Our faces

Despite his belief that the things people spoke, thought or dreamed about could betray deeper and often unpleasant realities, Freud is said to have observed that sometimes a cigar was just a cigar. So too, despite the use of the Greek word for face (prosopon) to signify person (see posting of 12 Jan), sometimes it simply means face. The word frequently occurs in the Bible, […]

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Problems with polyphony

It would be easy to make a case that the quality of the music composed in England in the early modern period was as high as that of its literature. Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Thomas Morley, John Dowland and Orlando Gibbons were very nearly contemporaries, and wrote music as good as that being produced anywhere. I love what they can achieve with […]

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What is a person?

When Orthodox sign themselves they do so with their fingers arranged in a way that commemorates the three persons in one substance of the Trinity and the two natures in one person of Christ. The notion of ‘person’ is obviously basic to the thought of the Church. But what does it mean? A standard definition was given by Boethius, according to whom […]

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Classic Countdown

Last year ABC Classic FM invited its listeners to nominate their ten favourite pieces of music, and a Top Hundred was complied on the basis of the nominations. It was a wonderful experience listening to as much of it as one could, being exposed to things one wouldn’t normally listen to and hearing the extraordinarily disparate voices of people who phoned […]

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Knowing The Truth

‘You shall know the truth’, Jesus is reported to have said, adding that the truth would make his hearers free (John 8:32). One’s first instinct may be to take the truth referred to here as being some teaching that is true, say Christianity. But in the world of the Bible and the Church, ‘knowing’ often has the sense not of intellectual […]

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