Deneen + Tocqueville = Awesome

Tocqueville observed nearly 200 years ago that Americans - informed by a spirit of equality - would find "forms" to be unbearable. Forms - whether as "formalities," as boundaries, as rule-based distinctions, as disciplines - would be rejected as largely arbitrary limits upon the democratic freedom of individuals. He predicted that "formal" religion would decline in adherents, but that "exhalted forms of spirituality" would spring up to take their place, ones that would be noteworthy for their expansiveness, their absence of boundedness, their resistance to limits or chastening, and would manifest themselves as a kind of fanaticism. Moreover, he noted that this kind of "spirituality" would not be in contradiction to modern forms of materialism, but would exist comfortably alongside materialism.
Patrick Deneen, "Spiritual, Not Religious"

No comments: