J. R. R. Tolkien’s Beowulf A Translation and Commentary (2014)

While the late J. R. R. Tolkien is better known for his fiction, he also held a chair in Anglo Saxon, as Old English used to be called, at Oxford for twenty years, before he was elected Professor of English Language and Literature in the same university. A recent book contains two fascinating pieces that arose from his academic activities, a prose translation of the Old English poem Beowulf […]

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Les Cedres, Austellungsstr. 51, 1020 Vienna, Austria

The German speaking part of the world is not known for its vegetarian food, so it’s good to find on one of its edges a representative of one of the world’s most veggie-friendly cuisines, that which tends to be identified in the West with the nation famous for its Cedres. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The Fattousch (I’ll stick with the German spelling) works well, although there […]

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Piers Lane plays Chopin

It was wonderful hearing a product of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music who has gone on to become an international star, Piers Lane, play a number of Chopin’s piano pieces with panache and sensitivity. The concert hall was lit by candles in an attempt to suggest the ambience of a salon of the early nineteenth century that may have been more clever than convincing,  […]

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Sergius Bulgakov on Sainthhood

There are two poles of human-divinity: self-deification to which are applicable St Augustine’s words that  man without God is a diabolical being; and the gracious deification of man, helping him to become holy. Sainthood is human-divinity actualized by human exploit on the basis of God’s grace. Outside of the divine incarnation and the action of God’s grace, sainthood in actu […]

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Lent

The beginning of Lent and the disciplines associated with it prompt thoughts on what the point of them is. It’s not that we give up things that are morally murky or positively wrong, for these categories do not apply to the things we are called to cut down on. It is certainly not the case that we seek to earn divine favour by our efforts, for […]

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The World Some of us Live In

The American writer Jacob Weisberg informs us: In one recent survey, female students at Baylor University reported using their cell phones an average of ten hours a day. Three quarters of eighteen-to-twenty-four-year-olds say that they reach for their phones immediately upon waking up in the morning. Once out of bed, we check our phones an average of 221 times a day […]

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Les Murray’s On Bunyah (2015)

When I was at school I loved the poetry of Judith Wright. Later, when I went to live on the Tablelands of New England, I felt that I already knew them: South of my days’ circle, part of my blood’s country, rises that tableland, high delicate outline of bony slopes wincing under the winter. And her evocation of an old […]

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Kathodon

62 Lidras St, Lefcosia, Cyprus How good it is to settle into a restaurant full of happy people enjoying themselves! The Kathodon is just a stone’s throw from the border with the part of Cyprus that has now been under Turkish occupation for over four decades, and the pictures and slogans that decorate its walls, such as the famous Δεν ξεχνω, together with allusions to […]

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Gilles Dorival on continuities and ruptures between Hellenism and Christianity

In his contribution to a volume of studies edited by Arnaud Perrot (Les Chretiens et l’Hellenisme, Editions rue d’Ulm, 2012), Gilles Dorival turns to territory long familiar in academic discourse, the interface between early Christian thought and that of the surrounding Greek Hellenistic world. He is particularly interested in what he calls continuity and persistence, opposed to discontinuity, rupture and  novelty. […]

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