By T. S. Eliot
Lengthy essays: “The notion of a Christian Society” (on the course of non secular suggestion towards feedback of political and financial structures) 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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Additional resources for Christianity and Culture: The Idea of a Christian Society and Notes Towards the Definition of Culture
It would be a society in which the natural end of manvirtue and well-being in community-is acknowledged for all, and the supernatural end-beatitude-for those who havev the eyes to see it. I do not wish, however, to abandon my previous point, that a Christian community is one in which there is a unified religious-social code of behaviour. It should not be necessary for the ordinary individual to b e wholly conscious of what elements are distinctly religious and Christian, and what are merely social and identified with his religion by no logical implication.
I must restrict my consideration to the position of the arts in our present society, and to what it should be in such a future society as I envisage. It may be that the conditions unfavourable to the arts today lie too deep and are too extensive to depend upon the differences between one form of government and another; so that the prospect before us is either of slow continuous decay or of sudden extinction. You cannot, in any scheme for the refor- 32 Christianity and Culture mation of society, aim directly at a condition in which the arts will flourish: these activities are probably by-products for which we cannot deliberately arrange the conditions.
And finally, the totalitarian tendency is against it, for the tendency of totalitarianism is to re-affirm, on a lower level, the religious-social nature of society. And I am convinced that you cannot have a national Christian society, a religious-social community, a society with a political philosophy founded upon the Christian faith, if it is constituted as a mere congeries of private and The Idea of a Christian Society independent sects. The national faith must have an official recognition by the State, as well as an accepted status in the community and a basis of conviction in the heart of the individual.