The internal contradictions of unitarianism: If God is finite, then there is a boundary, and he is hardly worthy of the name God. If he is infinite, then there is no boundary, but there is also no outside. But if there is no “outside,” where does this unitarian God “put” . . . . Continue Reading »

Plato and Fear

To what extent does Platonism arise out of fear of contaminants, of miasma, of impurity? On Derrida’s reading, Plato dreams of an uncontaminated origin and presence that can never be arrived at or achieved, and he sees every supplement as an unhappy contamination of the purity of the origin. . . . . Continue Reading »

JSOT Articles

Several interesting articles in the current issue of JSOT : 1) Yairah Amit of Tel Aviv University writes on “Progression as a Rhetorical Device in Biblical Literature.” The concept is fairly simple: He’s pointing to places where, in narrative or speech, the biblical writers list a . . . . Continue Reading »

Courtly Love

On courtly love: The basic shift is from the ancient and early medieval view that eros sapped and vitiated virtus to a belief that eros was a condition of the possibility of virtus and valor. This is, as Lewis said, a seismic shift in sensibility, one that we still do not quite understand. . . . . Continue Reading »

Structure of Romans 1:16ff.

Jouette Bassler’s 1984 article “Divine Impartiality in Romans” ( Novum Testamentum ) present structural arguments for saying that the section beginning in Rom 1:16-18 runs through the middle of chapter 2. This is evident from the repetition of the verb prasso in 1:32 and again in . . . . Continue Reading »

Postmodernism and the ’60s

It’s not at all accidental that postmodernism takes its rise in the mid-1960s. Bloom wrote the first draft of the anxiety of influence in 1967, and revised it over several years before its initial publication in 1973. Derrida’s annus miraibilis was 1967, which saw the publication of . . . . Continue Reading »

Murder of Father

Turns out that Harold Bloom’s “anxiety of influence” is just another variation on the same set of themes that Derrida is obsessed with — the son’s murder of the father. For Bloom, the son is the “strong poet” who resists the influence of his . . . . Continue Reading »

Ree on Realism

Jonathan Ree has this to say to the Platonic realist who is afraid of attacks on realism: “you’re worried about being deprived of something that actually you haven’t got, and you wouldn’t know if you had . . . . it’s a chimera, this thing that they’re worried . . . . Continue Reading »

Derrida on Plato’s Dualism

Derrida explains Plato’s dualism as an effort to dominate writing (and, I suppose, reality) by the imposition of organizing contrasts and differences. Words are ambiguous; pharmakon means remedy or poison. Rather than leave this ambiguity lie, and simply follow out the proliferating . . . . Continue Reading »