Transcendence and History by Glenn Hughes
Robert Cheeks transcends history.
While explaining Eric Voegelin’s critique of gnosticism in her book Michael Oakeshott on Religion, Aesthetics, and Politics, Baylor Professor Elizabeth Campbell Corey also indirectly describes the postmodern condition: “the gnostic has misapprehended the structure of reality and, furthermore, this misapprehension is not naïve, but deliberate. Because the gnostic lacks the strength to exist in the metaxy (which is the middle ground of human existence between the divine and the material realms) and to endure the anxiety that comes with faith in a transcendent order, he denies transcendence altogether and attempts to save himself.” The need to attempt self-salvation is also a problem for postmodernism, which holds that there are no ultimate objective values. Postmodern philosophy, I would argue, is a joyless glop of undisciplined ‘freedom’ saturated with nihilism and presented to the public without benefit of a metanarrative, that is, without higher justification, the result being the sort of state Bob Dylan may have had in mind when he wrote, “it’s an empty, hungry feelin’ that don’t mean no one no good.” But what is the transcendent order, how have we lost it, and can we get it back?
Answers to these questions are deftly provided in a book appropriately titled Transcendence and History, written by Glenn Hughes, Professor of Philosophy at St Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas.