I’ve been watching Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, a wonderful series of documentaries from the 80’s now on DVD. With this new-found awareness of the old transcendent myths, I now wonder, what happened to myth? Why have we become so post-mythical? Why does the church take its story so seriously, rather than seeing the mythical value in its tradition?
It seems the emergence of modernism is to blame. As a response to the absolutizing of reason, the church was forced into a position of defense, and developed fundamentalism. Like a cancer, this spread through the body and became the defining norm, so that any talk of the Bible as representing deeper truth, pointing to the sacred, is seen as contrary.
This is what we receive in present day Christian experience. It’s why I can’t get back to church, as the depth of meaning gives way to dogma, and without the soul, there is nothing left but a middle-class feel-good social club.
As an aside, my reference to middle-class points to status in society – the relatively comfortable who have primary concerns in wealth creation and stabilization.