Honor and the Right

There’s a scene in Malory where Launcelot has been caught in Guenevere’s bedroom by his enemies, Aggravayne and Mordred, and in the ensuing altercation Launcelot kills 14 knights, all but Mordred, who is wounded. Summoned to appear before Arthur, Launcelot still protests his innocence: . . . . Continue Reading »

Virtue and Violence

Mandeville made explicit the connection between violence and ancient virtue that Milbank and others have commented on: “The Word Moral, without Doubt, comes from Mos, and signifies every Thing that relates to Manners: The Word Ethick is synonimous with Moral, and is derived from [Greek: . . . . Continue Reading »

Honor skeptics

In his recent book on the cultural history of honor, James Bowman notes that “both Greeks and Romans had a history of skepticism about honor that ran in parallel with the mainstream culture’s celebration of it. Plato anticipated a particular Christian tradition of other-worldliness by . . . . Continue Reading »

Fruit Trees

Michael Walzer (TNR, July 31) argues, “Selected infrastructural targets are easy enough to justify: bridges over which supplies are carried to the army in the field provide an obvious example. But power and water . . . are very much like food: they are necessary to the survival and everyday . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon outline

INTRODUCTION We should pray God’s promises back to Him. But God has not only issued promises; He has also issued threats. Faithful prayer asks God to be true to both. THE TEXT “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation

John 6:53-56: Jesus therefore said to them, Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourself. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and my . . . . Continue Reading »


Deuteronomy is a series of sermons by Moses on the law. Moses is not going to go over the Jordan to lead the people against the Canaanites, and so he spends his last days instructing Israel how they should carry out the conquest, assuring them that Yahweh will fight for them. Jesus’ . . . . Continue Reading »

Word and World

Craig Gay ( The Way of the (Modern) World ) very lucidly traces a line of development from Descartes’ separation of the human subject from the world of objects, through the Cartesian and Newtonian effort to reduce science to mathematics, to the triumph of technical manipulation. At the end . . . . Continue Reading »

Hermeneutics v. Semiology

According to Michel Foucault, what Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud introduce is an age of interpretation. He develops one of the implications of this by suggesting there is a “fierce war” between semiology and hermeneutics, between treating words as signs and treating them as . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare and Bible

Steven Marx’s Shakespeare and the Bible (Oxford, 2000), purports to be the “first book to explore the pattern and significance” of Shakespeare’s biblical allusions. Perhaps. The results are mixed. Each chapter of Marx’s book attempts to show structural, plot, and . . . . Continue Reading »