I. INTRODUCTION: THE PROBLEM OF A CHRISTIAN CIVILISATION
Christian civilisation in danger. The contribution of Christianity to Western civilisation. The New Testament seems not interested in this problem. Pre-Christian civilisations show independence of high civilisation from Christianity. The complexity of the problem forces upon us a new kind of approach: What is the Christian answer to some fundamental questions underlying all civilisation? Programme of the lectures.
II. THE PROBLEM OF BEING OR REALITY
The material and the spiritual, pantheism mediating. The Christian idea of reality determined by the idea of creation. Not materialism, nor the spiritual, nor pantheism. Consequences for the problem of necessity and contingence, freedom and determinism. The “perspectivity” of being, as expressed in Psalm 139.
III. THE PROBLEM OF TRUTH
Objectivism and subjectivism. Attempts to overcome this alternative, in existentialism. Kierkegaard and the Christian conception of Truth. Distinction between Truth and truths. Truth and communion. Scientific and theological absolutism. The fatal psychological consequences of the separation of Truth and Love.
IV. THE PROBLEM OF TIME
East and West. Greek conception of eternity. The loss of the Eternal in modern history. The quantification of time, its psychological consequences. Eternity and time in Christian thought. Time-direction, time of decision. Historical time. Evolution and progress. Progress, substitute for the Eternal. Christianity and the idea of progress.
V. THE PROBLEM OF MEANING
Totality, character of meaning. Its negation, East and West. The Greek equation of meaning and Logos, underlying modern idealism. Its weakness seen from the Christian viewpoint. Formal and instrumental character of culture or civilisation. The Christian idea of ultimate meaning. Its bearing on the time process. “Ambivalence” of history. The eschatological solution of the problem.
VI. MAN IN THE UNIVERSE
The primitive continuum. Its disruption by Greek humanism. Christian humanism, in its synthesis with Greek. Their separation in Renaissance and Reformation. Copernicus and Darwin. The dissolution of humanism in the 19th century. Nihilism and technocracy. Man slave of his technique. Mani's place in the Universe according to the Christian idea.
VII. PERSONALITY AND HUMANITY
Primitive collectivism. The rise of individual personality. The Christian idea of personality correlative to communion. Love, not reason, the truly human. The decline of personalism in modern history. Its three major causes, immanentism, individualism, spiritualism-materialism. Its result, materialistic collectivism. The totalitarian state. The guilt of Christianity within this development.
VIII. THE PROBLEM OF JUSTICE
The idea of justice a historical heritage. The Lex naturae conception, Greek-Roman and Christian. Progressive dissolution of the idea of divine justice, since Grotius, by rationalism, individualism, and egalitarianism. Le contrat social. Its consequences for family, economic life, and the political order. Capitalism and Communism twin brothers. The Christian idea of justice subordinate to Love. It combines with equality unlikeness and, by it, organic unity. Its basis in the Christian idea of creation. The false alternative and the true synthesis.
IX. THE PROBLEM OF FREEDOM
Different levels of freedom. Freedom as fact and as postulate. Determinism and indeterminism. The rationalist equation of freedom and independence. The Christian idea: dependence on God. The consequences of the rationalist equation. Marxian atheism. Modern independence movements: from nature and from authority. The crisis of marriage. Latent anarchism of the independence idea. The Christian idea puts divine authority first and freedom second. Ecclesiastical authoritarianism.
X. THE PROBLEM OF CREATIVITY
Culture and creativity. Creativity gift of nature, but its interpretation and direction lies within freedom. Early misgivings about creativity. Prometheus, the Tower of Babel. Positive and critical attitude of Christianity. Misunderstandings about the rôle of Protestantism. Since the Renaissance supremacy of Creativity. Cult of Genius in Romanticism. Tendency to formalism. Claim to authority disintegrates civilisation into totalitarian spheres. Political totalitarianism the heir of the process. Theonomy integrates the spheres and excludes all kinds of totalitarianism.
NOTES AND REFERENCES