Religion and Modernity-The Fire Sermon

William Philip Boyce


The progression of the modern age, in the form of modernization and the modernist artistic movement, presents a direct challenge to the historically rooted practices of man. Modernity, liberated from tradition, seeks constant innovation and enlightenment unfettered by customs or limitations. Caught in the crosshairs of this melee stands the institution of religion.

This article explores the relationship between modernity and religion through the works of Karl Marx and T.S. Eliot. In a world where “all that is solid melts into air,” to quote Marx, does religion or the phenomenology of religion offer meaning for man? Can it provide worth in its own right? Both thinkers say yes, but qualify their assessments in remarkably differing ways.


theology, religion, history, modernist art

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