Gregory writes the following about the new metaphysics of modernity:

Desacramentalized and denuded of God’s presence via metaphysical univocity and Occam’s razor, the natural world would cease to be either the Catholic theater of God’s grace or the playground of Satan as Luther’s princeps mundi. Instead, it would become so much raw material awaiting the imprint of human desires. This would come to be called an “objective” view of the world (57).

Like Hans urs von Balthasar, Gregory argues the loss of classical metaphysics does not simply entail the abrogation of unnecessary postulates, formulas and appellations for God. Rather, the loss of classical metaphysics entails a concomitant loss of a sacrmentalized universe – a vast theater reflecting divine doxa that has been “apocalypsed.” In order for modernity to work, it had to displace doxa.

Gregory’s genealogical account of the slide from pre-modernity to modernity shows that this shift was far from neutral or benign. In actual fact, a specific set of commercial interests compounded the univocal underpinnings of modernity and vice versa. States Gregory, “inquisitiveness was propelled by acquisitiveness” (58).

Gregory goes on to quote Carl Becker, “Knowing beforehand that the truth would make them free [eighteenth-century philosophes] were on the lookout for a special brand of truth, a truth that would be on their side, a truth they could make use of in their business” (59). In order to make this new found version of truth-via-commercial-interests work, Gregory shows that modern thought worked especially hard to remove Christianity’s extraordinary truth claims – even the incarnation. Why? Because modern philosophers,

would have to go further than subjective assertions about the natural world’s objective godlessness in general, explicitly denouncing and rejecting claims about God’s extraordinary actions in history. Because if the later were true… [Jesus being raised from the dead] then Jesus’s rigorous morality would presumably still apply to human life and constrain human desires (59).

That is, if Christianity’s putative historical claims were indeed true, this would then entail a limit, a limit to the state’s reach in determining which beliefs are acceptable. The demands of God, based upon God’s actions – such as the feeding of the 5,000 – might inspire some seditious ideas, such as redistributing wealth (as they surely did in Jesus’s day).

In short, Christian morality and its normative claims about actions in history stood in the way of capital rather than serving as a precondition for it. It’s not that miracles were against reason as much as they stood in the way of capital.

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