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People must have the chance to read those essays. That would surely satisfy them. Also, they can get some useful idea which they can use in order to improve their skills in writing.

You know, Greg, by the time I mulled over everything, especially the conclusion, I've come to the same assessment.

For an astute and ascerbic philosopher, who usually demands precision, his critique of the gnostic American religion is pretty soft.

I think human nature declines toward a default gnostic "culture" (if you will) -- and so the American gnosticism that is ascendent in mormonism and neo-revivalism is not surprising. That it is so powerful a phenomena has more to do with its sociological inevitability in a consumerist age, and less to do with its validity -- or, in Hart's interesting term, its "angels."

You're right: the paragraph I quoted (and waxed enthusiastic for) was the high mark: everything after fell into a mix of Harold Bloom and a nod toward the neo-cons.

I thought this essay was rather wandering, unfocused and occasionally wrong headed. You are quoting the best and most true paragraphs. Let me offer another quote in compliment and perhaps as partial corrective to the latter half of Hart's contribution:

"One must ask whether evangelical religion was simply colonized by capitalism during the peak of the U. S. industrial revolution. Were these churches merely the gilded totems of a capitalist age? Were they artifacts that furthered the ideology of wealth and consumption, bathing it in a glow of sanctified virtuosity and thus justifying it and the materialistic lifestyle it encouraged as sacred?"

Jean Kilde, When Church Became Theater

A certain blogger of Mexican descent, recently having reverted to full-blown Marxism (a lousy economy will do that), states that in fact, Marxism is a synthesis of Hegelian dialectical idealism and materialism.

Or, as Marx himself put it, "Theory becomes a material force when it grips the masses."

Yes, thank you very much.

Thanks for bring this article to our attention.

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