A lovely meditation on books and the reading of them.
It occurred to me while reading this that that I haven’t re-read The Idiot since high school. It is my favorite book. I remember that reading the final page was devastating and earth shaking. I lay on my bed and cried, holding Prince Myshkin to myself. To re-read and lose a part of that would be equally devastating.
“Do you know why teachers use me? Because I speak in tongues. I write metaphors. Every one of my stories is a metaphor you can remember. The great religions are all metaphor. We appreciate things like Daniel and the lion’s den, and the Tower of Babel. People remember these metaphors because they are so vivid you can’t get free of them and that’s what kids like in school. They read about rocket ships and encounters in space, tales of dinosaurs. All my life I’ve been running through the fields and picking up bright objects. I turn one over and say, Yeah, there’s a story.” —Ray Bradbury, born on this day in 1920
We ended the 2013-2014 school by presenting the English Excellence Award to senior Priscilla Radcliffe. Now we are ready for the 2014-2015 year to begin.
the latest incident involved a certain pre-socratic greek philosopher, a freeway underpass, and black spray paint.
and i found a leopard gecko by the freeway. she’s just a baby and she’s very malnourished so i’m taking care of her with cat food and wet towels. like aren’t they native to india? her name is heraclitus
The more you get into these cutting edges of science, the more the mysterious materializes. It turns out, even, that what we call “matter” is ultimately a kind of myth. You can’t really say this, as a theologian. It sounds like you’re trying to turn the actual world into some kind of illusion. That’s not what I’m talking about. Rather, I’m saying that what we call matter is something much more mysterious, subtle, apparently interconnecting faster than the speed of light, just pulsing in its inter-linked processes with the unknown.
But we might find that the whole language of belief falls short of what’s meant by faith, anyhow—faith has never been a matter of little bits of knowledge parading as certainty.
thepoorinspirit asked: Is this David Dark, the author?!
Why yes. You’re making me feel awfully cool.
Dr. Susan R. Holman is Senior Writer at the Harvard Global Health Institute, and a historian whose work explores the history of religious responses to poverty, hunger, and disease. After earning a BS/BA in nutrition and psychology, she received an MS in Nutrition from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, followed by an MTS from Harvard Divinity School in 1991, and PhD in Religious Studies from Brown in 1998. She has worked as a registered dietitian, in public health and clinical nutrition, as a medical writer and editor, and occasionally lectures in the university and seminary setting. She is author of thirty academic articles, papers, or book chapters, and six books, including The Hungry are Dying: Beggars and Bishops in Roman Cappadocia (Oxford 2001), God Knows there’s Need: Christian Responses to Poverty (Oxford 2009), Basil of Caesarea: On Fasting and Feasts (with Mark DelCogliano, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press 2013), Beholden: Religion, Global Health, and Human Rights (Oxford, forthcoming 2015), and a college-level nutrition textbook. She is volume editor of Wealth and Poverty in Early Church and Society (BakerAcademic 2008), and maintains an occasional website/blog.
(Photo by Stephen Sheffield)
Faith in God and His angels involves demythologisation in respect of the devil and demons; but not in the superficial phenomenological sense current to-day, in which they are grouped with angels and even with God’s own Word and work as the figures of a world-outlook which has now been superseded. It would no doubt suit them very well to be grouped with the angels, with the wonders of the reconciling act and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and finally with God Himself, and in this exalted company to be “demythologised,” to have their reality denied, to be interpreted away. Demons are only the more magnified if they are placed in the framework of the conflict between a modern and an ancient system, and called in question in this exalted company. The demythologisation which will really hurt them as required cannot consist in questioning their existence. Theological exorcism must be an act of the unbelief which is grounded in faith. It must consist in a resolute denial that they belong to this exalted company. It must consist in the fact that in the light, not of a world-outlook but of Christian truth, they are seen to be a myth, the myth which lurks in all myths, the lie which is the basis of all other lies, so that a positive relationship to them, an attitude of respect and reverence and obedience, is quite impossible.
—Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 51.3. (via locusimperium)
Vernon Watkins wrote in an obituary that Thomas had lived his life as a consistent manifestation of Christian principle. This has provoked some mockery, or at least some condescending remarks about the blind affection felt by the fathomlessly patient, saintly and charitable Watkins. But he was serious. Thomas was no admirer or adherent of conventional religion; but his entire work struggles to articulate both a sense of the appalling and rich depths of the natural world and a clear-eyed compassion for all the varieties of human oddity.
Eli Jenkins’s evening hymn from Under Milk Wood is another over-anthologised piece, certainly inviting the label of sentimentality. Yet those rather haunting words – “O please to keep Thy lovely eye/On all poor creatures born to die” – tell us volumes about Thomas; about a poetry (and prose) “singing in chains” about our human involvement in a material world where death and birth alike open doors of perception.