Geoffrey Bolton (1931-2015)

I met the late Geoffrey  Bolton, a distinguished scholar of Australian history, when I arrived at the University of Western Australia for what turned out to be a short spell as a research student. It quickly became apparent that he was the star of the History Department: he had read more books, spoke more thoughtfully and walked more quickly than anyone […]

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Anestis Keselopoulos on St Gregory Palamas: Ascetic Endeavour

‘Christian ethics are not a formal exposition of objective moral rules and principles that govern man’s actions and behaviour. Rather, they are the manifestation of ascetic labour, the observance of the commandments and the fulfillment of the virtues of Christ…Asceticism, properly understood, strives towards the development and transfiguration of the entire man.’ ‘It must be understood that ascetic endeavour is […]

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Thoughts from Pascal

The greatness of intellectual people is not visible to kings, rich men, captains, who are all great in a carnal sense… Archimedes in obscurity would still be revered. He fought no battles visible to the eyes, but enriched every mind with his discoveries. How splendidly he shone in the minds of men! Jesus without wealth or any outward show  of […]

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Merry Christmas!

A joyous celebration of the Nativity to all readers of this blog, on whatever date you celebrate it. From on high did you descend, O merciful Lord, For us did you endure three days in the tomb That we may be released from passions in this world You who are our resurrection and our life. Glory unto thee O Lord! […]

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Alexander McCall Smith’s The 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom (2004)

People have been recommending for years that I get to know the writing of the versatile Alexander McCall Smith, and now I know why. The book I’ve been reading is a trilogy of short novels, themselves sometimes operating like sequences of loosely linked short stories, to do with Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, a scholar who works at the Institute of […]

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The 2DAY fm Hoax

The  hoax perpetrated by two presenters on the Sydney radio station 2DAY fm who impersonated the Queen, Prince Charles and some corgis in a call to a hospital in London does not make me proud to be an Australian. It was cruel in that it ridiculed and mocked the Queen, an elderly woman entitled to respect and dignity, and deceptive in […]

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A Materialist View of Reality

A recent publication of Leviathan, a long work by the seventeenth century English thinker Thomas Hobbes, shows him arguing for the position that the only reality is material or corporeal, human beings, and apparently even God, being no more than physical entities. He was the heir to a distinguished philosophical tradition already expressed by the Greek Democritus, according to whom atoms, […]

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