Safranski on Father Romano Guardini (1885-1968; Freiburg doctorate 1915 under Engelbert Krebs).
[...]Romano Guardini also saw the light in the downfall.
Guardini, who for a short time in 1946 had been considered as a successor
to Heidegger's chair, in 1950 published a widely read book, The End of the
Modern Age, which was based on his lectures in Tübingen in the winter of
The modern age, according to Guardini, unfolded from an understanding
of nature as a protective power, from human subjectivity as an autonomous
personality, and from culture as an intermediate sphere with its own laws.
Everything. he claimed. had received its meaning from nature, culture, and
subjectivity. With the end of the modern age, which his time was witnessing.
these ideas fade away. Nature loses its protective force and becomes unfamiliar
and dangerous. "Mass man" displaces the individual, and the old faith in
culture dies in the malaise of culture. The totalitarian systems are both expressions
of and responses to this crisis, which also opens up the chance of a new
beginning. Man evidently must first lose his natural and cultural riches in
order that, in such "poverty;' he may rediscover himself as a "naked" person
before God. Perhaps the "mists of secularization" will disperse and a new day
of history will begin.