By T. S. Eliot
Lengthy essays: “The notion of a Christian Society” (on the course of spiritual inspiration towards feedback of political and fiscal platforms) and “Notes in the direction of the Definition of Culture” (on tradition, its which means, and the hazards threatening the legacy of the Western world).
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Extra resources for Christianity and Culture: The Idea of a Christian Society and Notes Towards the Definition of Culture
In any future Christian society that I can conceive, the educational system will be formed according to Christian presuppositions of what education-as distinct from mere instruction-is for; but the personnel will inevitably be mixed: one may even hope that the mixture may be a benefit to its intellectual vitality. The mixture will include persons of exceptional ability who may be indifferent or disbelieving; there will be room for a proportion of other persons professing other faiths than Christianity.
But a positive culture must have a positive set of values, and the dissentients must remain marginal, tending to make only marginal contributions. However dissimilar the local conditions, therefore, this 36 The Idea of a Christian Society question of Church and State is of importance everywhere. Its actuality in Europe may make it appear all the more remote in America, just as its actuality in England raises a number of considerations remote to the rest of Europe. But if what I say in the following pages has its direct application only in England, it is not because I am thinking of local matters without relation to Christendom as a whole.
I need only mention, as an instance now very much before the public eye, the results of "soil-erosionw-the exploitation of the earth, on a vast scale for two generations, for commercial profit: immediate benefits leading to dearth and desert. I would not have it thought that I condemn a society because of its material ruin, for that would be to make its material success a sufficient test of its excellence; I mean only that a wrong attitude towards nature implies, somewhere, a wrong attitude towards God, and that the consequence is an inevitable doom.