Category Archives: book reviews

Voegelinian Vagaries

In last week’s column, I mentioned that Eric Voegelin is a political philosopher whom I approach – in advance and in principle – with a high degree of respect. Unlike most contemporary thinkers about life at the political level, he is not … Continue reading

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Can Sibling Rivalry Be Ontological?

In the top-floor, high-ceiling, six-room New York apartment where my parents once lived, next to the dining room table and in front of the window, there stood a tall potted plant. It grew and grew, though I don’t recall our giving … Continue reading

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Secrets of the Kingdom

Years ago, I was in the audience to hear a lecture by Columbia Professor of Ancient History Morton A. Smith who was discussing a verse he claimed to have discovered, anciently deleted from the gospel of Mark. In this new-found verse, Jesus … Continue reading

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Book Matters

Book Matters Albert Camus and the Minister By Howard Mumma It’s an arresting fact that both Albert Camus (1913-1960) and Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) — French existentialists who may have done most to spread the banner news that God is dead … Continue reading

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The Blessing

We’ve just returned from the Denver meetings of the American Academy of Religion – more specifically the subfield that Jerry founded: Theology Without Walls. It was founded in recognition of the current, unprecedented openness of communication in our world. It … Continue reading

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Ancestors

How odd of God To choose the Jews. So goes the old rhyming joke, from I dunno who. Some Englishman perhaps. But allow me to step in, on behalf of God, to explain why God did that. My explanation may count as … Continue reading

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Book Matters

Book Matters The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma By Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. This is an important book, not only for the problem it identifies and the experimental therapies it recommends … Continue reading

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Desire and Defamation

Desire and Defamation Defamation tends to obliterate the erotic appeal of the person being defamed.  That’s one reason it’s so infuriatingly irreparable.  It makes the victim seem undesirable.  We are social animals.  We live by each other’s smiles and frowns. … Continue reading

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Book Matters

Professor of Apocalypse: The Many Lives of Jacob Taubes By Jerry Z. Muller This well-crafted, exhaustively researched, intellectually balanced biography of Jacob Taubes may be on its way to becoming the talk of the town.  Since its subject is an … Continue reading

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Academic Gossip

Academic Gossip One of the seldom-mentioned pleasures of life in the academy – the House that Plato Built – is academic gossip.  It juxtaposes the life of ideas against real-life — whetting one’s appetite for both! I’m about two-thirds of … Continue reading

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