A Question I Can’t Answer

If tradition is so great at inculcation, why don’t I know any actual traditionalists? Was there a rapture of all the traditionalists and no one heard? Where is the success? Where are the children of traditionalists?

C’mon: Anyone can call themselves a traditionalist. The most fervent apologists for tradition have been “traditional” for about five minutes. Is that a trustworthy source? Would a traditionalist find a tradition of five minutes trustworthy?


17 thoughts on “A Question I Can’t Answer

  1. Because traditionalists are few and tend to gather at a few traditional churches. For Catholics, I could only count two in the Detroit area, and there were the large families. Mormonism is mainly a tradition, and they have large families.
    Evangelicals that hold to the old-time religion too.

    You are searching backwards. Find the children and the pious, and you will find real traditionalists.

    Words don’t mean the same things these days. I can’t fix that.

  2. This reminds me of a conversation about Bible translations that I had with several friends. They insisted that Bible translators use the most recent texts from the original languages when they make their translations. I thought they were talking about Critical Text versus Majority Text stuff. But they were not. There point was that translators use the most recently edited texts. The most recent editions of whatever the Critical scholars publish.

    It is similar when a modern American family wants to become “traditional.” They gather together some sources on the way people used to live, whether it is, “On Plymouth Plantation,” or “Little House on the Prairie.” And then they pick aspects of that life to reconstruct.

  3. Conclusion: Bible translators don’t translate the actual ancient texts. They translate a reconstruction of those texts. Traditionalists don’t live a tradition that they received from their forefathers, they live a reconstruction of a tradition.

  4. Cane
    From what I can tell, the reason you find so few traditionalists is that so many decided to follow tradition only because it was a preference, and not a necessity. As such, they weren’t traditionalists but merely people who preferred older practices. They are those that doff their hat to a king out of desire for worldly goods, and not actual loyalty to God and king.

    So yes, traditon is not self propagating, but does propagate. I would call myself a traditionalist, because a seed found good soil in me and I am doing what I can to keep the soil well rended and clear of thorns. It is hard, yet worthy work. I do not know what traditionalist tree has taken root in me beyond it being Roman Catholic and tied to Christ’s Bride, but there are an endless variety within such a well tended garden.

  5. Yes there is more Amish now then ever before, including them branching out to Latin and South America. They are thriving, but only because they hide behind the modern world. They and their situation is more complex then folks folks would credit

    Part of the problem with finding a traditionalist is…. which set of traditions?

    Making moonshine and bootlegging is a time honored tradition of my family and people. My son is 4th generation SOCOM. Episcopalian if the religious tradition of my mother’s people. Its hard to imagine a more godless organization, so I algin with the more severe faith of my father’s people, though I miss the grand services of my teenage Episcopalian years. Go back far enough and the religious tradition of my forefathers is paganism.

    Basically it’s to large and to open ended of a question to have much meaning

  6. On the Amish:

    I’ve been thinking about this question (the OP) for a few weeks. During that time I considered The Amish…until it occurred to me that considering The Amish traditional is actually evidence of my own modernism. The Amish are only about 300 years old.

    And they didn’t really become The Amish until the 20th Century. Living without cars, electricity, and the Internet in a society before cars and electricity and the Internet isn’t actually counter-cultural. And on what basis is eschewing the last hundred years of technology Christian? There’s nothing particularly Biblical about their divisions. They did not hearken back to some earlier form of Christian society. They are a kind of reactionary modern.

    The Amish are Christian hippies, as far as I can tell.

  7. Legit Cane, and talking about the Amish/ Anabapist is like trying to nail jello to the wall

    A council of elders type deal sets up the various bylaws for each community so there can be some fairly major differences from place to place. The one I grew up near did have a few trucks to help with farm stuff, had a community telephone, would buy things from local, modern merchants but made their own nails. Which was, at the time, rare and they would periodically get new members as other communities elected to by mass produced nails, putting their old nail maker out of work and in search of a new home.

    The old Amish community would pay for the relocation

    Pretty modern concept if you ask me

  8. Another related observation: In America, empty grocery stores are turned into churches, and traditionalists scoff at American Christianity.

    In Europe, empty churches are turned into grocery stores, but traditionalists pine for the good ol’ European Christendom.

  9. Also, since this is a blog, I assume no one here is Amish…

    Creating an Amish-kosher steam-driven Internet interface would make an awesome Rube Goldberg-esque machine.

  10. Pingback: Don’t conflate “tradition” and Ultimate Truth. | Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner

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