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Ad Orientem

From the Aug/Sept 2008 Print Edition

Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by judith herrin princeton university press, 440 pages, $29.95 In Handel’s opera Tamerlano , the principal characters are Tamerlane; the brutal Mongol chieftain Bajazet; an Ottoman Sultan and his daughter Asteria; and Andronico, the Byzantine . . . . Continue Reading »

Jews as the Romans Saw Them

From the May 2008 Print Edition

Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient ­Civilizations by martin goodman knopf, 624 pages, $35 When I first saw the title of this book, I thought of Tertullian’s famous question: What has Athens to do with Jerusalem? But Goodman did not have Tertullian in mind when he chose his title. He was . . . . Continue Reading »

How to Read the Bible

From the March 2008 Print Edition

Allegory fell on hard times in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Although the charm of beloved works of English literature such as Spenser’s Faerie Queene and Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress lies in the imaginative use of allegory, biblical scholars banished the term from their vocabulary. . . . . Continue Reading »

Confessing Mysticism

From the November 2006 Print Edition

The Mysticism of Saint Augustine: Rereading the Confessions by John Peter Kenney Routledge, 160 pages, $115. FOR MANY, AUGUSTINE’S City of God seems a more difficult book than the Confessions . It is very long, and its architectonic structure demands that one hold in mind ideas from earlier . . . . Continue Reading »

Augustinian Justice

From the November 2005 Print Edition

Christ and the Just Society in the Thought of Augustine by robert dodaro cambridge university press, 262 pages, $75 In the year 412 Augustine received from the pagan pro-consul of Africa a series of questions about the Incarnation and other Christian teachings. The topics arose out of regular . . . . Continue Reading »

The Language of Belief

From the April 2005 Print Edition

Faith of Our Fathers: Reflections on Catholic Tradition by Eamon Duffy Continuum. 187 pp. $16.95 Faith of our Fathers is a spirited defense of Catholic ritual, discipline, and communal observance”of the ways in which the collective wisdom of Christian tradition is passed on from one . . . . Continue Reading »