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 30 posts from the blog 'Peter Leithart.'

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My blog is a public notebook, featuring essays, notes, and explorations on Scripture, theology, literature, politics, culture.
Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago

Metaphysics without God

Thu, 13/12/2018 - 19:33
In his monograph on Divine Simplicity, Steven J. Duby discusses the relation between metaphysics and dogmatics. He writes, “In addition to Thomas’s metaphysics, the metaphysical works of Bartholomaus Keckermann, Johann Alsted, and Johannes Maccovius provide guidance here. For Keckermann, metaphysics is ‘the science of being [entis], or of a thing [rei] absolutely and generally accepted. It is […]
Categories: People I don't know

Mammon and Modern Economics

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 16:41
Wesley Bergen’s Reading Ritual  explores Leviticus through the lens of contemporary popular culture. Instead of treating Leviticus as “religious” ritual in opposition to daily life, he tries to de-de-familiarize Leviticus ritual by finding parallels with contemporary culture. In the first chapter, he examines the ritual dimensions of a meat-packing plant, drawing comparisons with the activity of […]
Categories: People I don't know

Whose Simplicity?

Tue, 11/12/2018 - 11:00
In the third volume of his magisterial Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Richard Muller offers a helpful summary of pre-Reformation discussions of divine simplicity. Today, simplicity is making a comeback, taken as essential to orthodoxy. Muller’s discussion is a healthy reminder that “the doctrine of divine simplicity has not always been understood in the same way or […]
Categories: People I don't know

Can We Trust the Gospels?

Mon, 10/12/2018 - 11:00
In Can We Trust the Gospels?, Peter J. Williams, Principal at Tyndale House, Cambridge, doesn’t aim to prove that the gospels are true. He wants to show rather that “they can be rationally trusted” (120). If successful, this demonstration is a big deal, as Williams says on the closing page (140). But his aims are rather modest. […]
Categories: People I don't know

False Answer

Fri, 07/12/2018 - 11:00
Literally, woodenly translated, the 9th Word is: “Thou shalt not answer (‘anah) with/against your neighbor a false witness.” The verb ‘anah is of interest, mainly because it is such an uninteresting word. Of the 300+ times it’s used in the Old Testament, the KJV translates it as “answer” 240-some times; the NASB typically renders it […]
Categories: People I don't know

Suffer the Children

Thu, 06/12/2018 - 11:00
Children provide a test case for psychological and epistemological theories. Many theories fail: They do not suffer the little children to come to them. That’s part of the point of Vasudevi Reddy’s fascinating How Infants Know Minds. The title contains the thesis: Infants know other minds. They don’t act by mere instinct, or mere reflex. […]
Categories: People I don't know

Correlationism and Secondary Qualities

Wed, 05/12/2018 - 16:36
Quentin Meillassoux’s After Finitude opens with a powerful assault on what he calls “correlationism” through a defense of the distinction of primary and secondary qualities. He explains the rationale behind the distinction of primary and secondary. On the one hand, “nothing sensible – whether it be an affective or perceptual quality – can exist in the […]
Categories: People I don't know

Chiasm of Five Words

Thu, 29/11/2018 - 12:57
The first five commandments appear to be chiastically arranged. To wit: A. I am Yahweh; thou shalt have no other gods. B. Thou shalt not make image, bow to it, or serve it. C. Thou shalt not bear the name of Yahweh lightly. B’. Remember the Sabbath. A’. Honor your father and mother. The suggestion that […]
Categories: People I don't know

Mosaic Physics

Wed, 28/11/2018 - 11:00
In a 2000 article in Isis, Ann Blair examines what she describes as “Mosaic physics,” an effort to derive principles of physics from a literal reading of the creation  account in Genesis 1. Most philosophers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries tried to offer a pious natural philosophy, one that coordinated with Christian teaching more […]
Categories: People I don't know

Given and Gift, Possible and Actual

Tue, 27/11/2018 - 11:00
In a wide-ranging essay on how theology alone saves metaphysics, John Milbank explores the parallels between notions of “given” and the primacy of possibility on the one hand, and notions of the “gift” and the primacy of actuality on the other. He starts with Aristotle, for whom “the actual was primary in terms of definition, […]
Categories: People I don't know

God’s Stuff

Mon, 26/11/2018 - 11:00
The Bible hints in various ways that property is proper to human persons. The deepest hint between person and property becomes evident when we think of Yahweh’s property. God created everything, and so is Lord of everything. We don’t own anything outright. We talk about property “rights,” but that’s the wrong term. What we have […]
Categories: People I don't know

Varieties of Theft

Wed, 21/11/2018 - 11:00
The eighth word prohibits stealing, but in Scripture the word “steal” (Heb. ganaph) and the concept of “theft” covers more territory than we might assume. 1) There is a cluster of uses of ganaph in Genesis 31 (8x). Laban accuses Jacob of “stealing” away (vv. 20, 26-27), perhaps a reference to his furtive departure, like […]
Categories: People I don't know

Persons, Property, Words

Tue, 20/11/2018 - 11:00
Samson Raphael Hirsch’s Horeb is worth reading on any topic – stimulating, eccentric, illuminating, infuriating. His treatment of the eighth commandment brings out several key themes. First, he defines property as “an artificial extension of the body” (227), and since the body is a “tool” for the spirit, so property is a further embodiment of […]
Categories: People I don't know

Old-New Atheism

Mon, 19/11/2018 - 11:00
John Gray (Seven Types of Atheism) says that “Contemporary atheism is a flight from a godless world. Life without any power that can secure order or some kind of ultimate justice is a frightening and for many an intolerable prospect. In the absence of such a power, human events could be finally chaotic, and no story […]
Categories: People I don't know

Suffering and Death in Hebrews

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 12:52
Bryan Dyer deploys some sophisticated critical tools to establish the “context of situation” for the book of Hebrews in his Suffering in the Face of Death. He uses the “semantic domain theory” reflected in the Louw-Nida Lexicon to identify the variety of language the writer uses to describe suffering and death and to identify key […]
Categories: People I don't know

Liberal Theology, Liberal Politics

Wed, 14/11/2018 - 11:00
In her book on Benjamin Constant, Liberal Values, Helena Rosenblatt examines the intertwining of religious and political concerns in the work of Constant and his lover/collaborator, Madame de Stael. Through his early study of liberal Protestant theologians in Germany, Constant “hit upon what would be a central principle of his mature liberal philosophy – that […]
Categories: People I don't know

Kantian v. Kantian

Tue, 13/11/2018 - 11:00
  Gillian Rose (Hegel Contra Sociology, 21-24) examines how sociology attempts to overcome Kantian problematics, but remains within them all the same. Neo-Kantianism, she argues, “founded two kinds of ‘sociology,’ two logics of the social: a logic of constitutive principles for the sociology based on the priority of validity, and a logic of regulative postulates […]
Categories: People I don't know

Male and Female

Mon, 12/11/2018 - 16:36
Barth is no feminist. In his discussion of man and woman (CD 3.4), he insists on the created differences between male and female. Men and women must resist the temptation “to exchange their special vocations, what is required of the one or the other as such” (154). Instead, “each man and woman owes it not […]
Categories: People I don't know

Sex in Genesis

Thu, 08/11/2018 - 11:00
Genesis describes sex with a variety of terminology: 1) The command to “be fruitful” (Genesis 1:28) implies sex. 2) Adam “knew” (yada’) Eve and she conceived (4:1, 25). The same term is used for Cain (4:17), for the Sodomites who attack the angels (19:5). “Not known a man” is a description of virginity (19:8; 38:16). […]
Categories: People I don't know

Origins of Speech

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:00
Where does my speech come from? Klaus Hemmerle (Thesen zu einer trinitarischen Ontologie) argues that the answer is more complex that we might think. On the one hand, the word originates from the speaker: “I speak the word, it’s up to me.” There’s no gap between me as speaker and the words i speak. I […]
Categories: People I don't know


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