Tradition(ed): An Integral Approach

If I had to summarize what this series about tradition has been all about it would come down to two points: Tradition is inevitable, and tradition is always changing. Tradition, and therefore our lives and societies, live in the tension between what we receive and how we receive it. This means that, if we truly … Continue reading Tradition(ed): An Integral Approach

Tradition(ed): The Lament of the Dead

I originally framed my reasons for undertaking this series on tradition in primarily external terms: tradition is an inescapable force in culture and yet the only people who seem to be talking about it are either reactionaries, who insist we need to return to the past (or at least their imagined version of it), or … Continue reading Tradition(ed): The Lament of the Dead

Tradition(ed): ‘Holy’ Tradition

So far in these meandering reflections on the nature of tradition, we’ve seen that tradition, while unavoidable and necessary for culture, is also always received through interpretation and a gleaning. Tradition is thus a changing artifact of an ever-changing people in ever-changing circumstances. We need humility about how we talk about even the most sacred … Continue reading Tradition(ed): ‘Holy’ Tradition

Tradition(Ed): Creativity and Tradition

In its worst caricatures, tradition is presented as vain repetition, nothing more than doing and saying what people did and said in the past. But, as we’ve seen, this perspective doesn’t hit the mark on how tradition actually works. Tradition is an active process: we receive from the past but inevitably apply it to the … Continue reading Tradition(Ed): Creativity and Tradition

Tradition(ed): Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy

So far in this series thinking about tradition, I’ve introduced a simple definition of the term and drawn some implications from that definition, and looked at how the major cultural movements of the past few centuries impact how we understand the idea of receiving a tradition ‘faithfully’. But any discussion of faithfulness to a religious … Continue reading Tradition(ed): Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy