Thursday, August 18, 2016

Way of Disruption

Sacred places are the first places to be destroyed by invaders and iconoclasts, for whom nothing is more offensive than the enemy's gods. And we should recognize that much of the destruction of our environment today is deliberate, the result of a willed assault on old and despised forms of tranquillity. For there are two broad approaches to building: the way of settlement, and the way of disruption. Often when we settle we fit our lives into an existing and already consecrated pattern, strive to inherit the order established by those who have come before us, and to honor the spirit of the place: in this sense, as Heidegger points out in an important essay, to build is to dwell. But the iconoclast seeks to replace old gods with new, to disenchant the landscape and to mark the place with signs of his defiance.

Roger Scruton, The Face of God, Bloomsbury (New York: 2015), pp. 123-124.

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