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On the meaning of “culture

Mahoney’s assessment of how the word “culture” has evolved to describe almost anything in human civilization is correct; I trace this evolution in By the Waters of Babylon. My solution to this evolved redefinition was to connect the current definition with the New Testament, and then to specify the term “high culture” for what “culture” used to designate.

Mahoney’s take is that we need to go back to the old definition. I don’t personally think that is possible (hence my solution in By the Waters of Babylon), but I share his concerns that in this redefinition, we have lost any sense of true “high” culture.

We need much greater clarity about the meaning of this sometimes slippery and amorphous word. We would be wise to stop using the word culture in ways that undermine respect for the authentic cultivation of the human soul and the human mind. The word must become something of an “absolute” again, not the plaything of sundry moral and cultural relativists.

Source: Rescuing the Meaning of “Culture” – The Imaginative Conservative

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Cutlure, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and three children.

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