Christos Yannaras’ Variations on the Song of Songs (2005)

The long tradition of commentary on this most steamy book of the Bible continues, although what the contemporary Greek thinker Christos Yannaras offers is not so much commentary as a series of reflections, almost responses to the text, which are introduced in musical terms. They describe territory familiar to many people. Hence, the words My beloved is mine and I am his. He […]

Read more

Anestis Keselopoulos on St Gregory Palamas: Repentance and Purification (continued)

In his presentation of the thought of St Gregory Palamas, Anestis Keselopoulos observes: ‘Summoning up all the characteristic traits of a believer who lives his repentance, Palamas describes him as mild and calm, full of mercy and compassion for others.’ How do we get there? ‘Spiritual mourning is the basic precondition for man’s exodus from bondage to the passions and […]

Read more

Anestis Keselopoulos on St Gregory Palamas: Repentance and Purification

In the third chapter of his book Passions and Virtues, Anestis Keselopoulos expresses the teaching of St Gregory Palamas on repentance. ‘Repentance is not a short-lived contrition arising from the awareness that some sin has been committed. It is a permanent spiritual state…the new frame of mind and correct spiritual course that must accompany man until the moment of his […]

Read more

Sebastian Faulks’ A Week in December (2009)

This novel follows a group of characters during the week preceding a large dinner party held in London at the end of 2007. Two narrative lines are developed in detail. A young man has joined a group of young Muslims planning an act of terror that may impact on the lives of other characters, while a hedge fund trader in the City plots […]

Read more

Christopher I. Beckwith’s Empires of the Silk Road (2009) (ii)

The decline of Central Eurasia has been going on for some centuries, but the explanation Christopher Beckwith offers for what he sees as its cultural destruction in the twentieth century is the influence of modernism and its political consequences. ‘The core idea of Modernism is simple, and seems harmless enough by itself: what is modern – new and fashionable – is […]

Read more

Anestis Keselopoulos’ ‘Passions and Virtues according to Saint Gregory Palamas’ (2004)

Gregory Palamas (1296-1359) has become very influential in recent Orthodox thought, especially for the distinction he drew between the divine essence and energies and the way in which this clarified such questions as the nature of grace and the possibility of being in contact with God. The study of Anestis Keselopoulos, originally published in Greek in 1982, is rather concerned with […]

Read more

Joe Bageant on the United States

A friend who borrowed from a library a new book of essays by the American writer Joe Bageant (Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball, 2011) was so impressed that she passed it on to me before returning it, and it’s indeed very interesting. Bageant is not only a socialist capable of discussing class in a way few Americans do but he writes as a […]

Read more
1 2 3 4 5