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Obscurantism

Obscurantism is defined as a rejection of or opposition to enlightenment. The question becomes, “Is refusal to admit new insight and perspectives in one’s understanding obscurantist?” Oxford Professor Charles A. Whittuck contends that obscurantism is a primary temptation for those of religious conviction, if for no other reason that it is found more in religion than anywhere else. The term was used during the Renaissance of those who opposed the new learning, and during the nineteenth century in Catholicism of those who desired to preserve the medieval Catholic Church unchanged. From a social perspective some of the extremely conservative Mennonite communities, such as the Amish could be considered obscurantist on their very face. Another example would be Muslim Fundamentalism. Other examples while not so blatantly obvious, yet can be profoundly pervasive. The adage “I know what I believe, don’t confuse me with the facts,” describes in a nutshell the obscurantist mentality.

Read full Article at: Hardening of the Categories: Why Theologians Have Opposed “New Knowledge”

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