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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Rise of Psychology

From Leithart

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 »

Sermon Outline, Third Sunday After Epiphany

From Leithart

INTRODUCTION How are we to live in this world of vapor? Solomon tells us again and again to rejoice (e.g., 5:19-20), and implies that this joy comes in community with others. That theme of community is explicit in chapter 4, as Solomon reflects on the evils that destroy neighborliness and the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Hebraism of Postmodernism, 2

From Leithart

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

From Leithart

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 »

The Virgin Birth and Angry Reviewers

From Leithart

Analyzing Rodney Stark’s treatment of the virgin birth of Jesus in his review of Stark’s latest book, The Victory of Reason (TNR January 6, 2006), Alan Wolfe writes, “Mary’s virgin birth has what [Charles] Freeman calls a ‘shaky’ scriptural basis, given that the . . . . Continue Reading »

Hamlet in the Modern Mind

From Leithart

The following assembles raw material for a lecture on the uses and influence of Hamlet in Western thought over the last two centuries. I was greatly assisted by an essay by Margreta de Grazia, referenced several times in the following and available at eserver.org/emc/1-2/gdegrazia.html. . . . . Continue Reading »

The gospel of 1-2 Kings

From Leithart

INTRODUCTION Christians usually think of the book of 1-2 Kings as “historical,” and Jews have long classified it as “prophetic.” For Christians, 1-2 Kings is above all about the gospel. FORMER PROPHET Because the Jewish classification of Kings may be unfamiliar, we should . . . . Continue Reading »

The Hamlet Question

From Leithart

In his history of Russian culture, James Billington notes the influence of Shakespeare’s Hamlet on modern Russian thought and drama. It was “one of the first plays to be regularly performed on the Russian stage,” so that “Hamlet became a kind of testing ground for the . . . . Continue Reading »

Traces

From Leithart

Everyone with a more than elementary understanding of how language works knows that words can have different meanings in different contexts. The more intriguing phenomenon, and one exploited by poets and novelists, is that a word can have a different meaning, or a very different referent in a new . . . . Continue Reading »