Like the Cucifixion (Corpus Hypercubicus), by Salvadore Dali, the Spanish surrealist, the world grows surreal. Politicians and Church leaders say the darndest things and their decision-making leaves literally EVERYTHING to be desired. Foundational truths in Western Culture are undergoing attack and basic views of reality take on limitless vagaries of interpretation. Even the idea of absolute or objective truth falls into a relativistic view. And the greatest cultural disaster is the loss of the sense of transcendence.
Members of the Order of Preachers - friars, nun, sisters, and lay people, face the collapsing world with the truth of the Gospels against the postmodern worldview that represents a philosophy of ruin and a psychology of despair that poses positions completely useless for human beings. Veritas Sessions is one of the weapons that we will use as we put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11). The purpose of the Veritas Sessions is simple: present pieces of the truth of things in the world in small increments that will allow preachers - specifically Lay Dominicans - to discern and understand the signs of the times and be able to approach the postmodern world with the news of salvation.
Each session is independent and is presentable in various ways, such as: video, written form, and live session.
Veritas Sessions Long-Term Plan
1. Initial formation - conceptualization, organization, mission statement, delivery methods
2. Small Lay Dominican Group introduction - 4 to 8 people, test video platform, trial discussion protocols
3. Expand to local chapters
4. Expand to province as a whole
5. Develop parish and organizational protocols
The Enemy at the Gate:
The Postmodern Worldview
The Postmodern Worldview
This chart explains the problem for the Christian Worldview. We FEEL the banality in our politics, in our Church scandals, in the confusion wrought in our schools and in the deep disaffection perpetrated by the public news media. We have not been so irreconcilable since the American Civil War and we can SEE that we stand on the precipice of cultural collapse. And, there is nowhere to hide, nowhere to simply turn our faces away and ignore the pending calamity. We are preachers of the Gospel, we are preachers of the Truth. The need for us to understand this paradigm is near-absolute.
The Postmodern Worldview is a complex model and this chart attempts to bring it into an understandable light.The development of the postmodern worldview is steeped in philosophy and psychology and stumples out of the intellectual development of western culture. On the YouTube video channel "The Veritas Sessions", sessions 1 and 11 give more detailed explanations of the the worldview.
The important thing to note is that this worldview is in direct conflict with the Christian Worldview, which is one of the foundations of western culture.
Nominalism - the doctrine that universals or general ideas are mere names without any corresponding reality, and that only particular objects exist; properties, numbers, and sets are thought of as merely features of the way of considering the things that exist. Important in medieval scholastic thought, nominalism is associated particularly with William of Occam (FYI: a Franciscan!!). This present problems for the idea of the transcendent, NOT a physical thing.
Relativism - relativism developed directly out of the 20th Century French postmodernism, as a result of the skepticism of grand meta-narratives. These meta-narratives are the over-arching stories that provide the patterns for belief and ultimately culture as a whole. The notion of relative truth, or truth relative to time period, culture, and even one's personal whims.Relative truth counters all ideas of absolute or objective truth and metaphysically negates such things as moral values. With only relative truth, there can be no objective truth upon which to build culture.
Secularization - Christianity, in western culture, represents the most important source of absolute or objective truth. For relative truth to reign, Christianity must be scoured from the public arena and particularly from education.
The above three elements represent the philosophiocal foundations of the postmodern worldview.
Solipsism - philosophically, this is the view that one's own mind is all that can be know to exist. Here, we use that same view to detail the psychological foundation of the postmodern worldview. Two solipsistic patterns exist: malignant narcissism and subjective emotionalism as the arbiter of truth. Without objective truth, it stands to reason that the only thing left to make judgments on truth would be one's own emotions - what one "feels" is true.
Ideological Ideation - ideation is the process by which ideas and concept are formed. In the case of ideological ideation, ideas about the world, the culture, indeed, reality itself are forms by means of one's ideology as opposed to ideation from one's actual reality.
These two elements are the psychological foundation of the postmodern worldview.
Counter-rationality - The Enlightenment or the Age of Reason propagated the use of rational thinking to interrogate the world through philosophy, science, etc. eventually led to the modernist period in human development. Probably due in large part to the two world wars in the 20th century and their use of the rational thinking and science to develop new technologies of death, postmodernism is deliberately counter-rational. One merely needs listen to some contemporary American politicians to understand the deliberate use of counter rationality.
Several rhetorical tactics were created in order to support counter rationality in the public arena.
Rhetorical Reductionism – a rhetorical tactics used to reduce a complex argument or issue into as many parts as possible so that discrediting just one part will collapse the whole, albeit, in the mind of the counter rational postmodern worldview person.
Tendency toward Reification – using a hypothetical or theoretical idea as a concrete argument. Take the example of social justice. Social justice is a complex set of ideas that when used as a concrete translates into such things as economical egalitarianism or income disparity.
Word brewing – transfer propaganda in which a deceptive association is made for an emotional effect. An example would be that of Rep. Rhasida Tlaib (Dem- Mich) when she excoriated the horrors of the Holocaust, explaining that the nation of Israel was created to assuage Jews who survived it, but who now perpetuate the same evil upon her people – Palestinians. Transfer propaganda is used extensively in political discourse and in advertising, sometimes to positive effect.