About Culture & Value
Culture & Value was conceived amid my frustration and disappointment with a few other projects I had been involved with. Since college, I have had an intense interest in philosophy of language and the study of religion. While studying the works of theologians like Rudolf Bultmann and Gerhard Ebeling, philosophers like Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein, I had the idea to create an online monthly publication called Christianity Now in 2017. After several months, I became disillusioned with the direction of liberal theology, which seems to me to have been reduced to politics. Not only that, but the question of what God-talk means today is no longer the central focus of theology. The question has either been forgotten or displaced by questions of a more political nature. My position is not that theology and politics are nonoverlapping magisterium, but they are distinct, with different goals.
While phasing out Christianity Now, I became involved with another project. This time I found myself in staunch atheist camps. I wanted to work out my thoughts in the context of strictly secular discourses. What I soon-after discovered was that the online atheist communities I encountered are not interested, and do not want to explore, either the meaning of religious beliefs or their potential beneficial consequences. Many atheists want to (1) define what religious belief means to believers, in such a way that no believer would agree with them, and then (2) discuss how absurd their conceptions of religious belief is. That is all well and fine, if that’s what you’re interested in. It seemed to me that many of these atheists simply wanted to continually point to the lines that separated themselves from others, without building anything new or interesting.
It occurred to me that no particular group, either held together by ideology or by tradition, is what I want to work in. The questions that concern me—the meaning and functional significance of religious belief, what it means to be human, what is the meaning of thinking, and, Heidegger’s famous question, what does it mean to be—are not exactly questions that bind communities together or lead the charge for causes. By the nature of the work I want to do, I decided it would be best to not attach my ideas to either religious or secular labels.
At Culture & Value, I am hoping to work out a theory of theological language, while also pursuing the questions mentioned above. I will explore the works of people you see in the logo: Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Kenneth Burke, Flannery O’Connor, Simone Weil, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Bernard Williams, Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and William James. I have also found Jordan B. Peterson’s marriage of Darwinism and mythology to be a fascinating and very helpful method for exploring religious belief. Moving forward, I am hoping to expand beyond these thinkers to others.
If you find my project interesting, I hope you’ll join in the conversation. Please leave comments or send over emails if you have questions or critiques. I’m always open to a good conversation. If you’d like to support my work, that is of course welcome as well (more on that soon). If nothing else, please enjoy the articles and use them as a springboard to your own thinking.