"The great Borges said that not giving him the Nobel was 'an old Scandinavian tradition'." Martin Amis, Inside Story, 9 (note)
"The outside world was harsh, merciless towards the weak, & hardly ever kept its promises, & love remained the only thing in which one could still, perhaps, have faith." - M. Houellebecq, Seratonin - which I'm rereading where much of the novel is set: in Normandie FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 01: The writer Michel Houellebecq in… Continue reading “Love remained the only thing”: Houellebecq
"Nearly all the ancients disagree in their reasoning concerning the soul." Is it blood, water, fire, or breath? Is it a mixture, number, harmony, or substance? My new Oxford University Press book on Nemesius of Emesa's subtle, late-antique anthropology is now in print.
A very generous review of my Pilate book, out this month with Oxford University Press, is up at First Things: "Dusenbury’s book would be worth a careful reading if it were no more than a monograph on a debate that flows, all but unnoticed, beneath the surface of European intellectual history. His range of reference… Continue reading “Astounding, illuminating”: The Innocence of Pontius Pilate in First Things
Thrilled to see a two-page review of my new book in the September issue of History Today. The University of Warwick's Kevin Butcher calls The Innocence of Pontius Pilate "startlingly original", & concludes: "Without Jesus' confession before Pontius Pilate, we cannot know how our notions of secularity & tolerance might have developed."
Delighted that The Innocence of Pontius Pilate is out today in New York with Oxford University Press. Part III is on the figures of Pilate & Jesus in 'pagan', Judaic, Islamic & Christian traditions... I believe new ground is broken in the history of philosophy & religions.
"Pythagoras & Empedocles & the rest of the Italian crowd say that we have some communion not only with other humans & with the gods, but also with the irrational creatures" (Sextus Empiricus) -- More on why this matters for early Christian philosophy in my new Oxford book, out 20 Aug.
"The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit." - Joyce, Ulysses, 1922 Says Martin Amis: "the book's most ravishing sentence". It's certainly one of them.
Nemesius of Emesa (now Homs) tells us that many animals live in their own cities, “of which there are many types”. They seem to compose “beast-worlds”, something like the Umwelten of Jakob von Uexküll’s theoretical biology. -- More on this in my new Oxford University Press book, out 20 August.
"The innocent can be driven mad by experience." - Lawrence Osborne