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).

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Feast of Booths

From Leithart

John Kleinig suggests that Luke’s account of the Transfiguration alludes to the feast of booths: Luke “alone of the Gospel writers relates that the transfiguration occurred on the eighth day after Peter’s confession of faith (Lk 9:28). The transfiguration was the epiphany of Jesus . . . . Continue Reading »

Modern heroism

From Leithart

Zygmunt Bauman, in the book mentioned above, traces the shifts in Western cultural imagination from the ancient hero through the Christian martyr, to the revival of the ancient heroic ideal in the early modern period, to our current cult of celebrity. According to Bauman, the modern hero was born . . . . Continue Reading »

Conservator

From Leithart

An etymology of “conservative” from the online Dictionary of the History of Ideas (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/DicHist/dict.html): In Latin conservare means to protect, preserve, save; the noun of agency, conservator, appears as a synonym for the substantives custos, servator. Just as . . . . Continue Reading »

Modern sacralization

From Leithart

Still on Bauman: “In most of its descriptions, modernity is presented as a time of secularization (‘everything sacred was profaned,’ as young Marx and Engels memorably put it) and disenchantment. What is less often mentioned, however, though it should be, is that modernity also . . . . Continue Reading »

Desire and resistance

From Leithart

More on Bauman, since that last post was getting too long: Consumerism, we (especially Christians) tend to think, is driven by desire; if so, perhaps the solution is to limit or suppress desire. Bauman points out that the goal of consumer economies is to render desires irrelevant to consumption. . . . . Continue Reading »

Hybridization

From Leithart

In his pungent recent book, Liquid Life (Polity, 2005), the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman describes the divergence between the “teaching” and the “taught” classes within the global economy. What he calls the “knowledge classes” are experts at seeking and . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline, Second Advent

From Leithart

INTRODUCTION Mary’s role in redemption has been highlighted, and sometimes distorted far beyond biblical warrant. By comparison, Joseph is the neglected member of the “holy family.” Yet, Matthew focuses more attention on Joseph than on Mary, and Joseph is presented as an antitype . . . . Continue Reading »

Sanctified Vision

From Leithart

John J. O’Keefe and R. R. Reno, Sanctified Vision: An Introduction to Early Christian Interpretation of the Bible . Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. 156 p. In recent years, theologians have given intensive, and increasingly favorable, attention to patristic and medieval . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic Meditation, First Advent

From Leithart

Matthew 1:1: The Book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. As we saw in the sermon this morning, when the Son of God took on human flesh, he took on the human condition in its totality. He took on ancestors and a history, and the ancestors were not always very . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, First Advent

From Leithart

“What time is it?” This may seem a simple and straightforward question. We glance at our watches or at the clock on the wall and give an answer. In fact our answer to this question reveals a great deal about our worldview. We often conceive of time as a commodity, some kind of stuff . . . . Continue Reading »