Postmodernism. The word is enough to send shivers down some peoples spines. For others it's not so much a shiver but a long groan. And for others there is nothing sweeter or better than post modernity. I've believe the same attitudes are alive in the church. Same people will tell you that the greatest danger facing the church today is the rise of postmodernism - it is the great evil of the age. Others will tell you that the hope and future of the church lies down the path of the postmodernists.
Being a good Anglican, I want to avoid both extremities. I think that postmodernism has some helpful ideas that the church should grapple and engage with - the quest for justice, community and authenticity for starters. And I think that there are some things within post modernity that the church must hold fast on and say no, such as the apathy and ambiguity ingrained into today's pomo culture. And when this is all said and down, there are some valuable things that the could church to pick up- narrative, and an ally against that great enemy of the church: modernism.
There is an urgency in all this. It's very easy to dismiss pomo, and even claim that we've moved on - we're post post modern - which I think is such a post modern thing to say. What I have think has happened is that post modernism started off as an academic critique of modernism in literature, history, justice etc in the mid 20th century. From that time it has slowly worked it's way through our culture and society until today - where it now is part of our social conscience.
And the urgency is that this is no more true than in today's 'gen y' and 'gen z'. These are generations where post modernism has been ingrained into their very fibre. So over he coming weeks I'm planning to post about some helpful things in post modernism, some not so helpful things, and how the church should respond to this. And I'm keen to hear what you have to say about all this - so feel free to comment.