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Rethinking the privatization of faith

For those theologically inclined and have been following the (relatively) recent debates over the privatization of faith (in other words, the shrinking space religion is confined to in the secular world) then I would venture to guess that the more socio-economic political arguments for the faith hailing from John Milbank, Stanley Hauerwas, Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, et. al. are highly convincing for you. The flak they all seem to receive however boils down to an accusation that they are nostalgic for a pure Christendom that never existed. I have briefly shared my own thoughts on this matter elsewhere (here) concluding that our private faith is merely, de facto, practical atheism. This is entirely too simple I confess, but I recently ran across a snippet of Graham Ward’s book The Politics of Discipleship (the full post can be viewed here). I will presently reproduce only the final sentence of the post as a stand-in for an opposing argument to some of the ‘new traditionalists’ named above (Ward is specifically referencing Radical Orthodoxy here).

…such a narrative of a theological decline assumes that it was so much easier to be faithful in mediaeval Christendom (at is classical height) than today, and I can’t accept that – what possible theological rationale can there be for God making things harder for us now to accept the gift of Godself?

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