Christian Ethics in a Postmodern World Essay example

6531 Words Apr 12th, 2008 27 Pages
CHRISTIAN ETHICS IN A POSTMODERN WORLD The Rise of Postmodernity
Since Federico de Onis’s use of the term ‘postmodernismo’ to describe the Spanish and Latin-American poetry of 1905-1914 which had reacted against the ‘excess’ of modernism in 1934, (Rose 1991: 171) “Postmodernism” became very popular. It has been used in the fields of art (Christo-Bakargiev 1987), architecture (Pevsner 1967), literature (Hassan 1971), video, economics, films (James 1991), ideology (Larrain 1994: 90-118), theology (Tilley at al 1995), and philosophy (Griffin et al 1993).
In trying to understand ‘postmodern’, we have to understand ‘modern’ first. According to Rose (1991: 1), there are many related yet different meanings associated with the term
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Rose (1991: 1) differentiates modernism as the understanding of meanings in art or architecture; modernisation as the economic and technological developments of the industrialist and capitalist expansion and domination; and modernity as the sum total of modern, modernism, and modernisation.
The concept of ‘postmodern’ evolves according to different perspectives of the different scholars. C. Wright Mills (1961: 184) treats postmodern as ‘the Fourth Epoch’

following ‘the Modern Age’ when the liberalism and socialism born of the Enlightenment have both virtually collapsed as adequate explanations of the world and the ideas of freedom and of reason have become moot. Ihab Hassan (1971) describes a variety of aesthetic, literary, technological and philosophical deconstructions of the canons of modernism and the increase in ‘inderterminancy’. French sociologist Jean-François Lyotard understands postmodern as the deconstruction of the meta-narratives of the techno-scientism and the capitalism of the modern society because of the “incredulity toward metanarratives” (1984: xxiv). Paolo Portoghesi (1983) warns us not to treat ‘postmodern’ as a label designating homogeneous and convergent things but rather lumping together different things (including returning to historical and classical tradition) which arise from a common dissatisfaction with the heterogeneous things of the modernity. He also notices the rise of new electronic technology that turns

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