psyche, or a will-and is certainly not made in the image of God. Any residual ontology that implies a "real" self able to choose and reason, love and judge, needs to be abandoned. We are to recognize instead that individuals are but random collections of virtual states of consciousness, with no underlying ground, no principle of unity, and no predetermined boundaries.
Our current autonomous humanism cannot rightly shape souls or societies. It has no enduring depth, no capacity to grasp who we are or to guide us as to what we ought to be about.
But above all, we seem to be reaching a fresh appreciation of transcendence: we live in an order we did not create, but which we must acknowledge if we are morally honest. It can be more clearly grasped when we see our own and our neighbor's humanity under and within the care of God. In this sense, we are reaching the end of the humanist era that pretended to be autonomous and issuing a call to seek again for a theonomous humanism.
"There was the familiar cross (...) a naked girl hung on it, hands tied in front of her private parts. Another naked figure lashed the crucified one with a whip that reached further to another cross, on which a girl was exposed from behind. More and more crosses appeared, all with women tied and exposed in various positions. Some were exposed from the front, some from the side, some from behind, some crouched in fetal position, some head down, or legs apart, or legs crossed‹and always whips, crosses, whips."
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