Roll over Beethoven

A weekend of listening to the top 100 pieces by Beethoven, as voted for by listeners to a radio network, was a wonderful opportunity to revisit old favourites and hear music previously unknown. Before the Moonlight Sonata was played, a commentator observed that in it the right hand plays the melody, while left hand operates as a kind of drone. […]

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Marilynne Robinsons’ What are we Doing Here? Essays (2018) (ii)

Some of Robinson’s attitudes give me pause. She segues from the slave-owning South to a broad and implicitly anti-English attitude, one fully expressed in what says of Churchill: ‘Did his famous stand against Hitler really amount to no more than waiting for the colonies and the United States to step in?’ This reminds me of the practice of Barak Obama […]

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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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