The Oran Mor Project is the ongoing collection of Gregory's independent writings and scholarship responding to the crisis of meaning that has gripped modern societies within Western culture.
He explores possible solutions from a diverse set of perspectives influenced by metamodernism, emergent theory, liberal naturalism, Celtic spirituality, and the Christian tradition.
The Oran Mor, the primordial melody, is like a Celtic knot, weaving throughout the entire universe, knitting an interwoven, symphonic, cohesive reality.
– Philip Carr Goman
In the pre-Christian Celtic imagination, the world came to be and was kept in being by a song – a symphony performed by the interconnected natural world. This is the ancient Celtic concept of Oran Mor – the Great Song.
Western Euro-American culture is deeply unsettled. The term “meaning crisis” is increasingly used to describe the widening existential vacuum experienced in modern societies.
Western culture has emerged into a post-Christian, post-secular situation where supernatural religion has declined. Still, the various forms of secular humanism have been found wanting.
Post-secularism refers to the disenchantment with secularism and an increasing yearning for meaning and purpose.
The symptoms of our existential cultural crisis are apparent and include the mental health pandemic, exemplified by increased deaths by suicide, pervasive nihilism, cynicism, futility, and religious and political extremism.
The chaos of mass shootings, widespread substance abuse, violence, polarization, attention-deficit disorder, shallow consumerism, and ecological devastation also result, at least in part, from our meaning crisis.
Multiple intellectual projects are searching for ways to re-enchant the natural world and provide humanity with poetic narratives of meanings.
How do we once again tap into roots of meaning?
Christianity revisioned may be a response to the meaning crisis. Yet, the effort required for such a revisioning will be herculean.
But Christianity has little choice if it hopes to remain meaningful, vibrant, influential, coherent, and truthful.
We're likely witnessing the collapse of denominational and institutional Christianity. If the study numbers are correct, whole denominations and groups will be defunct within thirty or so years.
Christians need to rethink the tradition through various forms of theological reasoning, namely a regaining of familiarity with mythopoetic language and illative reasoning and a reinterpretation of theological claims by applying evidential reasoning.
Such a metamodern Christianity would embrace a renewed interest in grand narratives while understanding the need to engage with a wide range of philosophical, scientific, and cultural perspectives.
Therefore, I propose to undertake a revision of Christianity along metamodern lines.
I'm confident that my results will anger many and be pleasing to few.
Western culture has also undergone revolutionary changes in its understanding of human sexuality. While most of these changes are positive, lingering unintended consequences remain, and the subsequent cultural upheavals must be addressed.
Given that human sexuality is the means for the survival of our species as well as the impetus for much of human creativity and drive, our sexual self-understanding must be aligned with accurate visions of human nature itself in order not to be destructive.
Therefore, the task before us is a holistic analysis of human sexuality from the perspective of philosophical anthropology, ethics, and evolutionary theory, as well as an understanding of the complex relationship between culture and sexuality, which, in turn, yields insights into broader cultural forces and trends.
Modern Ireland is, in many ways, a microcosm of Western culture. Irish identity and meaning have rapidly changed in fewer than 100 years and have tracked the same trajectory of change as the West.
To understand the ideas at the heart of the current upheaval in Western culture, one may analyze the ideas and forces that led to the creation of the Irish Republic, the collapse of the Catholic Church in Ireland, and Ireland’s integration into the technological economy and the European Union.
Studying these changes requires immersion in Irish news, politics, commentary, intellectual circles, spiritual movements, and the arts communities.
Understanding Ireland today is to understand the West today.
This last section contains essays on various subjects written over many years. Topics include:
• The Cultural Value of Simplicity
• Phenomenological Realism: An Overview
• The Audacity of Christmas
• Personalism: A Primer
• Collected Poems