Peter J. Leithart is President of the Theopolis Institute, Birmingham, Alabama, and an adjunct Senior Fellow at New St. Andrews College. He is author, most recently, of Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor).

RSS Feed

Impurity and caste

From Leithart

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

From Leithart

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

From Leithart

“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

From Leithart

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

From Leithart

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

From Leithart

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 »

War against Mimesis

From Leithart

Baillie quotes the opening lines of Rousseau’s Confessions , and notes that it, like Descartes’s cogito, is an “effort to avert attention from what Girard calls mimetic desire, the elimination of which is tantamount to the rejection of Christian anthropology. Rousseau begins his . . . . Continue Reading »

Image of God

From Leithart

Gil Baillie, working in a Girardian framework, suggests that the claim that man is made in the image of God means “this creature can only fulfill its destiny by becoming like someone else. So counterinstinctual and counterintuitive is such a thing, that the likelihood of this creature . . . . Continue Reading »

Creative destruction

From Leithart

Vitz suggests that postmodern thought has been largely an act of “creative destruction” serving as an “expose, in the best sense of the term.” The result is “a much large intellectual framework within which everyone, including Christians, can function. It provides a . . . . Continue Reading »