Merton goes Orwellian

In his critique of the Church of England, Merton's prose brings to mind Orwell's stinging critique of class in The Road to Wigan Pier. Pointing out the conflation and assimilation of the "established" church, Merton writes:

"The Church of England depends, for its existence, almost entirely on the solidarity and conservativism of the English ruling class. Its strength is not in anything supernatural, but in the strong social and racial instincts which bind the members of this caste together; and the English cling to their Church the way they cling to their King and to their old schools: because of a big, vague, sweet complex of subjective dispositions regarding the English countryside, old castles and cottages, games of criticket in the long summer afternoons, tea-parties on the Thames, croquet, roast-beef, pipe-smoking, the Christmas panto, Punch and the London Times and all those other things the mere thought of which produces a kind of a warm and inexpressible ache in the English heart."

~Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain, p. 72