Christian Ethics in a Postmodern World

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CHRISTIAN ETHICS IN A POSTMODERN WORLD The Rise of Postmodernity
Since Federico de Onis’s use of the term ‘postmodernismo’ to describe the Spanish and Latin-American poetry of 1905-1914 which had reacted against the ‘excess’ of modernism in 1934, (Rose 1991: 171) “Postmodernism” became very popular. It has been used in the fields of art (Christo-Bakargiev 1987), architecture (Pevsner 1967), literature (Hassan 1971), video, economics, films (James 1991), ideology (Larrain 1994: 90-118), theology (Tilley at al 1995), and philosophy (Griffin et al 1993).
In trying to understand ‘postmodern’, we have to understand ‘modern’ first. According to Rose (1991: 1), there are many related yet different meanings associated with the term ‘modern’. First of all, Arnold J. Toynbee understands modern as referring to the historical phenomenon of
The most significant of the conclusions that suggest themselves is that the word ‘modern’ in the term ‘Modern

Western Civilization’, can, without inaccuracy, be given a more precise and concrete connotation by being translated ‘middle class’. Western communities became ‘modern’ in the accepted Modern Western meaning of the word, just as soon as they had succeeded in producing a bourgeoisie that was both numerous enough and competent enough to become the predominant element in society. We think of the new chapter of Western history that opened at the turn of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as being ‘modern’ par excellence because, for the next four centuries and more, until the opening of a ‘post-Modern Age’ at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the middle class was in the saddle in the larger and more prominent part of the Western World as a whole. (Toynbee 1954: 138)

Toynbee also asserts that the rise of an industrial urban working class of the West together with the rise of other nations and their…...

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