Andrew Louth’s Modern Orthodox Thinkers From the Philokalia to the Present (2015)

Written by one of the leading scholars of patristic and Byzantine theology who is himself an Orthodox priest, Andrew Louth’s study fills a major gap. Over the past few hundred years, Orthodox theology (in the western sense of that word) has experienced an extraordinary revival that is all too little known in the West, and not universally known in the East. It is […]

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The Glory Days of History

There is much to be learned from a book of essays recently published by my good friend and former colleague Paul Crook, Intellectuals and the Decline of Religion (2017), which deals with a range of English authors from Newman to Joseph Needham. The first essay asks whether the theory of development in Christian doctrine expressed in a book published by Newman in […]

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David Bentley Hart’s The New Testament A Translation (2017) (ii)

Last year was the five hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenburg, and the beginning of the Reformation. It was marked by ecumenical activities that sought to look beyond the divisions of the sixteenth century, by stressing what Roman Catholics and Lutherans have in common. But the recent translation […]

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David Bentley Hart’s The New Testament A Translation (2017) (i)

Most translations of the Bible are made by people with religious commitments who, on the assumption that the text they are translating supports their views, process it in ways that reflect them, so setting up the prospect of circular arguments that could go on for ever. Not so Hart, one of the leading Orthodox intellectuals of North America, who sets out […]

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On Rereading Kipling

Kipling’s novel Kim has long fascinated me. Published in 1901, when the British Empire was at its zenith, it tells the story of Kim O’Hara, a poor Anglo-Irish boy who has effectively gone native, finding it easier to slip into Hindu or Mohammedan garb when engaged on certain businesses. The novel describes his travels across the Subcontinent in the company of a Tibetan […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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