Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Postmodernity / Postmodernism

Recently, I have been thinking and heard quite a lot about postmodern culture, postmodernity and postmodernist theories.

In my previous posts, Emerging Church In Postmodern Context & Clergy and Modernism Versus Postmodernism, I attempted to explore the issues, and tried to make sense of some of the ideas of emerging church in the postermodern context, and realised that this was such a facinating and enormous subject, which could also be quite confusing! To many of us, the word "postmodern" may sound unfamiliar, but it's an important concept. The followings are some of the ideas that I've collected from various sources:

  • Crossroad has made a great summary of the differences between modern versus postmodern cultures, as well as biblical versus postmodern thinking. They believe that if we don't understand the postmodern mindset and the changing worldviews of influential leaders and visionaries, we can't really prepare for the impact of this social revolution -- both on faith and evangelization.
  • WILLIAM BLAKE AT THE ORIGINS OF POSTMODERNITY claims that "1789 marks the end of modernity and the beginning of the contemporary, post-modern, age. But the French Revolution is merely a surface event. Beneath that surface lies electromagnetism, the most revolutionary innovation of those years. Blake's manifold work follows the lines of force, the patterns of electromagnetism: both introduce into the Western culture an original set of ratios decidedly "irrational"; both depart from the established patterns of "modernity", both will have to wait many decades before further development; both Blake and electromagnetism, at the end of the eighteenth century, enjoy only precarious status as an early form of postmodernity. During the modern age, matter and energy were two different substances with no possibility of interchange. Dualism was constitutive, extreme, permanent. In our postmodern age the two are but precarious, temporary aspects of the same reality. "
  • According to A reader's Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory, "the term 'postermodernism' has been the subject of much debate, especially during the 1980s and 1990s. Some see it as simply the continuation and development of modernist ideas: others have seen in postmodern art a radical break with classical modernism; while others again view past literature and culture retrospectively through post-modern eyes, identifying texts and authors as 'already' postmodern. Another arguemnt claims that the project of modernity - which designates the philosophical, social and political values of reason, equality and justice dervied from the Enlightenment - is as yet unfulfilled and should not be relinquished.

So what do you think of these observations / ideas / opinions and assertions about postmodernity / postmodernism?


Kc said...

"There is nothing new under the sun" ;-)

It seems individuals tend to cycle in an attempt to align their head and heart and I think culture does as well. To be honest it is my opinion that until we align ourselves in Christ we’re doomed to swing like a pendulum both as individuals and as a society.

Isn’t the basic premise of deconstruction only a modern version of rebellion? I think healthy change occurs over time from within through reorganization. Unhealthy change occurs through rebellion and almost always results in civil war. In that instance the innocent suffer the greatest of injustices from both sides.

With respect to the EC the potential is great for both. Those within the EC that have adopted the postmodern philosophy will push toward rebellion. The result has already been another denomination and a further division of the body of Christ. Those who help with reorganization within their own assembly will patiently push toward unification. Historically that has been the case of all movements within the Church. Sadly the latter win too often, division occurs and a new denomination is born. When the former are successful they are never heard of again as their goal is to achieve integration.

That is my complete $.02 (hehe)

Corry said...

I am a total nerd when it comes to all this! Sorry, I don't even have $0.01 to put in, hehe.

God's Grace.

Yadah said...

I am been looking at this subject for a couple of years. It is huge. Here's an article that I thought was pretty good around this subject.

See what you think . . .

Kitty Cheng said...

Kc, I totally agree that we need to align ourselves in Christ to be in balance. Hence I would propose that both deconstruction and reorganization could work if they are aligned with Christ and kingdom minded, and not out of the spirit of rebellion or control.

Kitty Cheng said...

Corry I also feel the same. It just seems that the more I read about all this, the more I am kind of sitting on the fence hehe.

Kitty Cheng said...

Yadah, thanks for the link to this great article. It deserves a post on its own, I'll write about what I think in my next post.

Kc said...

I agreed to your proposal. ;-)