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Incapable of doubt, incapable of faithThe majority of mankind is lazy-minded, incurious, absorbed in vanities, and tepid in emotion, and is therefore incapable of either much doubt or much faith. -- T.S. Eliot, Introduction (1931), Pascal's "Pensees"
Wittgenstein on Kierkegaard
"Kierkegaard was by far the most profound thinker of the[nineteenth] century. Kierkegaard was a saint." - Ludwig Wittgenstein, to his friend Maurice Drury.
Read Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard: Religion, Individuality, and Philosophical Method by Charles L. Creegan free online.
Problem or Mystery?A problem is something which I meet, which I find completely before me, but which I can therefore lay siege to and reduce. But a mystery is something in which I am myself involved, and it can therefore only be thought of as a sphere where the distinction between what is in me and what is before me loses its meaning and initial validity. -- Gabriel Marcel
- The outstanding Cupid’s Sting by VanDeRocker July 21, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com. “Cupid’s Sting” by VanDeRocker is an excellent tune with one of the coolest videos you’ll […] The post The outstanding Cupid’s Sting by VanDeRocker appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- Rick Baker, makeup & f/x guru, posts photos from ‘Greystoke’ July 21, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com. Rick Baker, whose makeup and special effects work has appeared in dozens of blockbuster movies, […] The post Rick Baker, makeup & f/x guru, posts photos from ‘Greystoke’ appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- Amazing short documentary from Live Unbound: ‘Follow Your Fears’ July 7, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com. Here’s an outstanding true story from Live Unbound. “Follow Your Fears” briefly gives the background […] The post Amazing short documentary from Live Unbound: ‘Follow Your Fears’ appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- The outstanding Cupid’s Sting by VanDeRocker July 21, 2014
- laciniate: Dictionary.com Word of the Day July 25, 2014laciniate: cut into narrow, irregular lobes; slashed.
- laciniate: Dictionary.com Word of the Day July 25, 2014
- Poem of the Day: Crepuscule with Muriel July 25, 2014Instead of a cup of tea, instead of a milk- silk whelk of a cup, of a cup of nearly six o'clock teatime, cup of a stumbling block, cup of an afternoon unredeemed by talk, cup of a cut brown loaf, of a slice, a lack of butter, blueberry jam that's almost black, instead of tannin seeping into the cracks of a pot, the void of an hour seeps out, infect […]Marilyn Hacker
- Poem of the Day: Crepuscule with Muriel July 25, 2014
- Conversation 4: On Place by Rosemarie Waldrop July 25, 2014by Rosemarie Waldrop
- Conversation 4: On Place by Rosemarie Waldrop July 25, 2014
- Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics July 25, 2014[Revised entry by Jan Faye on July 24, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] As the theory of the atom, quantum mechanics is perhaps the most successful theory in the history of science. It enables physicists, chemists, and technicians to calculate and predict the outcome of a vast number of experiments and to create new and advanced technology based on […]Jan Faye
- Giambattista Vico July 24, 2014[Revised entry by Timothy Costelloe on July 23, 2014. Changes to: Bibliography] Giovanni Battista Vico (1668 - 1744) spent most of his professional life as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Naples. He was trained in jurisprudence, but read widely in Classics, philology, and philosophy, all of which informed his highly original views on history,... […]Timothy Costelloe
- Morality and Evolutionary Biology July 24, 2014[Revised entry by William FitzPatrick on July 23, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, natural-teleology-ethics.html, notes.html] A recent article in The Economist - sporting the provocative subtitle "Biology Invades a Field Philosophers Thought was Safely Theirs" - begins with the following rumination:...William FitzPatrick
- Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics July 25, 2014
- Wiredu, Kwasi July 7, 2014Kwasi Wiredu (1931- ) Kwasi Wiredu is a philosopher from Ghana, who has for decades been involved with a project he terms “conceptual decolonization” in contemporary African systems of thought. By conceptual decolonization, Wiredu advocates a re-examination of current African epistemic formations in order to accomplish two aims. First, he wishes to subvert […]
- Problem of the Criterion June 12, 2014The Problem of the Criterion The Problem of the Criterion is considered by many to be a fundamental problem of epistemology. In fact, Chisholm (1973, 1) claims that the Problem of the Criterion is “one of the most important and one of the most difficult of all the problems of philosophy.” A popular form of […]
- Multiculturalism May 31, 2014Multiculturalism Cultural diversity has been present in societies for a very long time. In Ancient Greece, there were various small regions with different costumes, traditions, dialects and identities, for example, those from Aetolia, Locris, Doris and Epirus. In the Ottoman Empire, Muslims were the majority, but there were also Christians, Jews, pagan Arabs […]
- Wiredu, Kwasi July 7, 2014
- Spotted at last: “Homo economicus”? July 25, 2014Are we selfish? Economists like to say that, to a first approximation, we are. In other words, that we tend to seek to maximize our own rewards, in a more or less rational manner. The trouble is that this theory (at least, a straightforward interpretation of it) doesn’t describe how people behave in many situations. […]The post Spotted at last: “Homo economi […]
- Preregistration for All Medical Animal Research July 23, 2014Writing in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, three Dutch researchers say that All preclinical trials should be registered in advance in an online registry Citing the fact that all clinical trials are (in theory) already registered, authors Jansen of Lorkeers et al say that the system should be extended to cover preclinical medical research, […] […]
- Babylonian Neurology and Psychiatry July 20, 2014A fascinating little paper in Brain examines Neurology and psychiatry in Babylon. It’s a collaboration by British neurologist Edward H. Reynolds and Assyriologist James V. Kinnier Wilson. The sources they discuss are almost 4,000 years old, dating to the Old Babylonian Dynasty of 1894 – 1595 BC. Writing in cuneiform script impressed into clay tablets, […]The […]
- Spotted at last: “Homo economicus”? July 25, 2014
- Who’s Afraid of Science?Learning about science has taught me humility about my Bible reading and it has pushed me to think again, to read again, to ask again, and to wonder all over again what the Bible was saying when it was written and how the Bible was heard to its original hearers (so far as the evidence permits us to know such things).
- Origins News Roundup for July 23, 2014This week in origins news, a great collection of articles by key players in the conversation about theology and science, a surprising science fair discovery, and the Apollo 11 anniversary!
- No Place Like Home: An interview with ECF grantee Seung-Hwan KimEveryone is so worried about success and getting this or that honorable diploma—the people here are smart and understand many complex things perfectly—but it’s a long distance from the head to the heart.
- Who’s Afraid of Science?
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- Beyond the Façade February 23, 2014Vladimir Putin's Fragile Empire Fragile Empire Ben Judah Yale University Press, 400 pages $30.00 As the Olympic festivities wind down in Sochi, western attention on Russia has been at levels unseen since the Cold War. As the most expensive Olympic games yet (the most recent estimate is $ 50-51 billion by the Washington Post), President Putin has in […]
- The End of the Line? September 26, 201325 years after Chrysler closed the AMC plant, how has Kenosha fared? The End of the Line? Twenty-five years ago, Chrysler closed its newly acquired plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The event made national headlines. Only a few months before, Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca had announced that the company intended to buy out French automaker Renault’s control […]
- The Voice of Ireland June 15, 2013An Interview with Author Kevin Barry The Voice of Ireland My wife tossed The New Yorker on to the tabletop, You have to read this short story, she said. I did. And the rhythm of the language and the force of the story led me on the rampant search for more. The author was an Irish writer named Kevin Barry whose work consists of two short story collectio […]
- Beyond the Façade February 23, 2014
- The Symphonic Subject: Beethoven, Hegel, Adorno June 22, 2014 William Egginton
- We have never been inside: Peter Sloterdijk's "In the World Interior of Capital" June 10, 2014 Eleanor Courtemanche
- Capture the Invisible: Liminal Space and the Photo Document June 3, 2014 Meredith Ramirez Talusan
- Omeka links for the University of Colorado July 24, 2014
- The 7 Best Links to Digital Poetry Projects from MLA January 14, 2014
- Introduction to Omeka – Lesson Plan November 12, 2013
- CF Participation: Applying to HASTAC Scholars July 24, 2014
- Resource: The Mewar Ramayana July 24, 2014
- CF Participation: Digital Humanities Congress 2014 – The University of Sheffield July 24, 2014
- Creating the Texas Digital Humanities Consortium April 23, 2014
- More Data, Better Learning? A Balanced Look at Adaptive Learning Systems October 5, 2013
- Only Connect: Global Education and Networked Participatory Learning October 4, 2013
- DH@WIT: Digital Humanities for Undergraduate Design, Engineering, and Management Students June 10, 2014 Christopher Scott Gleason
- Exploring and Designing Virtual Worlds April 25, 2014 The Editors
- An Introduction to Alex McDowell’s “World Building” April 25, 2014 Noah Wardrip-Fruin
- “World Building” April 24, 2014 Alex McDowell
- Media Systems – Envisioning the Future of Computational Media April 23, 2014 Noah Wardrip-Fruin
- Innovation, Use, and Sustainability May 30, 2014 Tom Scheinfeldt
- The Dividends of Difference: Recognizing Digital Humanities’ Diverse Family Tree/s April 7, 2014 Tom Scheinfeldt
- Uber and Airbnb March 27, 2014 Tom Scheinfeldt
- WORLD | Teen Mania suspends major part of ministry | J.C. Derrick | July 18, 2014
- Navigating the Justice System, Part One: Alone at 9 Years Old
- ‘Christ the Lord’ Movie Arriving for Easter 2016 in U.S.
- Watch Jake Gyllenhall in the Nightcrawler Trailer
- Video: ‘How Art Is Crucial To Understanding The Human Mind’
- Send a birthday card to a 5-year-old with an inoperable brain tumor
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Liturgy For The PeopleThe liturgy is essentially not the religion of the cultured, but the religion of the people. If the people are rightly instructed, and the liturgy is properly carried out, they display a simple and profound understanding of it. For the people do not analyze concepts, but contemplate. The people possess that inner integrity of being which corresponds perfectly with the symbolism of the liturgical language, imagery, action and ornaments. The cultured man has first of all to accustom himself to this attitude; but to the people it has always been inconceivable that religion should express itself by abstract ideas and logical developments, and not by being and action, by imagery and ritual. --Romano Guardini, "The Awakening of the Church in the Soul"
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Arts and humansArt is the signature of man. -G.K. Chesterton
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The Anguished QuestionIf you really enquire about God, not with mere curiosity, not, as it were, like a spiritual stamp collector, but as an anxious seeker, distressed in heart, anguished by the possibility that God might not exist and hence all life be vanity and one great madness -- if you ask in such a mood as the man who asks the doctor, "Tell me, will my wife live or will she die?"-- if you ask thus about God, then you know already that God exists; the anguished question bears witness that you know. -- Emil Brunner, "Our Faith"
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Monthly Archives: September 2008
The things — the beauty, the memory of our own past — are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited. -C.S. Lewis, in “The Weight of Glory”
Following Lewis’s formulation and speaking for myself, my heart has been broken many, many times.
At the beginning of my Major American Writers class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I open with a quote that I hope will help the students understand why we bother with literature and why literature matters.
I usually tap an American literary figure, but last week, a line by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had me thinking about something C.S. Lewis wrote.
Tell me if I’m off-base here.
In “A Psalm of Life,” Longfellow wrote, “Art is long, but life is fleeting”.
In “On Stories,” Lewis wrote, “In life and art both, as it seems to me, we are always trying to capture in our net of successive moments something that is not successive.”
I think I was fairly responsible with the comparison and contrast. I made it clear that I did not think there was a perfect critical fit between the two quotes. Even so, I wanted to use the quotes to draw attention to a couple of thoughts. One, while life moves along, in its chronological sequence, we still value certain things that seem eternal, that stand outside of ourselves and our time. Two, that art can sometimes open us up to a sense, feeling, or impression of something eternal, something beyond us.
A powerful example of that sense or impression was related by the poet (and Lewis friend) Ruth Pitter in one of her BBC broadcasts, entitled “Hunting the Unicorn,” which was aired decades ago now. Pitter said:
I was sitting in front of a cottage door one day in spring long ago, a few bushes and flowers round me, bird gathering nesting material, trees of the forest at a little distance. A poor place, nothing glamorous about it. And suddenly, everything assumed a different aspect, its true aspect. For a moment it seemed to me that truth appeared in its overwhelming splendor. The secret was out, the explanation given, something that had seemed like total freedom, total power, total bliss – good with no bad as its opposite, an absolute that had no opposite. This thing, so unlike our feeble nature, had suddenly cut across one’s life and vanished. What is this thing? Is it, could it be, after all, a hint of something more real than this life? A message from reality, perhaps a particle of reality itself? If so, no wonder we hunt it so unceasingly, and never stop desiring it and pining for it.
I did not include the above Pitter quote in our class discussion. While I was trying to explain the Lewis quote, however, I noticed some of the students were moved and surprised by what I was saying. My explanation probably had more in common with Platonism than Christianity, and yet just expressing the possibility of an impression from something beyond our material framework was stirring for me, and it felt counter-cultural to talk about such things.
-Colin Foote Burch
From the New York Times article about the Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to France and his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy:
In an interview in fluent French with reporters traveling with him on an Alitalia airplane from Rome, the pope was asked what his message was and replied that it “seemed evident to me that secularism in itself is not in contradiction with faith.”
Religion and politics, he said, “should be open to each other.”
Speaking before the pope at the Élysée palace, Mr. Sarkozy renewed his appeal for a “positive secularism” saying it was “legitimate for democracy and respectful of secularism to have a dialogue with religions.”
Earlier in the article, reporters Rachel Donadio and Alan Cowell also wrote:
In a private meeting with French Jews on Friday, the pope spoke vehemently about the church’s opposition to “every form of anti-Semitism, which can never be theologically justified,” according to a text of his remarks.
In reaching out to the community he also discussed the holocaust, saying, “God does not forget.”
NPR reported that France has the highest number of European Jews, as well as a growing number of Muslims.
Following the recent death of the great Nobel Laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, I have been listening to David Aikman’s essay “One Word of Truth: A Portrait of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn” on a special MP3 edition of Mars Hill Audio.
Mars Hill Audio also has a 74-minute download entitled The Christian Humanism of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (also available for purchase on CD) featuring scholar Edward E. Ericson, Jr. Here’s a fantastic quote from Ericson’s 2006 book, The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947-2005:
“Solzhenitsyn’s work and witness teach us that the true alternative to revolutionary utopianism is not postmodern nihilism but gratitude for the givenness of the world and a determined but patient effort to correct injustices within it.”
“And although you were dead because of your sins and because you were morally uncircumcised, he has made you alive with Christ.”
This image and many more images from historical anatomical atlases are available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/historicalanatomies/home.html.
“[I]f the New Testament is right, Christ did not come to pluck souls from an evil and worthless creation and transport them to an angelic existence; instead he came to announce the beginning of the world’s renewal.”
- from The Passionate Intellect: Incarnational Humanism and the Future of University Education by Norman Klassen of St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario, and Jens Zimmerman of Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia