A Thomism that fails to specify the precise rôle of culture in moral fomration is problematice in a multicultural age, where Christians are exposed to a complex matrix of institutions and traditions both theistic and secular. The ambivalence of the Thomist tradition to modernity, and modern conceptions of rationality, also impedes its ability to successfully engage with the arguments of rivial traditions. Must a genuinely progressive Thomism learn to accomodate modernity? In opposition to such a stance, and in support of those who have resisted the trend in post-Conciliarliturgy to mimic the modernistic forms of mass culture, Culture and the Thomist Tradition musters a synthesis of the theological critiques of modernity to be found in the works of Alasdair MacIntyre, scholars of the international 'Communio' project and the Radical Orthodoxy circle. This synthesis, intended as a post-modern Augustinian Thomism, provides an account of the rôle of culture, memory and narrative tradition in the formation of intellectual and moral character. Re-evaluating the outcome of Vatican II, and forming the basis of a much-needed Thomist theology of culture, the book argues that the anti-beauty orientation of mass culture acts as a barrier to the theological virtue of hope, and ultimately fosters despair and atheism.
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