There is a malady growing in our American culture – tragic incidents like Newton are canaries in the mineshaft.
How shall we understand ourselves as a people? How shall we live? How shall we conceive of a civil society? What had been the foundation has been pushed aside – what informs us, now? What forms us as a people, now?
What if we used the principles of apophatic theology (theology by negation, via negativia – discerning things of God by asserting what is not) to our prevailing culture and society? How might we describe what we are as a society, how might we discern our sense of ourselves and others, or how might we conceive of our American psyche using apophatic principles? We discern what is by asserting what is not.
For example: American culture is not Christian. As Americans, we are not communitarian. Something like that – I’m sure others can come up with much better examples.
How might we discern truly our present-day American society or culture by asserting what it is not? Secondly, how might we figure what it could be by asserting what it should not be?