Peter J. Leithart is President of the Theopolis Institute, Birmingham, Alabama, and an adjunct Senior Fellow at New St. Andrews College. He is author, most recently, of Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor).

RSS Feed

J. L. Austin, Deconstructionist?

From Leithart

JL Austin famously distinguished between “performative” and “constative” utterances, the former of which perform the action to which they refer and the latter of which make assertions that can be judged as true or false. Modern philosophy has treated the constative as the . . . . Continue Reading »

structuralism, linguistic and other

From Leithart

How did the linguistic theory of Saussure become a model for anthropologists, sociologists, and analysts of pop culture? Jonathan Culler suggests that this move rests on “two fundamental insights: first, that social and cultural phenomena are not simply material objects or events but objects . . . . Continue Reading »

Anthropologized science

From Leithart

Foucault, in Canguilhem’s summary, argues that an anthropologization of the sciences took place in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, when Kantian philosophy combined with biology, economics, and linguistics to raise the question What is Man? Foucault argues: “From the . . . . Continue Reading »

Episteme

From Leithart

Georges Canguilhem gives this illuminating description of Foucault’s episteme: “In order to perceive the episteme, it was necessary to exit from a given science and from the history of a given science; it was necessary to defy the specialization of specialists, and to try to become a . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline, First Sunday of Lent

From Leithart

INTRODUCTION As the history of Israel begins to wind to a close, history begins to repeat itself. After the reign of Solomon, the united kingdom divided in two, Jeroboam established a separate kingdom, Rehoboam planned an attack but refrained because of a prophet, and Shishak of Egypt plundered the . . . . Continue Reading »

Mortification

From Leithart

Jehoash, pounding on the ground only three times, lacks the zeal to see the Lord’s wars through to their conclusion. He’s content with three victories over Aram, and is not willing to pound them until they are pulverized. He’s willing to leave the balance of power comparatively . . . . Continue Reading »

Sapiential hermeneutics

From Leithart

Elisha’s anger toward Jehoash seems unfair (2 Kings 13). He tells him to shoot arrows, and then pound them on the ground. How was Jehoash to know that pounding on the ground symbolized victory over Aram? Well, for one thing, Elisha told him that the arrow is the arrow of victory over Aram. . . . . Continue Reading »

Double Joash

From Leithart

Joash of Judah is called “Jehoash” throughout much of his reign, but his name returns to Joash at the end of the account (12:19). Jehoash contains the name of Yahweh, and means “fire of Yah,” the fire of Yah’s wrath but also Yah’s fire of cleansing. Jehoash of . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation

From Leithart

2 Kings 13:23: But Yahweh was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned to them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them or cast them from His presence until now. As we say in the sermon this morning, this is a striking, an amazing statement of . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation

From Leithart

The church calendar is essentially a calendar of feast days, preceded by days of preparation for feasting. Advent is a time of preparation for the feast of Christmas, when we celebrate the Father’s gift of His Son; Lent is a time of preparation for the feast of Easter, when we celebrate the . . . . Continue Reading »