Blogroll: Peter Leithart
I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading. There are currently 111 posts from the blog 'Peter Leithart.'
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George Kelling's and James Q. Wilson's famous and influential
article raises a question more relevant today than when the article appeared in the
in 1982: What is policing for? Law enforcement, or community order? The two aren't the same.
Chris Cillizza suggests at CNN that The Simpsons can explain method behind Trump's scandal du jour madness:
To John Ruskin's eye, the economists of his time (John Stuart Mill, e.g.) had a reductive understanding of human nature. According to the economists, “The social affections . . . are accidental and disturbing elements in human nature; but avarice and the desire for progress are constant elements. Let us eliminate the inconstants, and, considering the human being merely as a covetous machine, examine by what laws of labour, purchase, and sale, the greatest accumulative result in wealth is attainable. Those laws once determined, it will be for each individual afterwards to introduce as much of the disturbing affectionate element as he chooses, and to determine for himself the result on the new conditions supposed” (quoted in Bruni and Zamagni, Civil Economy , 44).
The industrious John Paul Heil has produced another book, this on the Gospel of Matthew . The subtitle captures his approach: “Worship in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Heil points out that the book begins with the announcement of God's presence in Jesus, who is “God With Us,” and with the worship of the magi. It ends with the disciples worshiping Jesus before being commissioned to invite others to join their worship.
In a 1981 article on “The Chronicler's Solomon” in the Westminster Theological Journal (43:2), Ray Dillard lays out the following chiastic structure for the reign of Solomon (pp. 299-300):
In their classic 1982 article on “broken windows” policing , George Kelling and James Q. Wilson note that while many communities can self-police to some degree, actual uniformed police are essential:
Joseph Poon devotes a monograph , based on his PhD thesis, to identifying the land and sea beasts in Revelation 13. Poon makes creative use of the tripartite structures identified by Georges Dumezil to explain how the dragon, the sea beast, and the land beast form a triad.
Reflecting on President Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia, Ted Galen Carpenter (co-author of Perilous Partners ) notes that “the Saudi regime abets extremism in multiple ways. Riyadh has funded schools (madrassa) in various Muslim countries for decades to promote the Wahhabi religious cult that has intimate ties with the royal family. Wahhabi clerics indoctrinate youth in a most virulent anti-Western perspective.”
In one of the many obituaries for Peter Augustine Lawler, Yuval Levin reviews Lawler's case for “postmodern conservatism.”
Raymond Barfield's Wager is a lovely meditation on beauty, suffering, and the variety of philosophical “styles.” Everyone, not only philosophers, has a “philosophical style”: “Constructing a life is a philosophical act. Philosophical acts that are shaped by a life, and that shape a life, constitute philosophical style . . . . Philosophical style is not primarily about the sentences we create to state ideas, though the way we tell others about our experience is certainly part of it. Philosophical style is fundamentally about the way we live in the world through our bodies, our reason, our imagination, and our virtue. It is about what we love and how we are loved” (x).
Forty days after Jesus rose from the dead, He ascended into heaven to take His place at the right hand of the Father (Acts 1:3). The New Testament regularly cites Psalm 110 as a prophecy of this event.
In his Ascension Theology , Douglas Farrow insists that, if the ascension is bodily, and if Jesus ascends with all His creaturehood intact, then the ascension must be to a place : “It in the resurrection Jesus is already transfigured and transformed . . . in the ascension he is also translated or relocated. That is, he is taken up and placed by God he properly belongs, just as God once took Adam and put him in Eden.”
At a recent Theopolis intensive course on political economy, James Jordan argued that only a theological treatment of value can account for the double-sidedness of the concept. On the one hand, certain goods have cross-cultural, trans-historical value; gold and silver have remarkable staying power as money or back-up for other forms of money. On the other hand, some goods have value only in very specific cultural circumstances; a lock of John Lennon's hair is valuable in places where John Lennon is a demi-god, while John the Baptist's foreskin would be considered a precious commodity in a different age and culture.
Life, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy says, is suffering, battle, pain, shock, failure, elation. Human beings are always torn, always riven. Much of human life, individually and collectively, is an effort to deal with suffering and death. By being the first Man, Jesus establishes the possibility of a different stance toward suffering and death. Life after the cross, and life in the cross, is a life in which death never has the final word, but where death is a path toward new, more expansive life.
Hearing the hearing of Solomon ( shema is both verb and object in 2 Chronicles 9:1), Queen Sheba visits Israel's king with an impressive retinue (“very glorious strength”). She discloses everything that is on her heart. Solomon has a “hearing heart” (1 Kings 3:9), ready to receive others' words. Queen and king speak heart-to-heart.
2 Chronicles 8:11 reads (NASB): “Then Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the city of David to the house which he had built for her; for he said, ‘My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel because the places are holy where the ark of Yahweh has entered.”
The Beginning of Politics by Moshe Habertal and Stephen Holmes is a study of politics in the book of Samuel. Unlike other commentators, they don't believe that the author is a partisan, either of a pro- or an anti-David faction. That line of interpretation “can distract from the book's theoretical significance.” In their view, “Its author didn't write a political book . . . but rater a book about politics” (1–2). The result is a remarkably insightful study of the political wisdom offered by a biblical book.
“T here is a fundamental difference,” John Milbank writes ( Future of Love ), “between the Biblical and the Greek attitude to labor. The latter supposes that the gods have hidden from human beings the sources of abundant provision, and that these must be sought out by cunning, Promethean labor.” The aim is to “disguise this labor and enjoy its fruits, which alone give it point.” Aristotle brings this Greek attitude toward labor and leisure into the Christian tradition, which flourishes among Thomists like Joseph Pieper (100).
In his commentary on Chronicles , Mark Boda notes that joy is a key theme in Chronicles. Commenting on 2 Chronicles 7:10, he observes that “proper attention to worship legislation is not seen as dutiful drudgery, but rather joyous celebration” (271). The passages he cites fill out the role of joy in the life of Israel.
The church’s stance with regard to civil order is neatly articulated in Romans, provided we read chapters 12-13 together.