Are we to be congratulated for being a “post” society? The word “post” has come to take on a subtle, special significance when used as a prefix in the world of sociology, philosophy and therefore theology.
The term is used in a general way to indicate “afterward.” In history, the phrase “post-Reformation Europe” calls to mind a particular set of years and the ideas which have driven and defined it. But in our culture, the term “post” means not merely a chunk of history and the ideas which animate it. We use “post” as both a description of how things are and a prescription of how things should be. It is a comment on the movement of society, but also a self-congratulatory compliment on the particular direction in which we’re heading.