We think we have a sense of the present epoch; after all we are currently living in it. But if once we saw ourselves at the edge of history pushing progress forward on all fronts,  today many lack an overall account of the world and where we are going. As the French philosopher Lyotard said:  “There has been a collapse of grand narratives and totalizing theories.”  History has thrown us from the religious certainty of the pre-modern, to the belief in science and progress of the early and mid-twentieth century, to the postmodern undermining of the very possibility of objectivity and an overall account of the world.  

Does the loss of grand narratives threaten our culture and our belief in ourselves? Can we find a new narrative, in the abandonment of metaphysical materialism or in a renewed belief in science? Or can we break free of the need for a grand narrative and live fearlessly in the face of the mystery of existence?

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