by Matt Koehl
(Faith of the Future was originally published
in the Spring 1982 issue of The National
Socialist, and in book form in 1995.)
To those who are worthy of him
I. Idea and Civilization
Every great culture, every great civilization—every human order of any significance, in fact—has a polar ideology or mythos, which furnishes the emotional, suprarational foundation for that particular order. The life and destiny of a culture are inseparable from such a nuclear idea. It serves as a formative pole, which during a culture’s vital period provides for a unity of political, religious and cultural expression.
There are numerous examples. In ancient Egypt, the singular concept of the ka found its cultural elaboration in the construction of the pyramids. In a similar manner, Taoism combined with Confucianism and Buddhism to form the spiritual core of traditional Chinese culture, just as the cult life of the Japanese revolved around Shinto, and just as Islam furnished the spiritual matrix for a cultural flowering in the Near East during the Middle Ages. Among Indo-Europeans, it was the Vedic tradition which formed the basis for an exquisite Hindu civilization, while a pantheon of Classical gods and heroes presided over the destinies of ancient Hellas and Rome.
If one now turns to the West, one cannot avoid the conclusion that it is the Christian worldview which stands at the heart of this particular culture. Indeed, its very symbol is the towering Gothic cathedral. In its art, its architecture, its music, literature and philosophy, the West is pervaded by the omnipresence of Christianity. In the magnificent frescoes of Michelangelo, in the polyphonic rhythms of Vivaldi and Bach, the literary masterpieces of Dante, Chaucer and Milton, the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, Kant and Hegel—in all of this, the heavy backdrop of Christianity looms unmistakably against the cultural horizon.
Even figures such as Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Schopenhauer—even Voltaire and Nietzsche!— whose creative daemon transcended Church dogma in noticeable fashion even they are witness to the ineluctable presence of the Christian idea as a cultural fact. And even if one contends that the works of these personalities had nothing to do with Christian doctrine as such, but derived their ultimate inspiration from other sources, the very fact that such an argument is put forth at all constitutes the most conclusive proof that Christianity is, indeed, the mythos of Western culture, the core idea around which all cultural expression revolves. For even when its fundamental tenets have been challenged and disbelieved, it has continued to qualify the cultural milieu and furnish the central reference point for thought and action.
It is not without significance that those two major languages of Western thought—German and English—should have received their modem form from a translation of the Christian Bible; that the main function of the first Western universities was to teach Christian theology; and that natural science—that domain so uniquely fascinating to the Aryan intellect, which has come to challenge the very foundations of traditional faith itself—began very humbly as the quiet, conscientious study of the world of the Christian creator. All of this is but eloquent testimony that the Christian worldview does, indeed, form the spiritual matrix—the nuclear center—of Western culture.
 In referring to the West, we mean that manifestation of European culture which emerged following the collapse of the Classical civilizations of Greece and Rome and which assumed definitive form in the time of Charlemagne around AD 800.