"The Stoics say that the planets are established again into the same sign [as] when the world was first formed, and at set revolutions of time they bring about the conflagration and destruction of all things and again they establish the world anew in the same state, and, as the stars travel once again in… Continue reading “Socrates and Plato will exist again”
I'll be giving a public lecture on the topic of my next book, Nemesius of Emesa on Human Nature (Oxford, 2021), this Sunday in Jerusalem.
"Like Paul, [anti-Christian] Porphyry defines belief, truth, love & hope as the four elements of godliness. Origen is to the Christian Church what Plotinus is to the pagan church. [Remember:] Origen & Plotinus were [both] students of Ammonius Saccas..." - Jacob Taubes, Occidental Eschatology (Stanford, 2009), p. 79 - written when Taubes was twenty-three, &… Continue reading Taubes on Origen & Plotinus
Beginning to read Guy Stroumsa's magnificent new opus, The Idea of Semitic Monotheism: The Rise & Fall of a Scholarly Myth (Oxford 2021), during my Jerusalem quarantine: on "Orientalism" & the history of religion as a culture-shaping, 19th-century concerns. "The flowers of religious history are strange flowers", says Ernest Renan in one of the book's… Continue reading “The flowers of religious history are strange flowers”
"Unless I read the evidence wrongly, the political and philosophic history of the West during the past 150 years can be understood as a series of attempts - more or less conscious, more or less systematic, more or less violent - to fill the central emptiness left by the erosion of theology." - George Steiner,… Continue reading “To fill the central emptiness …”
Courtesy of C. Hurst & Co.
World-class self-deprecation: "I was, alas, am an excellent mediocrity." - Jean d'Ormesson
"Metaphysical questions & beliefs are technologically barren." - Leszek Kolakowski, Warsaw 1966
Unbeatable first line: "This little book is a concise summary of a nonexistent treatise." - Leszek Kolawowski, The Presence of Myth (Chicago, 1989), p. ix
In case we've forgotten: "There is no doubt that Christian writers prior to the fourth century can be legitimately classed as philosophers... Thinkers such as Justin Martyr & Origen... operated as independent teachers & may... plausibly be compared to contemporaneous philosophers." Johannes Zachhuber, The Rise of Christian Theology & the End of Ancient Metaphysics (Oxford,… Continue reading “Legitimately classed as philosophers”