Radical or Conservative: What Do These Terms Mean? | Is Newness Possible
Rather than put this in the comments of the previous post, I wanted to focus in on a key point around the terms ‘conservative’ and ‘radical’ that came out of that discussion.
I’m not going to pretend that I have an answer, but I’ve been wondering if there is any mileage in thinking about it in terms of the possibility of newness.
Perhaps a radical is someone who does believe that newness, genuine newness, is possible. Whereas a conservative is perhaps someone who believes that new expressions are possible, but these are only reformulations of old things – and thus the old is preserved, even if it is reformed.
It’s also clear that these terms are relative. To those on either side of the spectrum to the person in question, they are either radical (not conservative enough) or conservative (not radical enough.) This is both a pastoral and a political issue, as some have committed themselves to working to change the centre, while others have committed to pushing the edge. Both may actually have the same goal in mind.
Richard Passmore has written a very interesting post on the idea of newness, which is very well worth a close read and draws on the theory of ‘transitology’… want to post a more full response to this shortly, as it links to some of the work I did in The Complex Christ / Signs of Emergence.