The Universe Next Door

32.  The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog
by James W. Sire
Non-fiction for adults or very motivated teens
Read for my colloquia group
My Library

I will confess I did not read every single word in this extensive treatise on the topic.  But I am a very good skimmer, and my Colloquia group had a great discussion.  I've been part of a year-long class on Worldviews which used this text (which I won't be reviewing here, because I can't even claim I skimmed it all) so it was nice to take the subject from a different point of view.  Though I would recommend this book to the serious student, I'm still looking for the book I can use to introduce my children, when they are someday teens, to the foundationally important subject of worldview.

Sire poses eight basic questions (like "what is real" "what is a human being" "how do we know what is right and wrong"), and then proceeds to answer them from the perspective of nine worldviews (Christian Theism, Existentialism, The New Age, Postmodernism, etc.).  I like his approach.  I still don't totally understand existentialism, does anyone?, but I liked the way he showed how these worldviews were often responding to each other.  That reminded me of Sophie's World, which is a great history of philosophy if you are so inclined.

There has been a movement from (1) a "premodern" concern for a just society based on revelation from a just God to (2) a "modern" attempt to use universal reason as the guide to justice to (3) a "postmodern" despair of any universal standard for justice.

(from the perspective of Existentialism)
each person, in the loneliness of his or her own subjectivity, surrounded by a great deal more darkness than light, must choose.  And that choice must be a radical act of faith.

No comments:

Post a Comment