Tuesday, 14 August 2012

In praise of the other modern

The Adoration of the Magi, Franklin Carmichael

When I grew up in Croydon in the 1960s ("What a cultural paradise!" I hear you say) the fashion of the time was to regard "modern" as an adjective which invariably conveyed a compliment. Whether it was the Nestles building (nobody ever referred to it as Nestlé), the underpass or the new flyover or whether it was the replacement of the delicious current buns we were given at playtime by a Peek Freen wafer biscuit, or the static-charged polyester vestments that came into vogue a little later, anything modern was good, and to decry something it was a discourse-ending assertion to say that it was old fashioned. Without blushing, theologians would justify almost any departure from traditional teaching by saying that it was more relevant to modern man (feminism had not yet made its mark.)

An obvious danger for us today is to follow the pendulum blindly and decry anything that is modern. The New Liturgical Movement does a great service in correcting this reflex with its posts on the Other Modern. There was a good example the other day with Shawn Tribe's post on the Murals in St. Anne's Anglican Church, Toronto - an example is shown above.

Personally I very much like the Rosary Basilica at Lourdes (apart from the rearranaged sanctuary) and the Basilica of St Thérèse at Lisieux:

Normandie Calvados Lisieux2 tango7174

Here is a google search on the NLM site for Other Modern from which you can browse some of the previous NLM posts on the subject.

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