Thursday, October 09, 2008

The ABC speaks out

I have often been critical of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, particularly in his dealings with the ECUSA and his treatment of Bishop Gene Robinson vis a vis the recent Lambeth meeting. The ABC has really nailed the financial crisis, however. He has this to say on his website. The entire piece is excellent, and details how modern people have lost sight of the fact that the global economy, and its financial products made by men, have the power to desperately hurt real human beings. The paragraph that most struck me, foe of any kind of fundamentalism that I am, was this one:

Fundamentalism is a religious word, not inappropriate to the nature of the problem. Marx long ago observed the way in which unbridled capitalism became a kind of mythology, ascribing reality, power and agency to things that had no life in themselves; he was right about that, if about little else. And ascribing independent reality to what you have in fact made yourself is a perfect definition of what the Jewish and Christian Scriptures call idolatry. What the present anxieties and disasters should be teaching us is to 'keep ourselves from idols', in the biblical phrase. The mythologies and abstractions, the pseudo-objects of much modern financial culture, are in urgent need of their own Dawkins or Hitchens. We need to be reacquainted with our own capacity to choose — which means acquiring some skills in discerning true faith from false, and re-learning some of the inescapable face-to-face dimensions of human trust.

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