From Anamnesis Journal, here is a review of a new book about the great Southern writers Eudora Welty and Walker Percy that focuses on their commitment to place and celebration of the "sacramental world."
Though I disagree with some of the arguments made by the author of the review, this passage stood out for me as an obvious truth:
"Eudora Welty and Walker Percy believe our age has a myopic view of human existence without any sense of wonder. Our vast media, from comic strips to PBS, unceasingly broadcast that there is no mystery to things and that everything can be explained by modern science. This consensus of our times propagates the belief that man will solve the problems of human existence through the application of science and technology. Montgomery states that our age assumes that order is sustained by the human intellect “imposing order out of its own authority.” In short, modern man believes that he is his own god and that through the accumulation of information he can gain power over all things.
How profoundly different Eudora Welty’s reverent approach to the complexity of things—one of awe and wonder! Or Walker Percy’s piety, that “faith is a form of knowledge. It is different from scientific knowledge, but it is a form of knowledge.["] And, further, “the world is a sacrament and a mystery.”
In his drive toward autonomous power, modern man disowns the past and the real experience of peoples who have lived before. The accumulated heritage of civilization, religion, literature, history, law, are ignored or ridiculed as mere superstition of those not as “advanced” as we are. Thus people today are lost because they do not know who they are, where they are going, or where they have been. Percy saw them as nomads of science. These rootless beings have given up their personalities and souls to “experts” who daily broadcast new information from pseudo-scientific studies that purport to inform them who they are and what they should be."