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RohinGupta

REMEMBERING BURGESS – STUDY-GROUP FROM HIS BLOG “BkRev: Shaw's American Church”

7 posts in this topic

INTRODUCTION

Catholic Church is one of the oldest and most powerful institution. How did idea of Americanism enter into its American stream 200 years back, and what was its impact? What exactly was the idea?

Through the blog involving book review on the subject, we attempt to answer these questions. As in any study-group, we can summarize the blog, outline it, or do in depth study of some or all parts of blog. 

Complete blog can be viewed here - http://reasonversusmysticism.blogspot.in/2013/08/bkrev-shaws-american-church.html

Individuals come and go, but ideas and institutions they associate with often outlast them. Lets deep dive and understand one powerful example of these subjects.
 

Jae Alexander likes this

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SCHEDULE

START – Monday, 3rd July

END – Sunday, 10th July.

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Posted (edited)

Please confirm your participation, along with purpose for participating, in the following thread. 
 

Actual study will take place in current thread.

Edited by RohinGupta

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The event is postponed by 1 week as I have some priority activities.
 
Really sorry for the last minute communication. Keep your posts ready for next week though... Happy Studying!

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Good Morning, today is Wednesday, 12th of July.

Today I post summary of the blog.

SUMMARY: Blog is review of various aspects of the book. The book primarily is about impact of attempts made in last 200 years to integrate Americanism with Catholicism. The blog explains importance of book for pro-reason activists, explains Americanism, and its history. It gives fact based inputs on rise and fall of American Church, and role Americanism played in it. History involves attempts to propagate idea even to Vatican. Recognizing centrality of America in World (around 1800 when it was not apparent), separation of Church and State, and direct communion with God bypassing pope being the key takeaways of Americanism.

The surrounding ecosystem of other ideologies is also discussed. Secularism during and after enlightenment, and its Modern skeptic-nihilist form. Also, impact of reinforcing Catholic ideas on individuals by building corresponding social-political structures is discussed, inside new urban settings in particular. And how pro-reason activists can use the book in understanding the mystic enemies is discussed. The enemy [of reason] like Catholicism degrading because its anti-reason nature does not allow it to clearly follow path to its own goals. And also “secular” enemies of reason, like modern skepticism, nihilism; liberalism [actually Egalitarianism] of Rawls being one example.

Personally for me, this blog helps in understanding role of ideas in building and sustaining institutions.

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Good Morning, today is Thursday, 13th of July.

Today I post outline of the blog. Essentially a more detailed summary.

OUTLINE:

The blog is Book review of _American Church_ by Russel Shaw. It starts with address to audience of the blog, pro-reason activists.

Apart from redescribing reason in the sidenote, the section explains why the knowledge from book is useful for pro-reason advocates, even though the book is about Church. Understanding the most powerful component of enemy, Catholic Church advocating mysticism, and therefore devising strategies accordingly. Affirming the understanding that mysticism is inherently inconsistent even for achieving its own goals, is the other takeaway. Final takeaway being establishing that ideas influence individual actions in culture, attempt to integrate Americanism with Catholicism in this case.

Moving on, the review describes the subject of this book, portion of history of American Catholic Church that is. Impact of attempt to integrate Americanism to Catholicism in America. Various aspects of Americanism are described, as written in the book. The properties including assertion that America will play a key role in future, so Vatican should also consider the integration. Its result, opposition of Vatican to separation of Church-State and bypassing of Papacy in communication to God is also discussed. Aspects of Americanism in post-enlightenment "secular" ideas, skepticism in particular is also mentioned.

Before purpose, audience, and theme, the qualifications of writer are discussed to assert the subject. Competence as a freelance writer, and 18 years as spokesperson of important Catholic organizations being most significant. Changing direction of Church by showing historical flaws being the purpose. Facts based assertion of current fall of Catholic Church, “acceptance of Americanism” as an important cause of the fall, and proposed rise by integrating new sub-culture. Few examples of rising subculture being reclaiming of catholic identity by educational institutions, and Catholic social services rejecting (secular) government agenda.

The structure of book involves chapters on origins, high point in 1950s, current fall, and guidelines for rising again are discussed. One minor flaw related to obsolete reference is pointed, final conclusion in blog being special insights in the book.

Special insights section further emphasizing takeaways for advocates of reason, in more detail. Not compromising with principles one is advocating, description of common enemies of Church and reason, enemy like liberalism (more like nihilism in the form of Egalitarianism) of Jon Rawls. Deeper understanding of how depravity of current "secular culture" is leading to rise of religion. And how (any) idea can be reinforced on the individual by building social and political ecosystem involving institutions of idea, referred to as plausibility structure.

Overall, the blog concludes by stating that the read of book will strengthen fight of pro-reason advocates for reason against mysticism [and skepticism, nihilism etc.].

 

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Posted (edited)

Good Morning, today is Friday the 14th of July.

Today I post chewing related to blog from a special perspective.

CHEWING: The aspect I would like to chew is, role of ideas in building and sustaining institutions? Key elements being, understanding of idea, how it applies to institution being studied, and how the institution grows or falls [had grown and fallen] based on the idea? Going deeper, we get origin and evolution of idea? Further, how that idea resonates with those in decision making power, and what impact that resonance has on dissipation of the idea?

So here is my answer to these questions, from the blog

Role of ideas in building and sustaining institutions?

-        Attempt to integrate Americanism to American Catholicism has caused downfall of American Church. The blog gives facts that show American Church has fallen. And causal connection by explaining how Americanism caused Catholics to adopt elements of secular culture around them. Bigger take away being, don’t compromise with enemy idea. (Though you can highlight elements of your ideas in enemy, in proper context, forum, and audience. Like Plato emphasizing importance of abstractions, though in supernatural context).

Understanding of idea, how it applies to institution being studied, and how the institution grows or falls [had grown and fallen] based on the idea? Going deeper, we get origin and evolution of idea?

-        Americanism, its integration to Catholicism in particular is studied. Aspects including prediction of centrality of America in world, separation of Church and state, direct communication with God (element of independence here, a secular idea), basis of religion being requirement to lead good life rather than divine revelation. These aspects are ante-room to the main idea of Americanism, secularism and Catholicism are compatible.

(I think that this is the idea that has allowed Trump, a non-practicing Christian, to win Republican nomination, even though majority of republicans uphold Catholicism).

Further, how that idea resonates with those in decision making power, and what impact that resonance has on dissipation of the idea?

-        Even though the idea did not resonate with Vatican, and was explicitly criticized. Still it continued to spread in Catholic Church of America.

The plausibility structure also looks like a very important concept in institution building. That is, if we need to build institution around the fundamental idea. It’s not sufficient to apply idea for one aspect of institution, but for all. In software firm for example, not just in requirement gathering and product development. But also in work allocation, marketing, hiring, training, and mentoring.

Going forward though, I would like to know more specifics on how the idea was spread in America. Sample sermons or books will be good. Also how the people disseminating structured the idea, into overall Catholicism? How similar or different from Aquinas integrating Aristotelianism into Catholicism?

Edited by RohinGupta

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