Christopher de Hamel’s Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts (2016)

It was the excellent idea of Christopher de Hamel to inspect ten medieval manuscripts, for the most part well known ones, and produce a beautifully illustrated book describing his encounters with them. Its chapters follow the same pattern. We accompany the author as he makes his way to a library or archive where, having undergone some wittily described formalities, he sits down and meets a manuscript, […]

Read more

The Royal Ballet Dance The Winter’s Tale

Among the plays by Shakespeare we studied in first year English at University, The Winter’s Favourite was the least well liked. Putting aside its great length, a feature scarcely likely to endear it to undergraduates, and the apparent weirdness of the plot (how seriously are we to take what seems to be a resurrection scene?), the lecturer made clear his distaste […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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. […]

Read more
1 2 3 5