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"Referee won't blow the whistle / God is good but will he listen?" -- U2
- "If your anger decreases with time, you did injustice; if it increases, you suffered injustice." -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- "And the missionaries, they tell us we will be left behind. / Been left behind a thousand times, a thousand times." -- Arcade Fire
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
- Open Culture: Nabokov maps ‘Ulysses’ December 9, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com. One master diagramming the work of another master: Related PostsLestat left a message for Marius […] The post Open Culture: Nabokov maps ‘Ulysses’ appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- Our mistake November 11, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com. Jason Bailey’s article for Flavorwire appeared in its entirety on BooksAndVinyl.com, and it shouldn’t have. […] The post Our mistake appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- AC/DC Drummer Charged in Attempted Murder-for-Hire Plot | Variety November 6, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap? Update: Rudd was later released due to weak evidence. Alex […] The post AC/DC Drummer Charged in Attempted Murder-for-Hire Plot | Variety appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- Open Culture: Nabokov maps ‘Ulysses’ December 9, 2014
- beforetime: Dictionary.com Word of the Day December 18, 2014beforetime: formerly.
- beforetime: Dictionary.com Word of the Day December 18, 2014
- Poem of the Day: This Ecstasy December 18, 2014It's not paradise I'm looking for but the naming I hardly gave a thought to. Call it the gift I carried in my loneliness among the animals before I started listening to the news. Call it the hint I had about the knowledge that would explode. In the meantime, which is real time plus the past, you're swishing your skirt and speaking French, whic […]Chard DeNiord
- Poem of the Day: This Ecstasy December 18, 2014
- Here by Samuel Menashe (read by Quraysh Ali Lansana) December 18, 2014by Samuel Menashe (read by Quraysh Ali Lansana)
- Here by Samuel Menashe (read by Quraysh Ali Lansana) December 18, 2014
- Neuroscientists Break into the Brain to Expose Its Workings October 30, 2014 Ingrid Wickelgren
- Brilliance Often Springs from Boredom September 11, 2014 Ingrid Wickelgren
- Parents of Young Athletes: Protect Your Child’s Brain in 8 Steps August 5, 2014 Ingrid Wickelgren
- Afterlife December 19, 2014[Revised entry by William Hasker and Charles Taliaferro on December 18, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] One of the points where there is a significant, long-lasting intersection of the interests of many philosophers with the interests of many people of all kinds and conditions concerns the nature and significance of death. How should we understand […]William Hasker and Charles Taliaferro
- Zhuangzi December 18, 2014[Revised entry by Chad Hansen on December 17, 2014. Changes to: 0] Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu 莊子 "Master Zhuang" late 4th century BC) is the pivotal figure in Classical Philosophical Daoism. The Zhuangzi is a compilation of his and others' writings at the pinnacle of the philosophically subtle Classical period in China (5th - 3rd century BC). The pe […]Chad Hansen
- Voluntary Euthanasia December 17, 2014[Revised entry by Robert Young on December 16, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The entry sets out five conditions often said to be necessary for anyone to be a candidate for legalized voluntary euthanasia (and, with appropriate qualifications, physician-assisted suicide), outlines the moral case advanced by those in favor of legalizing voluntary e […]Robert Young
- Afterlife December 19, 2014
- Cavendish, Margaret December 15, 2014Margaret Cavendish (1623—1673) Margaret Lucas Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle, was a philosopher, poet, playwright and essayist. Her philosophical writings were concerned mostly with issues of metaphysics and natural philosophy, but also extended to social and political concerns. Like Hobbes and Descartes, she rejected what she took to be the occult expl […]
- Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm December 6, 2014Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) Widely hailed as a universal genius, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was one of the most important thinkers of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. A polymath and one of the founders of calculus, Leibniz is best known philosophically for his metaphysical idealism; his theory that reality is composed of spiritual, non-intera […]
- Resource Bounded Agents November 21, 2014Resource Bounded Agents Resource bounded agents are persons who have information processing limitations. All persons and other cognitive agents who have bodies are such that their sensory transducers (such as their eyes and ears) have limited resolution and discriminatory ability; their information processing speed and power is bounded by some threshold; and […]
- Cavendish, Margaret December 15, 2014
- Increasing Rigor in Huntington’s Disease Research December 14, 2014The CHDI Foundation, a charitable organization who fund a lot of research into Huntington's disease, are interested in reforming the scientific process. The story comes from a paper written by British neuroscientist Marcus Munafo and colleagues (the authors including CHDI staff) published in Nature Biotechnology a couple of months ago: Scientific rigor […]
- Are Poetry and Psychosis Linked? December 11, 2014Is there a relationship between poetry and psychosis? The idea that 'genius' is just one step removed from 'madness' is a venerable one, and psychiatrists and psychologists have spent a great (perhaps an inordinate) amount of time looking for correlations between mental illness and creativity. Now a new British study has examined whether […]
- Social Pain, Physical Pain: Different After All? December 7, 2014In a paper just published, a group of neuroscientists report that they've changed their minds about how the brain processes social pain. Here's the paper: Separate neural representations for physical pain and social rejection The authors are Choong-Wan Woo and colleagues of the University of Colorado, Boulder. Woo et al. say that, based on a new an […]
- Increasing Rigor in Huntington’s Disease Research December 14, 2014
- Evolution and Original Sin, by Robin Collins, Part 3: The Inspiration of Scripture and the Historical/Ideal View of Original SinIf God is the ultimate author, we would expect Scripture to point to truths beyond the grasp of any individual author, indeed truths that people might not be able to understand nearly as well without the knowledge gained from modern science.
- How Science Almost Ruined My FaithIf I studied science, allowed my intellect to thrive, and continued the pursuit of understanding how things work, I was convinced that I would be condemning my soul and forsaking my faith.
- Should Christians Trust Scientific Experts?Because reliance upon experts cannot be eliminated, the central question for Christians today is not “should I believe scientific experts?” but “which scientific experts should I believe?”
- Evolution and Original Sin, by Robin Collins, Part 3: The Inspiration of Scripture and the Historical/Ideal View of Original Sin
- Give the Gift of The New Inquiry December 18, 2014Just in time for the present-giving time of the year, we’re introducing a new way to share The New Inquiry with your loved ones. Sign up for a one-year gift subscription to TNI Magazine on behalf of a loved one for $25.The New Inquiry
- Call for Papers: Theorizing the Web 2015 December 18, 2014We are pleased to announce a call for papers for the fifth annual Theorizing the Web, to be held April 17 and 18, 2015, in New York City.The New Inquiry
- “Salut les Cubains” Agnès Varda December 18, 2014A French short film written and directed by Agnès Varda and released in 1963 from photographs taken between December 1962 and January 1963, four years after the Cuban RevolutionThe New Inquiry
- Give the Gift of The New Inquiry December 18, 2014
- 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
- About That Bass November 16, 2014 Enrique Lima
- In Search of Lost Soundscapes October 29, 2014 Cosana Eram
- Eating and Thinking with Alice Corbin Henderson on Remembrance Day October 22, 2014 Mike Chasar
- On some books in Edna St. Vincent Millay’s library September 25, 2014
- Omeka links for the University of Colorado July 24, 2014
- The 7 Best Links to Digital Poetry Projects from MLA January 14, 2014
- CFP: Decolonizing the Digital: First Peoples’ On-Line Presence December 11, 2014
- Funding: GMU Digital History Fellowships available for Fall 2015 December 11, 2014
- Report: Harnessing the Power of Technology at Public Research Universities December 11, 2014
- Update on the Texas Digital Humanities Consortium December 2, 2014
- Shaping (Digital) Scholars: Design Principles for Digital Pedagogy August 12, 2014
- Creating the Texas Digital Humanities Consortium April 23, 2014
- Review of The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media (2014) November 5, 2014 Alex Christie
- Digital Contexts November 5, 2014 The Editors
- On the Origin of “Hack” and “Yack” November 1, 2014 Bethany Nowviskie
- Digital Historiography and the Archives November 1, 2014 Katharina Hering
- Using Computer Vision to Increase the Research Potential of Photo Archives October 14, 2014 John Resig
- Elevator Pitch November 18, 2014 Tom Scheinfeldt
- What The New Yorker Got Wrong About Lawrence Lessig November 5, 2014 Tom Scheinfeldt
- Getting into Digital Humanities: A top-ten list August 18, 2014 Tom Scheinfeldt
- This Advent season, a very long wait: ‘Christians around world under siege’ – Chicago Sun-Times
- Most major theaters pull “The Interview”
- ‘Church Sex Scandals Are Rooted in Theology’ – The Daily Beast
- Solicitor to look into Bob Jones University
- Jonathan Merritt sees an ideological mode among Reformed Christians
- ‘Bob Jones University Told Sex Abuse Victims It Was Their Fault: Report’
- Here’s what three Reformed / Calvinist scholars say about the variety of views within Christianity
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"
- Newborn Baby Found In Trash Can, Hospitalized « CBS Atlanta
- Most major theaters pull "The Interview"
- This Advent season, a very long wait: 'Christians around world under siege' - Chicago Sun-Times
- 'Church Sex Scandals Are Rooted in Theology' - The Daily Beast
- 'Bob Jones University Told Sex Abuse Victims It Was Their Fault: Report'
- Two poems by Shannon Curtin
- Using Mark Driscoll and Robert Morris to teach the fallacy of false dilemma
- Christopher Hitchens on the soul -- and love
- How can you know if a Buddhist amulet has been blessed? The Buddhist amulet market crashes in Thailand
- Jesus shoots Santa with a double-barrel shotgun: A peculiar Christmas decoration
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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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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