P.D. James on Modernity and Tradition


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December 27, 2011
By Bret

"We live in an age notable for a kind of fashionable silliness and imbued with a restless desire for change.

It sometimes seems that nothing old, nothing well-established, nothing which has evolved through centuries of experience and loving use escapes our urge to diminish, revise or abolish it.

Above all every organisation has to be relevant—a very fashionable word—to the needs of modern life, as if human beings in the twenty-first century are somehow fundamentally different in their needs and aspirations from all previous generations.

A country which ceases to value and learn from its history, neglects its language and literature, despises its traditions and is unified only by a common frenetic drive for getting and spending and for material wealth, will lose more than its nationhood; it will lose its soul."

--P.D. James, from “Through All the Changes Scenes of Life: Living with the Prayer Book”

to "P.D. James on Modernity and Tradition"