Tensions of Modernity

Whitney (the book is Francis Bacon and Modernity , Yale, 1986) offers some additional meditations on the meaning of “modern” particularly as it relates to Bacon. He defines modernity in terms of the tension between innovation and tradition, the frustration that arises from the . . . . Continue Reading »

Revolutionary Reform

Whitney on Bacon again: “Reform invites analogy and multiple levels of meaning as it variously connects old and new; it exposes the poverty of brute facts by, for one thing, fixing knowledge in a hierarchy of literary kinds or genres. Reformative visions in history grow in part out of . . . . Continue Reading »

Bacon the Prophet

In his defense of the legitimacy of the modern age, Hans Blumenberg attempts to pry apart the legitimate kernel ideas of modernity from the illegitimate, mostly medieval and superstitious, husks by which the kernel ideas were often expressed. Whether this works for any early modern thinker, it does . . . . Continue Reading »

Honor in Therapeutic culture

Bowman examines a scene from The Sopranos where John “Johnny Sack” Sacramoni seeks permission, from Tony Soprano among others to “clip” Ralph Cifaretto for jokingly insulting his wife’s weight, which has done damage to her “body image, self esteem.” None of . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »