Generation 'why'?: contested concepts of ultimacy in contemporary western European culture
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The thesis proposes that the scientistic-technologicalist-consumerist meaning structures communicated via the mass-media, and pervasive in contemporary Western European culture, are limited in scope and function. In order to substantively identify, examine, and critique these limitations, the thesis explores and posits the role of the Christian Weltanschauung in providing wider horizons of significance and Ultimacy. In pursuing these objectives, the thesis engages with authors from an extensive range of disciplines, through a series of dialectical exchanges which interrogate dominant cultural currents in contemporary Western European culture. The consideration of key concepts is ‘nested’ through the thesis such that, as the thesis progresses, these key concepts are explored and re-explored in differing conceptual contexts, in order to draw out their richest subtleties and nuances. The findings of the thesis conclude that a radical re-evaluation and recalibration of contemporary Western European cultural meaning-structures can enable the disclosure of transcendent horizons of meaning – in particular, through re-engagement with Christian symbolic ‘language’ and its capacity to communicate Ultimate meanings. The outcome would be the (re-)expansion of available theo-cultural meaning-structures and meanings, enabling reflection on the nature of contemporary Western European culture and the reinvigoration of human cultural agency within it.
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