Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Age of Faith vs. Industrial Age

Elena Maria Vidal links to a post by one Fr. Blake of commentary about and images from "AW Pugin['s] manifesto "Contrasts" [in which] he compared his modern and industrial age with that of the 'age of faith' and found the former decidedly lacking" — Medieval vs. Victorian.

We are presented with a "vision was one where man was conscious of his intimate connection with the sacred. At its heart was man as as worshipping God or as we might say today 'as a liturgical person'. For [Pugin] that was a radical alternative to his society. It was also a Christian alternative to the visions of Bentham or Marx and Engels or any of the other constructors of new worlds of the 19th century. It raised man up from meanness conveying an idea of "Glory" rather mere utilitarianism..."

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Blogger 박태민 마태오 said...

When I saw the picture of the "modern poor house" I assumed it was a prison. I guess that says all we really need to know about how modern society views the poor: definitely not with the same humanity as Christian society did.

November 29, 2011 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Francis-Xavier said...

One ought be a bit cautious with such comparisons; sometimes, perhaps more than sometimes, particularly humane institutions of the ancien regime, to which only a tiny minority had access, are unfavorably compared to subsequent mass market charitable institutions.

The myth of Britain's dark satanic mills arose when rural Tories came to resent the increasing power of the urban Whigs, many of whom made their fortunes with factories. Some Tories paid for exposés about the plight of the urban poor; when they got enough traction the British parliament started an investigation, and found that the poor working in factories in "awful" conditions had it much better than the rural poor, who often couldn't even find work. The rural poor would even move to the cities to work in factories.

The PR campaign was then abandoned, but not before an erroneous idea had been planted.

November 29, 2011 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger elena maria vidal said...

Thank you for the link. Pugin was a genius. Thank goodness we have the works of Dickens which confirm how the poor suffered in newly industrialized England.

November 30, 2011 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Francis-Xavier said...

What Dickens et al. don't mention is that in pre-industrialized Britain and rural Britain during industrialization, the poor didn't just "suffer," (which nobody contests,) but could quite literally starve, or be sent on trips to the colonies which they might or might not survive (think of Indian raids.)

That some take the fact that many had a miserable time and use it to determine the superiority of societies in which the poor had a much more miserable existence is interesting.

December 1, 2011 at 3:31 AM  

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