Despite the evidence of the past half-decade (longer, actually), many Muslims still insist on portraying Islam as fundamentally peaceful, tolerant of non-Muslims, and claim the holy-war interpretation of jihad as an aberration of a few fanatics. Perhaps not surprisingly, these apologists are found . . . . Continue Reading »

History of texts

One way to characterize the modern innovation in biblical interpretation is that it changes the Bible from a history of salvation into a history of documents. The Bible does not give access to history or the acts of God; it only gives us access to itself - the Bible as evidence of the formation of . . . . Continue Reading »

Oxford Companion

The new edition of the Oxford Companion to English Literature , edited by novelist Margaret Drabble, is a superb, entirely updated reference work. The range is astonishing: As one would expect, it includes biographical entries for British poets and novelists from the earliest times to yesterday, . . . . Continue Reading »

Allegory and the West

Gadamer traces the development of the notion of symbol and the corresponding, and contemporaneous, devaluation of allegory. Allegory came to be identified with “non-art” as experiential-expressive notions of art and poetry developed in post-Kantian romanticism. Along the way, he notes . . . . Continue Reading »

Advice to young scholars, and old

In the same 1962 interview, Rosenstock-Huessy has some shrewd advice about the corrupting power of grant money on youn scholars. “If I have to solicit great foundations for money for my research,” he says, “then I have to propose something which is already obsolete for me. I know . . . . Continue Reading »

Masculine education

Rosenstock-Huessay notes that the differences between European and American elementary education have much to do with the fact that “The teaching function in America, until recent years [this from a 1962 interview], had been women’s work. All teaching up to higher education, therefore, . . . . Continue Reading »

Revolutionary timing

Are we living in a time of world-revolutionary change? Impossible to say, of course, but there might be some hints contained in the developments of the last millennium. Rosenstock-Huessy notes that Western man has been formed by periodic world-historical revolutions since the 11th century: . . . . Continue Reading »

One world

William Cavanaugh suggests that globalization represents a false catholicity, a unification of the human race organized around consumption and Hollywood blockbusters. That’s certainly one legitimate angle. On the other hand: The wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous, and Cain . . . . Continue Reading »

Fallen Soldiers

George L. Mosse’s Fallen Soldiers (Oxford 1990) is a fascinating study of the “Myth of War Experience” that developed between the French Revolution and came to a climax in World War I and its aftermath. Mosse develops a number of intertwined themes: the rise of volunteer armies . . . . Continue Reading »


Rosenstock-Huessy notes the difference between animal birth and human childbirth, the main difference being that human parents remain with children after the birth: “marriage means to go from the blind act of the moment, through the whole life cycle to its most opposite point the . . . . Continue Reading »