Friday, September 01, 2006

introduction to "Urbino: An Essay on the Vital Manners of the West"

It is difficult to think, and the rewards once nurtured by the genuinely Christian element in the Western intellectual tradition – honor, conscience, integrity, independence, etc. – have all but disappeared as Christianity itself has become absorbed by the Empire. Whereas the rewards of the Empire are immediate and gratifying: tenure, wealth, position, status, influence, publications, citations, recognition, media exposure, political office, celebrity.

A successful thinking career has always been a risky proposition, only managing to survive as an ideal because Western culture maintained a commitment to the value of truth. But that commitment has been relentlessly undermined for over a century as Western civilization itself has been attacked, and has met this attack by strategizing an internal decay on its own.

from an Introduction to Urbino: An Essay on the Vital Manners of the West
by Caryl Johnson


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