Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Making the Garden?

In doing further research on pattern language, I came across this recent post by Christopher Alexander. Towards the end he claims
We cannot make an architecture of life if it is not made to reflect God—an objective condition. And, by a surprising twist, the search for a true architecture, that is to say, a real architecture that works, and in which this feeling of rightness is present in every bone, in an irreligious era has the unique power to bring back the reality of God to center stage in our concerns.
The capacity to make each brick, each path, each baluster, each windowsill a reflection of God lies in the heart of every man and every woman. It is stark in its simplicity. A world so shaped will lead us back to a sense of right and wrong and a feeling of well-being. This vision of the world—a real, solid physical world—will restore a vision of God. Future generations will be grateful to us if we do this work properly.
This worries me. I am not opposed to theology per se, but I have problems with this theology of architecture, as I would have problems with a theology of programming, or a theology note-taking. It's just too much.

I take it that Pattern Language and theology are connected in this way only in the mind of its creator, and there is no necessary connection here. Theologically speaking, the attempt to "make the garden" is suspect anyway, as we were (supposedly) expelled from it by God for a good reason. Some theologians would argued that Alexander's view is a manifestation of the very sin that led to the expulsion.

1 comment:

Sebastian Christ said...

Richard P. Gabriel has written an nice book about the application of Alexander's Pattern Language in Software Development. Maybe you've heard about it or even read it. Anyway, I just wanted to mention it :)

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Patterns-Software-Richard-P-Gabriel/dp/0195121236%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q%26tag%3Dduc02-21%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3D0195121236

An it also freely available as PDF from the author's website: http://www.dreamsongs.com/Files/PatternsOfSoftware.pdf