Brad Gregory's The Unintended Reformation bemoans the loss of the shared “institutionalized worldview” that was Christendom, claiming that the resulting hyperpluralism renders it impossible to adjudicate among competing conceptions of the good. Our contemporary moment is better seen, though, as postsecular rather than as individualist and subjectivist. It is a context within which many different communities (of sometimes overlapping and shifting membership) seek to articulate the public character of their faith and accompanying conceptions of human flourishing. In such a context, it becomes possible for contemporary Christians to shift their attention from resenting the fact that Christianity no longer provides the West a shared cultural background and teleology to a more productive task: that of identifying proximate common goods and constructing piecemeal shared practices in pursuit of those goods, even as Christians keep their sights on a comprehensive eschatological beyond.
Jennifer A. Herdt; Proximate Common Goods in the Context of Pluralism. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 1 September 2016; 46 (3): 583–602. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10829636-3644050
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