It was not a street anymore but a world, a time and space of falling ash and near night… The roar was still in the air, the buckling rumble of the fall. This was the world now. Smoke and ash came rolling down streets and turning corners, bursting around corners, seismic tides of smoke, with office paper flashing past, standard sheets with cutting edge, skimming, whipping past, otherworldly things in the morning pall.1
Whatever we were doing that day, almost ten years ago, we stopped to look. We all have an image in our minds of those towers, the planes, the pentagon, the field in Pennsylvania. At some point we stopped looking and began to talk. Those who wrote were able to provide frameworks for thinking about the event – historical cause, political quandary, existential meaning. But responses to 9/112 were not merely descriptive, but prescriptive – they attempted to convince us to think about the event in a certain way. They used the event to prove a point. 9/11 became part of a system, something which exposed reality.
In the following blogs I will analyze various perspectives which have been used to explain, interpret and assimilate the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I have dug up the initial reactions of Marxists, secularists, modernists, Christians and postmoderns in an attempt to understand how the various ways we responded to terror reveals that which we presuppose is true about reality.
I am convinced that Christianity is the only worldview which makes any sense in the face of terror.3 It is uniquely equipped with the understanding of language, metaphysics, epistemology and ethics that gives meaning to any event in history, even one so frightful as occured on 9/11.