Bishop Maxim Vasiljevic on Tradition

Orthodox Tradition is a custom-dominated (cultural) rather than reason-dominated tradition, which means that it addresses the whole person (and not just their intellect) at the level of morals and daily life.  There are other cultures, on the other hand, such as the Western, which require intellectual explanations, a continual catechesis. How did the Orthodox people survive under the rule of […]

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Nancy Marie Brown’s The Abacus and the Cross The Story of the Pope who brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages (2010)

It’s always good to come across a book aimed at a wide readership that presents an important topic that has been undeservedly neglected, especially one that is written in a lively style. Nancy Marie Brown examines the career of Gerbert of Aurillac, a mathematician who became pope (Silvester II, 999-1003). In doing so she rescues the middle ages from charges of anti-scientific obscurantism, effectively […]

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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 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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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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Stephen Blackwood’s The Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy (2015)

The following has been accepted for publication and will appear in a revised form in Classical Review, published by Cambridge University Press, © Cambridge University Press. Blackwood (S.) The Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy. Pp. xxii + 338, figs. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Cased, £75, US$125. ISBN: 978-0-19-871831-4. Writing to the learned polymath Boethius on behalf of the […]

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Larry Siedentop’s Inventing the Individual The Origins of Western Liberalism (2014) (i)

  It is the thesis of Larry Siedentop that the West has a way of thinking about the individual that is different to those of other societies, and he believes he can account for this. In ancient times people thought of themselves as part of a family, and the cities that developed were confederations of the cults practised within families. Such ideas […]

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