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The religious orthodoxy of the Old Testament 'held together till the e10se of the period we call medieval'. But upon that date rose Protestantism, and rose also modern science. The two have been quite contemporaneous, and it is hardly possible to find in this fact nothing but a coincidence. For 32 AMERICAN ClTTl'RE AND SOCIETY SI:-';CE TH E 1~nos Protestantism has always figured to itself as adetermination to rationalize the antiquated religious doetrines. And as for modern science, that, of course, is the developing rationalization of the universe under a minimum of definitive principles known as 'scientific'.

2 The purpose ofthis chapter and several of those that follow it is to describe the development ofthis debate in the work of a number ofliterary, cultural and sociological investigators of the impact ofmass culture on American society. One emphasis will be on the proponents ofthe conservative critique ofmass culture which stressed the low level ofaesthetic complexity and intellectual content in mass culture. The work ofthis group, from T. S. Eliot to Dwight Macdonald, proceeded by a comparative method in which the products ofmass culture were evaluated in a balance against those of high or avant-garde culture.

One approach that found particular favour was to see, in various authors and traditions, valuable moral and cultural critiques. 2 The need for such a programme was acute in a society that was rapidly coming under the dominance of a mechanical 'philistine' industrial culture that showed no respect for spiritual or aesthetic values. Arnold's belief that c1assical humanist culture could preserve and convey an important 'criticism of life'3 went through several adaptations in the twentieth century.

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