Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

"Modern-day Essenes living on the Upper West Side ..."

There is a trenchant commentary on Mark Lilla's much-commented-on The Stillborn God  here.  Here's a passage:

... Lilla turns aside to the small cadre of the Enlightened who see the story for what it is: “Those of us who have accepted the heritage of the Great Separation must do so soberly. Time and again we must remind ourselves that we are living an experiment, that we are the exceptions.” Wavering between insider code and an invitation to join this inner circle of the exceptional, Lilla ends with a manifesto of inverse gnosticism: “We have chosen to keep our politics unilluminated by the light of revelation. If our experiment is to work, we must rely on our own lucidity.” “We” turns out to be the sect of modern-day Essenes living on the upper West Side, who have vowed to abstain from the illusions of the masses and consigned themselves to the cold, hard desert “reality” disclosed by reason. Lilla and his exceptionalist monastic brotherhood of enlightened “us” have girded their loins in order to make their way in the world without the comforts of faith and revelation (I’m guessing one would bump into Hitchens and Harris in the same rationalist desert after all). Where does that leave the rest of us—the us not included in Lilla’s enlightened “us?”


Perry, Michael | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "Modern-day Essenes living on the Upper West Side ..." :