Idealism Assaulted — Realism and Aestheticism
There is a dark shadow behind the sunny optimism of Lux Mundi, which can easily be overlooked, such is the bright light of faith which pervades the contributions of all the authors. There are hints that those who sought to build the Anglican idealist vision of the Kingdom of God around an incarnational theology were already beginning to lose confidence in their project. In his contribution to Lux Mundi the preacher’s prose of Scott Holland brings this out and expresses the manner in which the challenge of the new worlds of scientific and historical knowledge was undermining old certainties: ‘The habitual ways of argument, the accepted assumptions … have been withdrawn — have become obsolete. Faith is thrown back on itself, on its own inherent, naked vitality; it is robbed for the moment of that sense of solidity and security, which fortifies and refreshes it. … The old world of things had been brought into this adaptation with the principles of belief. Faith was at home in it, and looked out over it with cheerfulness, and moved about it with freedom. But that old world is gone: and the new still lies untested, unsorted, unverified, unassimilated, unhandled. It looks foreign, odd, remote. Faith … now feels chilly and exposed.’1 Holland understood that the ‘old world’ had passed away. Like all good preachers, his faith did not simply dwell on abstract doctrines, but also reflected accurately the signs of his own times.
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