It was once religion which told us that we are all sinners because of original sin. It is now the ecology of our planet which pronounces us all to be sinners because of the excessive exploits of human inventiveness.
Being, in the testimony it gives of itself, informs us not only about what it is but also about what we owe it.
That nature does not care, one way or the other, is the true abyss. That only man cares, in his finitude facing nothing but death, alone with his contingency and the objective meaninglessness of his projecting meanings, is a truly unprecedented situation.
All of us are citizens in a republic much larger than the Republic of America. It is the Republic of Letters, a realm of the mind that extends everywhere, without police, national boundaries, or disciplinary frontiers.
My work has taken me from historical research to involvement in electronic publishing ventures to the directorship of the Harvard University Libraries.
The idea of a national digital library has been in the air for a long time, and there was a danger that some people would feel that it’s their property, so to speak.
We need librarians who can handle this tremendous jumble of information that is in cyberspace.
It is a changing world because of the newcomers who keep arriving and who leave us behind. Trying to keep pace with them is doomed to inglorious failure, especially as the pace has quickened so much.
Responsibility has become the fundamental imperative in modern civilization, and it should be an unavoidable criterion to assess and evaluate human actions, including, in a special way, development activities.
When theology erodes and organization crumbles, when the institutional framework of religion begins to break up, the search for a direct experience which people can feel to be religious facilitates the rise of cults.