Art for Art

Adorno points out in an essay on television that “it would be romanticizing to assume that formlerly art was entirely pure, that the creative artist thought only in terms of the inner consistency of the artifact and not also of its effect upon the spectators. Theatrical art, in particular, . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermons and such

Auden said, “In my opinion sermons should be a) fewer b) longer c) more theologically instructive and less exhortatory. I must confess that in my life I have very seldom heard a sermon from which I derived any real spiritual benefit. Most of them told me that I should love God and my . . . . Continue Reading »

Totality and Dialogue

In “Violence and Metaphysics,” Derrida says that no “logos as absolute knowledge can comprehend the dialogue and the trajectory toward the other” because “the other is the other” and “all speech is for the other.” For Derrida, “A total logos . . . . Continue Reading »

Eros and epistemology

For Aquinas, knowledge begins with knowledge of the effects of a thing. When faced with those effects, we naturally have a “desire to know about the cause what it is. This desire is one of wonder and causes inquiry.” The inquiry ceases when we arrive at knowledge of the essence of a . . . . Continue Reading »

Judge Judged and Judging

Marcus shows that Daniel 7, cited in Mark 14:62, is lurking behind the trial narrative as a whole. Daniel 7 tells about judgment being passed against the bestial empires in favor of the people of the saints of the most high, with the result that all dominion and power is given to the latter. Mark . . . . Continue Reading »

Inference

According to the Westminster Confession of Faith, “The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture.” But . . . . Continue Reading »

Mark and Psalm 2

Marcus notes that Mark’s attention to Psalm 2 is not exhausted by quoting the words from heaven at Jesus’ baptism: “the whole series of pericopes in 1:9-11, 12-13, 14-15 reflects the basic ‘plot’ of the psalm, and its influence may extend further into Mark’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Way of Yahweh, Way of Jesus

Joel Marcus’ study of Mark’s use of Scripture ( The Way of the Lord , W/JK, 1992) begins with an illuminating discussion of the opening verses of the gospel. The quotation from Isaiah brings the whole of Isaiah’s second-exodus eschatology into play, with Jesus playing the role of . . . . Continue Reading »

AC Bradley’s Hamlet

AC Bradley’s 1904 lectures on Shakespearean tragedy are deservedly regarded as classics of criticism. His analysis of Hamlet is deservedly famous, particularly his discussion of the famed problem of Hamlet’s delay. He classifies theories of the delay into several large categories. First . . . . Continue Reading »

Derrida, Closet Platonist

In Specters of Marxism, Derrida advocates a strongly eschatological Marxism but without committing himself to the specifics of a Marxist analysis of capitalism (must as he advocates a “messianism without messiah”). In both cases, he reaches for a formal structure without content, . . . . Continue Reading »