Newspapers as the new Church

We often hear that the Church is in danger; and truly so it is–in a danger it seems not to know of:  for, with its tithes in the most perfect safety, its functions are becoming more and more superseded.  The true Church of England, at this moment, lies in the Editors of its Newspapers.  They preach to the people daily, weekly; admonishing kings themselves; advising peace or war, with an authority which only the first Reformers, and a long-past class of Popes, were possessed of; inflicting moral censure; imparting moral encouragement, consolation, edification; in all ways ‘administering the Discipline of the Church’.  It may be said too, that in private disposition the new Preachers somewhat resemble the Mendicant Friars of old times:  outwardly full of holy zeal; inwardly not without stratagem, and hunger for terrestrial things.

— Thomas Carlyle, from “Signs of the Times”, 1829

3 Responses

  1. Conservative Anglicans have made the case that this is precisely what happened in 1930 following Lambeth (wrt birth control). What the newspapers reported was quite differnet from what happened.

  2. […] Source: Throne and Altar […]

  3. Hegel said something similar. For the Europeans of his day, reading the morning newspaper replaced saying morning prayers.

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