224 pages, 6” x 9”, introduction, notes, bibliography, appendixes, index
Modern Age, The
Schall, James V.
At its beginning, every age has been “modern.” We speak of “pre-” and “post-” modern ages. We are likewise tempted to identify what is most up-to-date with what is true. But to be up-to-date is to be out-of-date. If we find what is really true in any age, it will be true in all ages. This proposition is central to this book. Moreover, what is true will appear in different guises, as will what is false. The “modern age” had often considered itself relativist, or secular, or skeptical. It strove to divest itself of its theological and metaphysical backgrounds, only to find that the central themes from this tradition recur again and again, most often under political or even scientific forms.
This book proposes to “see” these classical and revelational roots within their modern forms. But we also find the proposition that what exists is only what we make. We find no “truth” but that of our own confection. When we find only our own “truth,” however, we do not really find or know ourselves. We do not cause what it is to be ourselves in the first place. The central truth that the “modern age” does not acknowledge is that its own existence along with that of the world itself is first a gift. When we see the “modern age” in this light we can again rediscover what we really are. Hopefully, we can choose and rejoice in what we are intended to be in any age as the gift of being is something that transcends all ages even while dwelling within them.