Easter parades survive in classic Hollywood films, on the avenues near cathedrals (which paraders pass but rarely frequent), in peeps, and in song. Seldom is there a trace of connection to the religious event which prompts Easter celebrations.
If and insofar as networks are a fad or “meme” to be promoted in awe, count me out as a peddler. But I could not get over how often historians of evangelical, Catholic, mainline, and “none” company referred creatively to what they observed about networks and what these conveyed to those of us who must be alert to what goes on in the world of public religion.
Readers of Sightings may be aware that we don’t favor reporting only on “declinism,” as in “decline and fall” stories. But it would be no favor to readers, or to reality itself, were we to close our eyes to stories like Maynooth’s.
“Cultural disintegration” is a useful description of what commentators and publics consistently witness these years. Left and right, liberal and conservative, male and female (etc.), old and young, all observe and chronicle the signs of it.
The champion among contenders for a “crisis” of experience and identity these years is American evangelicalism, which was born from the crises of the eighteenth century, and has been part of the Protestant package ever since.
Most sentient humans, as individuals and in groups, find sundry ways of being, thinking, and acting. In my faith tradition we speak of the human creature as being simul iustus et peccator, “at the same time righteous and a sinner.”