Fr. Longenecker writes of Marcellino D’Ambrosio’s new book
….an excellent introduction to the lives and teachings of the Fathers of the Church. His section on the Arian controversy is especially good—dealing with fascinating characters, a complex plot line and abstruse theological arguments in a down to earth and compelling way. In reading it, I was reminded of how relevant the events of the first millennium of the church are to this new millennium.
Fr. Goes on to say:
Today Arianism takes a different form, and comes to us in the guise of humanism. By “humanism” I mean that belief system that takes man as the measure of all things. This humanism is a conglomeration of different modernistic beliefs, but the summary of it all is materialism—that this physical world is all there is. There is no spiritual realm, no heaven or hell, and therefore the advancement of the human race in this physical realm is the only thing fighting for.
Ross Douthat of the Times on this same topic:
What secularism really teaches people, in this interpretation, isn’t that spiritual realities don’t exist or that spiritual experiences are unreal. It just privatizes the spiritual, in a kind of theological/sociological extension of church-state separation, and discourages people from organizing either intellectual systems (those are for scientists) or communities of purpose (that’s what politics is for) around their sense, or direct experience, that Something More exists.
I would add:
- In noting that humanism is a conglomeration of modernist thinking, within the conglomerate are beliefs that, being pantheistic, ("privatizing the spiritual")") do acknowledge a spiritual realm of sorts, just not of the true realm of the spirit.
- If one is at all interested in what is at work here, I have penned a comprehensive analysis here.