Christianity and Culture: The Idea of a Christian Society by T. S. Eliot

By T. S. Eliot

Lengthy essays: “The notion of a Christian Society” (on the path of spiritual inspiration towards feedback of political and fiscal platforms) and “Notes in the direction of the Definition of Culture” (on tradition, its that means, and the hazards threatening the legacy of the Western world).

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Demant gives a very good account of the forces tending towards acceptance of the absolutist State, and remarks truly that: "This fact of the secularisation of human life does not arise mainly from the extension of the State's powers. " One of the causes of the totalitarian State is an effort of the State to supply a function which the Church has ceased to serve; to enter into a relation to the community which the Church has failed to maintain; which leads to the recognition as full citizens only of those who are prepared to accept it in this relation.

The rulers and would-be rulers of modern states may be divided into three kinds, in a classification which cuts across the division of fascism, communism and democracy. There are such as have taken over or adapted some philosophy, as of Marx or Aquinas. There are those who, combining invention with eclecticism, have devised their own philosophy-not usually distinguished by either the profundity or the consistency one expects of a philosophy of life-and there are those who pursue their tasks without appearing to have any philosophy at all.

We have observed the lamentable results of the attempt to isolate the Church from the World; there are also instances of the failure of the attempt to integrate the World in the Church; we must also be on guard against the attempt to integrate the Church in the World. A permanent danger of an established Church is Erastianism: we do not need to refer to the eighteenth century, or to prewar Russia, to remind ourselves of that. Deplorable as such a situation is, it is not so much the immediate and manifest scandals but the ultimate consequences of Erastianism that are the most serious offenses.

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