There is a fascinating essay by the Revâ€™d Dr. Leander Harding on his weblog. The title is Michael Polanyi, â€œMoral Inversionâ€ and The Episcopal Church. I first came across the ideas of Polanyi in one of my Master’s classes at Kent. We were studying ideas of truth and knowledge as they related to human development, particularly among the young and even more specifically among college aged students. The idea of “tacit knowing” and how we in the West understand and categorize what “knowing” or “knowledge” really is simply grabbed me. Whether you agree or disagree with Harding’s use of Polanyi’s theories in describing some of the pressing problems of Western Christianity in general or The Episcopal Church specifically, it is an essay well worth reading! Here is the link to the essay. Hat tip to Titus1:9.
From the essay:
“Until the churches can find a way to work their way out of the false scientism and objectivism of the hyper-modernity that is called post-modernity we should expect a relentless and irrational attack on the Churchâ€™s teaching tradition from within the churchesâ€™ own intelligentsia that will be an echo of the self-destructive intellectual history of Europe. The ideologues of this attack will be cocooned in a self-reinforcing circularity of thought that will be impervious to criticism because all critiques can be dissolved in the acids of its skepticism. At the same time we should expect to see an increasing preference for power over persuasion legitimized by the conviction that for the long overdue new age of justice to come the only moral thing to do will be to play a very cruel version of hard ball. Given the history of self-destruction of all the major European institutions we should not doubt the potential destructiveness of this dynamic for church life if it is left unchallenged. I say these things in the spirit of biblical prophecy; that is as a form of prayer that it might not be so.”