The quest for something deeper

WHEN God asks a question, we expect to be taken deeper spiritually, as with this query recorded in the book of Job: "Hast thou walked in the search of the depth?" (38:16). But this ancient question has new meaning in the age of postmodernism — the reaction to modernism in the arts, philosophy, and other realms of human culture.

In today's culture, depth is not just the opposite of height. Depth has to do with profundity, with intensity and complexity, with reality. When something lacks depth, it's described as two-dimensional, hollow, and shallow, or in a more neutral sense, as flat.

Depth and surface are central to contemporary dicussions about virtual reality, movies, computers, and television. Depth and surface also relate to such social issues as body image and plastic surgery, visual impressions and contrived images, simulations and fakes. A question common to all of these phenomena is, Is there anything of durable worth beneath the surface?

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.