decca aitkenhead wrote an amazing review of 2011 which was in the guardian magazine on saturday with an equally amazing selection of photos - i was gripped by it. what a year of turmoil and change across the world. i thought i would add it following my reflection yesterday wake up call for 2012. she makes this extraordinary statement
in 2011 we didn't just lose a lot of money, but faith in our entire way of life.
she also says that capitalism has lost its way. wow! i think this is true but to read it writ large in a national newspaper. this is someone genuinely telling us what time it is if we have ears to hear.
for several decades now we have been discussing and witnessing the collapse of faith in the modern project or the enlightenment project - faith in progress built on the unholy trinity of science, technology and economic growth to bring heaven on earth. postmodern times was the descriptor i liked best for this loss of faith. everyone said early on that this wasn't a worldview or paradigm in itself - it was simply what came after the modern worldview. but in the last few years talk of postmodern times has subsided somewhat with people attempting to label the new world in various ways - we get bored too quickly i suspect. i am beginning to think we've all been a bit hasty. what we are witnessing is still the ongoing collapse of that worldview and project and accompanied vested interests and centres of power and there's more collapsing to come i think in 2012. it's still too early to say what may come next but as rowan williams so poignantly said in a recent sermon (i can't remember which) there is no going back to normal! the review concludes with these words which again i suggest come from someone seeing what time it is
"No country, or group of countries, stays on top for ever," observed the Economist. "People who grew up in America and western Europe have become used to the idea that the west dominates the world economy. In fact, it is anomalous that a group of 30-odd countries with a small fraction of the world's population should be calling the shots." We will remember 2011 for all that was lost – but for the east, it may be the year their century began.
this so strongly reminds me of the old testament and the seemingly impossible collapse of the holy city of jerusalem in 587 - surely that could never happen?! the kingly power and religious leadership were convinced it never would and yet the poems and grief of the prophets like jeremiah proved to be carriers of truth, the seers who knew what time it was and who ultimately wrought newness out of their dreams that another world was possible even if it would only come after death, exile, pain and tears. i believe newness will come but there's a lot of tears ahead.