Relativity

Surely Solomon believed there were absolute goods, or One Absolute Good, but he spends most of Ecclesiastes talking about relative goods. The Hebrew idiom tob . . . min (“good/better . . . than”) is used throughout chapters 4 and 7 to express the relative advantage of certain situations . . . . Continue Reading »

Tragic Wisdom?

Among all the books of the Bible, Ecclesiastes appears to come closest to the tragic wisdom of the ancients. But this is an illusion. Solomon warns that it is folly to say that the old days were better than the present (7:10), and encourages patience because “the end of the matter is better . . . . Continue Reading »

Ahaz of Judah

The fraternal conflicts between Israel and Judah foreshadow later conflicts between Israel and the true Jew, Jesus. And so, when the Northern Kingdom allies with Aram (its traditional enemy) against Ahaz of Judah, it foreshadows the alliance of Jew and Gentile against the great Son of God. Pilate . . . . Continue Reading »

Postmodernity and Social Theory

The late Gillian Rose characterized the postmodern rejection of metaphysics as a triumph of social theory over philosophy, a triumphy that “re-enacts the earlier reaction, coterminous with the founding of modernity, according to which philosophy after Kant was ‘superseded’ by . . . . Continue Reading »

Bardolater

Coleridge wrote, “Shakespeare knew the human mind; and its most minute and intimate workings, and he never introduces a word, or a thought, in vain or out of place: if we do not understand him, it is our own fault or the fault of copyists and typographers; but study, and the possession of . . . . Continue Reading »

Rise of Psychology

A thesis, which may prove, when the actual evidence is examined, to be wholly wrong: The thesis: Psychology and its related disciplines do not arise from clinical study or laboratory research, but as a branch of literary criticism. Evidence (extremely thin): Coleridge was the first to use the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Hebraism of Postmodernism, 2

James Smith offers this summary of one strand of Derrida’s essay, “Violence and Metaphysics”: “since philosophy is ‘primarily Greek,’ ‘it would not be possible to philosophize, or to speak philosophically, outside this medium.’ . . . But could one . . . . Continue Reading »

Theology and the Decentered self

Questioning the “self-present” ego did not begin with postmodern skeptics. Pascal already raised the question, what is the ego? and answered, “Suppose a man puts himself at a window to see those who pass by. If I pass by, can I say that he placed himself there to see me? No; for . . . . Continue Reading »