The light that is individualism essay

Individualism The idea and practice of individualism has been subject to repressive desublimination in America. Repressive desublimination is when a hope, a need, that has been buried and denied by an oppressive system, is allowed some room to breathe, then co-opted and redirected back into a form that ultimately reinforces the oppressive system that denied and suppressed out hopes and needs in the first place.

The light that is individualism essay

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His essay rests on at least three premises. Niebuhr thought that in theory democracy accounted for the spiritual and social nature of human existence as well as its unique variety and necessities.

That is, democracy could provide the space to realize the human capacity for transcendence by unleashing the indeterminate variety of human creativity and vitality. This made it potentially a permanently valid form of social and political organization. Human creativity and vitality will become destructive given human sinfulness.

In support of these premises, Niebuhr applied the metaphors of children of darkness and children of light to two basic approaches to democratic life.

Children of Light and Children of Darkness | Dale M. Coulter | First Things Sample Persuasive Essay on Individualism One of the biggest debates in the respects of sociology and psychology is the debate between individualism and collectivism. Many believe that the human capacity is best contemplated by the individuality of a person, and that a person can serve as an individual to the rest of the society.
November 24, Author Five bells gail jones essays alienation in the catcher in the rye essays on education dominican republic essay.
Individuality is the quality or character of oneself that distinguishes one from others; whereas, nationality is what one identifies oneself with, whether it be of a society or a civilization.

The children of light are those who recognize that self-interest must be disciplined by a more universal law whereas the children of darkness are those who see no universal law beyond the The light that is individualism essay either individually or nationally.

Niebuhr suggested that modern democracies mainly consist of children of light who recognize the need for a more universal law to govern self-interest. In short, the children of light have not always understood that inordinate self-love corrupts every level of human moral and social achievement and thus do not provide the necessary mechanisms to balance individual and collective interests.

His Christian assumptions that community is the prior creation of God in the sense of the organic relatedness of life would not allow him to embrace such bourgeois individualism.

This is nowhere more apparent than his comments on marriage in which he suggests that bourgeois culture sought to apply the social-contract theory of government to family life. But a healthy marriage produces children who are not revocable. It initiates an organic process of mutuality which outruns any decision which created it.

He surmised that mystics had difficulty living with the moral ambiguities of communities since they perceive a purer form of existence. On the one hand, he recognized the Protestant principle that prophetic individuals like a Luther can possess moral insight into the universal law that brings this law to bear on idolatrous forms of community.

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On the other hand, his own biases against forms of Christianity that emphasized transcendence caused him to find quietist demons lurking around too many corners. Niebuhr did not account for the fact that from within a vision of transcendence, the Pietist streams connecting a Barth, a Graham, and Pentecostals found both the resources and the internal compulsion to move out in mission for society.

While his criticisms of Catholicism return to a seminal difference between a Protestant vision and a Catholic or Orthodox one, he pushes the boundaries so far as to fail to provide an adequate ecclesiology. Indeed the Protestant vision embodies the notion that even the visible church can possess this ideological taint and thus must always be reforming to a more faithful understanding of the gospel.

Doctrinal development is not always progress and therefore requires various types of reform and renewal. The infallibility of the church is an eschatological reality glimpsed partially in its communal life and the visions of the people of God as they are shaped by that life.

Niebuhr also did not possess an adequate grasp of the role of the church within medieval society because he did not understand the contours of that society. The nobility of the twelfth century remained a warrior class who sought to establish and strengthen their political domains through conflict as much as through alliance.

Indeed, John of Salisbury, who saw the archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket murdered in the cathedral by rogue knights, understood what it meant to say that the church must prevent the warrior class from destroying itself and others.

Through her social existence and call to transcendence, the church sought to mitigate against the promotion of honor in the service of self-interest. Here ultimately one finds a basic problem critics of Niebuhr have identified.

The light that is individualism essay

At the end of his essay, Niebuhr places his hope in the realization of a world community without mentioning the church as the vehicle for such a community.

Recognizing that human life best flourishes in organic relation to community and nature while also seeking to transcend these in freedom, Niebuhr argued that the children of light must become attuned to the ways in which inordinate desire taints all forms of life.

Human freedom must surrender to a more universal law in such a way as to check its destructive capacity and unleash its creative potential. Most importantly, he argued that the democratic order requires a proper view of the human person if it is to endure.Consider whether individual artists and writers during the Renaissance have the power to change the perspective of others and perhaps a larger collective worldview.

Therefore, the values and ideals that we as a Western culture share and continue to expressed in art, architecture and literature. Aug 19,  · His The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness represents Niebuhr’s effort to save democracy from itself. His essay rests on at least three premises.

Individualism in American Society - Sample Essays

Niebuhr thought that in theory democracy accounted for the spiritual and social nature of human existence as Author: Dale M. Coulter.

The light that is individualism essay

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These comfortss, be it a cellular telephone, essay writing help online or merely a light bulb, were spurred into creative activity by someone’s individualism. If people strived to conform to a chauvinistic ideal.

would society conceive any inventiveness or creativeness? The Scarlet Letter seems to be a genuinely American novel, not only focussing on the nation’s past, but also portraying a liberal attitude and a spirit of independence struggling with society’s prescriptions.

Persuasive essay on individualism