Once there was no secular….

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

This is a quote from John Milbank and was posed to me in a recent assignment for my last College class. I found it very interesting and was eager to start the reading cover this topic. To better understand the quote from John Milbank, we have to discover what he does not mean by it. He (John Milbank) rejects the view of the emergence of the secular form the ruins of the mediaeval consensus” (Oliver 7). It is not stripping away religion and theology and being left with just the secular. It is not a neutral or objective view of the world. It does not refer to a time where there was no secular, what it does refer to is the crucial point that the secular, in Milbank’s words, “is not simply the rolling back of a theological consensus to reveal a neutral territory where we all become equal players, but the replacement of a certain view of God and creation with a different view which still makes theological claims” (Oliver 7). Religion in the 16th and 17th century was a very public thing, since then it has moved to a very private thing. “Religious practice is now thought to be confined to a private realm in which people can indulge their personal beliefs so long as those beliefs do not infringe on the rights of others” (Oliver 3). Because of religion moving from a very public attitude to a private attitude has moved this idea of the secular, the replacement of God, into the forefront. “A shift from a situation in which belief in God is the largely unchallenged governing principle in human life and understanding to a situation in which belief in God is simply one option amongst many others” (Oliver 3,4) has brought the secular into view. Before this was not an option, the question of God or the idea of a private faith, but because of the privatization of religion and the questioning of God has brought the rise of desacralization. Desacralization is the “question of humanities ultimate origin and purpose is largely sidelined and in favor of questions which concern the more immediate and immanent working and functions of human beings and nature” (Oliver 6).

Questions to answer….

1) What I wonder is when was there no secular?
2) Was it before humans were created? Or was it in the 17th century?


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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville