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 117 posts from the blog 'Peter Leithart.'
Disclaimer: Reproducing an article here need not necessarily imply agreement or endorsement!
The “second Reformation” introduced Reformed liturgy and teaching into Lutheran Germany. This was seen by some as a continuation of the Reformation and a purgation of Catholic remnants. The effort to carry on “further reformation” led to disputes with Lutherans. As Bodo Nischan has put it, the hottest debate in German Protestantism in the late 16
century “was the very meaning of the Reformation itself” (“Second Reformation”).
The late William J. Stuntz spent his life studying the American criminal justice system. In a 2001 article on our “pathological politics of criminal law,” he lays out the institutional barriers to the fundamental reform that we need.
In her “new history” of the Reformation , Lee Palmer Wandel offers a stark, sobering summary of the shattering effects of the Reformation.
Candy Gunther Brown's The Healing Gods is an effort to explain how Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) “entered the American cultural mainstream,” and especially how it achieved “a niche among evangelical and other theologically conservative Christians, although much of CAM is religious but not distinctively Christian and lacks scientific evidence of efficacy and safety.”
At the American Interest , James S. Henry examines Trump's Russian connections. It's an unnerving read. Whatever his relationship with Putin, Trump “has certainly managed to accumulate direct and indirect connections with a far-flung private Russian/former Soviet Union (FSU) network of outright mobsters, oligarchs, fraudsters, and kleptocrats. Any one of these connections might have occurred at random. But the overall pattern is a veritable Star Wars bar scene of unsavory characters, with Donald Trump seated right in the middle.”
Two hundred years ago this month, Jane Austen put aside her pen for the last time, dating an unfinished novel that has come to be known as Sanditon . Anthony Lane thinks the novel shows that, despite her physical decay, Austen had lost none of her powers: “Although—or precisely because—‘Sanditon' was composed by a dying woman, the result is robust, unsparing, and alert to all the latest fashions in human foolishness. It brims with life.”
Summarizing the argument of Walter Scheidel's The Great Leveler , the Economist reports: “inequality within countries is almost always either high or rising, thanks to the ways that political and economic power buttress each other and both pass down generations. It does not, as some have suggested, carry within it the seeds of its own demise.”
“T here's a new ‘sacred' in town,” write Juan and Stacey Floyd-Thomas in The Altars Where We Worship .
Patrick Deneen ( Democratic Faith , xiv) tells the story of the desacralization of the Cathedral of Saint Genevieve in 1791. The national assembly decided to “rededicate the basilica as a resting place for France’s revolutionary heroes. Above its doors were carved the words, ‘Aux grands hommes la Patrie reconaissante' (The nation honors its great men).”
In his Aesthetics of Architecture , Roger Scruton summarizes RG Collingwood's distinction between art and craft. It has a surface plausibility: “Initially it seems quite reasonable to distinguish the attitude of the craftsman - who aims at a certain result and does what he can to achieve it - from that of the artist, who knows what he is doing, as it were, only when it is done.”
In his book, Disenchanted Night , Wolfgang Schivelbusch considers the difference between lighting by torches and lighting with candles. With the torch, “the site of combustion and the fuel are one and the same thing, while in the candle they are clearly separated. From now on the wick acts as the sole site of combustion, and it is fed the material the flame needs by the fuel reservoir (the wax cylinder of the candle, the container of oil in the lamp), kept neatly distinct from the flame. The torch had remained a clearly recognisable, if much changed, log of wood from the hearth fire.”
Hesiod's “Hymn to Hekate” seems to interrupt the Theogony to no good purpose. Hekate isn't a major goddess, and the hymn doesn't seem to be integrated into the rest of the poem.
Molly Ball's Atlantic piece on “ America’s empty-church problem ” is a must-read. It provides a penetrating, and sobering analysis of the political shifts that came to the surface in the 2016 Presidential election.
Beginning in 1559, the magistrates of the German city of Wesel, in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, required the citizens to commune together (Jesse Spohnholz, “Multiconfessional Celebration of the Eucharist in Sixteenth-Century Wesel”). The city had been the site of intra-Lutheran struggles, and Calvinist immigrants were moving in. Worried about public peace, city leaders forced intercommunion in order to bind different groups into one. They adopted an evangelical liturgy (1559) drafted by Hermann von Wied in consultation with Martin Bucer.
Matthew Bates argues in Salvation by Allegiance Alone that “our contemporary Christian culture often comes prepackaged with functional ideas and operative definitions of belief, faith, works, salvation, heaven, and the gospel that in various ways truncate and distort the full message of the good news about Jesus the Messiah that is proclaimed in the Bible.”
In the blink of an eye, globalization has changed from the inevitable future and the panacea for all human ills to a curse word and the source of all American misery. It takes guts to speak up for globalization these days.
After summarizing recent work on temple building in the Ancient Near East ( 1 & 2 Chronicles , 227-229), Mark Boda takes note of the differences between the accounts of Solomon's temple building in Kings and Chronicles, with an eye to the question of whether or not the Chronicler is following ANE precedent. Scholars have suggested that “Chronicles appears to be more closely allied with the ancient ritual structure than its source in Kings” (230).
Paul said that God gives us abundantly more than we can ask or imagine, according to the resurrection power of Jesus in us (Ephesians 3:20). Solomon could have told us as much.
James Jordan has often called attention to Ezekiel 43:10-11, where the Lord explains the purpose of the elaborate temple vision that He has shown the prophet. When Israel hears the design and plans of the temple, its entrances and exits, it straight lines and its corners, they will “be ashamed of their iniquities.”