Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pg. 69: "The Re-enchantment of the World"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Gordon Graham's The Re-enchantment of the World: Art versus Religion.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Re-enchantment of the World is a philosophical exploration of the role of art and religion as sources of meaning in an increasingly material world dominated by science. Gordon Graham takes as his starting point Max Weber's idea that contemporary Western culture is marked by a 'disenchantment of the world' -- the loss of spiritual value in the wake of religion's decline and the triumph of the physical and biological sciences. Relating themes in Hegel, Nietzsche, Schleiermacher, Schopenhauer, and Gadamer to topics in contemporary philosophy of the arts, Graham explores the idea that art, now freed from its previous service to religion, has the potential to re-enchant the world. In so doing, he develops an argument that draws on the strengths of both 'analytical' and 'continental' traditions of philosophical reflection.

The opening chapter examines ways in which human lives can be made meaningful as a background to the debates surrounding secularization and secularism. Subsequent chapters are devoted to painting, literature, music, architecture, and festival with special attention given to Surrealism, 19th-century fiction, James Joyce, the music of J. S. Bach and the operas of Wagner. Graham concludes that that only religion properly so called can 'enchant the world', and that modern art's ambition to do so fails.
Learn more about The Re-enchantment of the World: Art versus Religion at the Oxford University Press website.

Gordon Graham, Princeton Theological Seminary’s Henry Luce III Professor of Philosophy and the Arts, earned M.A. degrees from the University of St. Andrews and the University of Durham, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Durham. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s premier academy of letters, in 1999. He is an ordained Anglican priest, and his areas of academic interest include aesthetics, moral philosophy, philosophy of religion, and the Scottish philosophical tradition. He is currently North American representative of the Society for Applied Philosophy, and editor of the Journal of Scottish Philosophy. His courses include “Philosophy, Art, and Culture” and “The Scottish Philosophical Tradition.”

Graham's books include Evil and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and
Ethics and International Relations, 2nd edition (Blackwell, forthcoming 2008).

The Page 69 Test: The Re-enchantment of the World.

--Marshal Zeringue