Milbank on Gift

INTRODUCTION To wind up our discussion of gift, we will cover three large concerns. First, we will examine Milbank’s work, particularly his essay “Can A Gift Be Given?”, to see how he handles the challenges thrown up by Derrida and Marion. Second, we will take some time to think . . . . Continue Reading »

Bloom and Jesus

James Wood has his fun with Harold Bloom in his TNR review of Bloom’s recent Jesus and Yahweh . Wood offers this parody of a typical Bloomian sentence: “Only Don Quixote can rival the fat knight, Sir John Falstaff, and even Emerson at his strongest - stronger, here, even than his . . . . Continue Reading »

Cost of Discipleship

Jerome Neyrey summarizes the effect of Jesus’ instruction to pray, give alms, and fast “in private” in terms of ancient honor systems: “In essence, the disciples must separate themselves from ‘their’ synagogues; they may not join other observant Judeans in . . . . Continue Reading »

Impurity and caste

Mary Douglas has observed that “Levitical impurity is a fact of biology, common to all persons, and also a result of specific moral offences that anyone is liable to commit such as lying or stealing . . . Biblical impurity is of no use in demarcating advantaged social classes or ranks.” . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline, Fourth Sunday of Easter

INTRODUCTION Hezekiah reverses the work of his father, Ahaz. As a result, the two kingdoms reunite under Hezekiah, who gathers people from “Beersheba even to Dan” to his Passover (2 Chronicles 30:6). In Hezekiah’s reign, the Davidic line experiences another renewal, as under Joash . . . . Continue Reading »

Devil’s opportuity

“Do not leg the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” It sounds spooky and bizarre: Are we in danger of being haunted by some anger-demon? Once we remember that “diabolos” means “slanderer,” it’s no longer the stuff of horror . . . . Continue Reading »

Medievalism and theory

Bruce Holsinger’s book, The Premodern Condition , is reviewed in the April 14 issue of TLS. Holsinger is tracing the rise of theory in France of the 1960s, and shows that the avant garde was “surprisingly heavily indebted to medievalism.” He describes their relationship to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Third Sunday of Easter

Easter is about faith, because by His resurrection Jesus has been installed as the mediator, the firmament boundary between God and man. In the Old Testament, priests served as mediators, who stood in the middle between God and man. Organized in a ring around Yahweh’s tent, the priests served . . . . Continue Reading »

Word and Water

Baptism, Luther says in his Small Catechism, is not water only, but water “comprehended in God’s word and connected with God’s command.” The following question asks what word constitutes the water as baptism, and cites Matthew 28: “Go ye therefore . . . ” That . . . . Continue Reading »