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 34 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: 2 hours 14 min ago

Epiphany at Cana

Wed, 15/08/2018 - 12:00
Jesus turned water to wine at the wedding to Cana. It’s the first sign, John tells us (John 2:11). It’s an epiphany of the Word made flesh. Of what is it a sign? The wedding takes place on the “third day” (2:1), which is the seventh day in the sequence of days in John’s first […]
Categories: People I don't know

The When, Who, and How of Knowing

Tue, 14/08/2018 - 12:00
For our culture, real knowledge is the bits of data we accumulate by observation and experiment to store in our brains. Once harvested, knowledge is an impersonal and atemporal heap of information. In the Bible, knowing isn’t so simple. The Bible forces us to ask, When? How? and Who? God planted two trees, the tree […]
Categories: People I don't know


Mon, 13/08/2018 - 12:00
Adults in the Room, Yanis Varoufakis’s account of his brief time as the finance minister of Greece, has all qualities of a tragedy. It is, Varoufakis writes, “the story of what happens when human beings find themselves at the mercy of cruel circumstances that have been generated by an inhuman, mostly unseen network of power […]
Categories: People I don't know

De-Fragmenting Modernity

Thu, 09/08/2018 - 13:50
A couple of excellent passages from Paul Tyson’s De-Fragmenting Modernity. First, this on how modernity’s “immanent frame” (Charles Taylor) not only prevents governments from addressing social problems, but actually creates conditions that cultivate the problem in the first place (2-3): “At a policy level, we are more or less locked into seeing ‘mental health’ answers […]
Categories: People I don't know

Mutual Honor

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 12:00
Yahweh speaks the Ten Words to his son, Israel. The Words are ultimately pointing to the Son, who takes flesh to become true Israel. The Ten Words speak of Jesus, and Jesus is the final interpretation of their demands. “Honor your father and your mother,” the Lord says, and Jesus embodies perfect honor to His […]
Categories: People I don't know

Lost World

Tue, 07/08/2018 - 12:00
The fifth commandment – Honor your father and your mother – is a counter-cultural demand. Many in our time live according to the 1960s maxim, Question authority. It’s apparently an authoritative command, and it applies in the family as well as everywhere else. But the counter-cultural character of this commandment runs even deeper. It’s not […]
Categories: People I don't know

Consecrating the Sabbath

Mon, 06/08/2018 - 12:25
English translations typically say that Israel remembers the Sabbath to “keep it holy.” That implies that the day is already holy, and that Israel maintains its holiness by ceasing. That is true; Israel’s consecration of the day depends on Yahweh’s prior consecration of the day (v. 11). In some places, the Lord commands Israel to […]
Categories: People I don't know

Memorialize the Sabbath

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 12:00
The Fourth Word begins with: “Memorialize the day of ceasing to sanctify it.” I’m using the verb “memorialize” or “commemorate” rather than “remember.” It’s not a command to “call to mind.” Of course, Israel isn’t to forget. But it wouldn’t be enough for Israel to call the Sabbath to mind without actually practicing the Sabbath. […]
Categories: People I don't know

Scroll and Trumpets

Wed, 01/08/2018 - 12:00
Reading Revelation 6-7, we might unthinkingly assume that four horsemen, the martyrs, the sealing of the 144,000 are things contained in the book. That can’t be true. This is a scroll, and you can’t read the contents of a sealed scroll until all of the seals have been opened. The things revealed as the seals […]
Categories: People I don't know

Serving the Ground

Tue, 31/07/2018 - 12:00
The Lord curses Cain in Genesis 4:12: “When you serve (avad) the ground (adamah), it will not give (natan) its strength (koach) to you.” Invert that, and we have a fair summary of God’s blessing, and a mini theology of the natural environment. Humanity’s stance toward the earth: Service, not exploitation, pillage, or rape. When […]
Categories: People I don't know

Sons of Noah

Mon, 30/07/2018 - 12:00
In his 1876 letter in Fors Clavigera, Ruskin muses on the import of the sons of Ham. Mizraim, Phut, and Sion represent three African powers and three natural environments, the watered plain, the desert, and the sea. Each also represents a certain stage of human development: “A. Egypt is essentially the Hamite slavish strength of […]
Categories: People I don't know

Typical Beauty

Thu, 26/07/2018 - 12:14
Ruskin’s concept of “typical beauty” is a piece of theological aesthetics. In the second volume of Modern Painters, Ruskin distinguished kinds of beauty, the typical and the vital. Of the first, he says: “that external quality of bodies already so often spoken of, and which, whether it occur in a stone, flower, beast, or man, […]
Categories: People I don't know

Of Subject and Objects

Wed, 25/07/2018 - 12:00
In the third volume of Modern Painters, Ruskin addresses the “German dulness, and English affectation” that has “multiplied among us the use of two of the most objectionable words that were ever coined by the troublesomeness of metaphysicians,—namely, ‘Objective,’ and ‘Subjective.'” The words are “exquisitely . . . useless” and he sincerely to “get them […]
Categories: People I don't know

Hopkins and Typology

Tue, 24/07/2018 - 12:00
George Landow argues (Victorian Types, Victorian Shadows) that the poetry of Gerald Manley Hopkins would look less bizarre, though no less innovative, if we placed Hopkins more firmly in the poetics of his time. Which is to say, placed him in the context of a typological poetics. Hopkins’s “entire conception of inscape and its relation […]
Categories: People I don't know

Architecture of Sacrifice

Mon, 23/07/2018 - 12:00
Architecture, Ruskin claims (Seven Lamps of Architecture), isn’t the same as building. Architecture refers to the specifically artistic features of a building, and the specifically artistic features have to do with adornment and not function: “Architecture concerns itself only with those characters of an edifice which are above and beyond its common use. I say […]
Categories: People I don't know

Types of Color

Thu, 19/07/2018 - 12:00
John Ruskin was the main art critic of his time; he was an artists himself, and also wrote on a variety of other topics, especially on the state of English politics and economy. He abandoned explicit attachment to Evangelical Christianity but remained deeply indebted. He provides an excellent example of the persistence of typological structures […]
Categories: People I don't know

The Typological Imagination

Wed, 18/07/2018 - 12:00
Typological forms of thought weren’t confined to sermons and commentaries, but made their way into 19th-century English poetry. -Some poets put typology to orthodox uses, though here we can see divergent deployments of a similar typology. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a poem, Casa Guidi Windows (1851) about the Browning home in Florence. In one section, […]
Categories: People I don't know

Victorian Typology

Tue, 17/07/2018 - 12:00
Typology was a traditional method of reading Scripture, one that persisted into the Victorian age. Most obviously, this took the traditional form of finding shadowy figures of Christ in Old Testament characters and institutions and promises. J.C. Ryle, a leading Evangelical Anglican, claimed that one “golden chain” runs through the whole of Scripture – it […]
Categories: People I don't know

Knowing as Known

Mon, 16/07/2018 - 12:00
Philosophers sometimes restrict “knowledge” to verifiable facts, logical inferences, statements, theories. In fact, knowing goes on all the time, in many modes and manners. As Esther Meek puts it, our lives are a tapestry of acts of knowing. Our knowing is nestled within God’s knowing. Our acts of knowing occur within the passivity of being-known. […]
Categories: People I don't know

You Are Witnesses

Thu, 12/07/2018 - 12:00
You are my witnesses, the Lord tells Israel. You will be my witnesses, Jesus tells the apostles before His ascension. All Christians are witnesses, “martyrs” in the original sense of the word. All Christians are also called to be “martyrs” in the more developed sense: We are all called to witness to Jesus by your […]
Categories: People I don't know


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