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

“Natural” architecture

From Leithart

In an overview of the architectural work of Santiago Calatrava, Sara Williams Goldhagen (TNR January 23) cautions against the chimera of architecture grounded in “nature”: “Maybe the first architects needed to pay obeisance to nature’s designs, but that primal moment is long . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline, Fourth Epiphany

From Leithart

INTRODUCTION Solomon ends Ecclesiastes where he began, by emphasizing our lack of control (11:5) and the brevity of life (12:1-8). Wisdom means adjusting our actions and expectations to these realities. THE TEXT “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation, Third Epiphany

From Leithart

Ecclesiastes 4:1: Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter— on the side of their oppressors there is power, but they have no comforter. The great evil that Solomon describes here is not . . . . Continue Reading »

Baptism meditation, Third Epiphany

From Leithart

Ecclesiastes 4:8: There was a certain man without a second, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, and for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure. This too is vapor and a grievous . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Third Epiphany

From Leithart

According to what has become the “traditional” interpretation of the Constitution, every American woman has the right to kill her unborn baby. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in January of 1973, over 45 million babies have been killed, and, though the abortion rate has slowed since 1990, . . . . Continue Reading »

Same and Other

From Leithart

Evaluating Levinas and his criticisms of Husserl, Derrida probes the coherence of Levinas’ notion of “infinitely other.” Contrary to Levinas, who argues that we are incorrectly seduced by everyday life to think of the other as an “alter ego,” Derrida says: “The . . . . Continue Reading »

Art for Art

From Leithart

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

From Leithart

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

From Leithart

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

From Leithart

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 »