Violet Moller’s The Map of Knowledge (2019)

This fascinating book begins by introducing the work of three ancient writers on scientific subjects, Euclid on geometry, Galen on medicine, and Ptolemy on astronomy, and goes on to show how their works were transmitted in subsequent centuries. We pass from Alexandria, where these scholars wrote, to Baghdad, where their works were translated into Arabic; Cordoba, where Arab learning derived […]

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Les Murray

The death of Australia’s greatest poet has moved me deeply. In a world that can seem threatened by the bland cosmopolitanism of noisy people with little to say, Murray had a genuinely vernacular voice that expressed the perspectives of a white rural Australia (‘subhuman, redneck’) that was utterly untouched by movements of dangerous populism. He was a poet of marvellous […]

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David Mitchell James’ A Psalter for Prayer (2011)

This book comprises a version of the Psalms, together with some traditional material from the Church Slavonic Psalter, beautifully presented in large type on thick paper, so that it is suitable for public liturgical as well as private devotional reading. The register of the English is sonorous and dignified, its language somehow churchy and inviting a kind of slow lectio divina. It raises some issues […]

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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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