“But a hopeful road map to humanism’s recovery might include variations on those older themes. First, a return of serious academic interest in the possible (I would say likely) truth of religious claims. Second, a regained sense of history as a repository of wisdom and example rather than just a litany of crimes and wrongthink. Finally, a cultural recoil from the tyranny of the digital and the virtual and the Very Online, today’s version of the technocratic, technological, potentially totalitarian Machine that Jacobs’s Christian humanists opposed.
“Auden’s poem closes with comic (but not really) advice for humanists: Thou shalt not sit/ With statisticians nor commit / A social science … Thou shalt not be on friendly terms / With guys in advertising firms … If thou must choose / Between the chances, choose the odd; / Read The New Yorker, trust in God …”
(Ross Douthat, “Oh, the Humanities!” NYTimes, 8-8-2018)
[Copyright (c) 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.]