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
"We could almost say, the human being is a ceremonious animal." - L. Wittgenstein, Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough
Never a smart or honorable impulse: "If I were the master, of all the ancient books I should allow the circulation of only the [Chaldaean] Oracles and [Plato's] Timaeus." - Proclus, according the the Life of Proclus by Marinus of Neapolis (modern Nablus)
As Hamann says: "Clarity is the right distribution of light and shadow." Wie Hamann sagt: Deutlichkeit ist die richtige Vertheilung von Licht und Schatten. — Friedrich Nietzsche, "Darstellung der Antiken Rhetorik"
".... that wonderful Jewish sect whose dream of the gentle young rabbi dying on the Roman crux had spread over all Northern lands." - V. Nabokov, Bend Sinister, 1947
Tomiwa Owolade's incisive write-up of my new book, The Innocence of Pontius Pilate, went up today. This is right: "Dusenbury’s dense, erudite book is not only a historical account and an exercise in theological exegesis; it is also a veiled commentary on our contemporary religious landscape." And it's hard to argue with Owolade's last sentence,… Continue reading The Innocence of Pontius Pilate: “a veiled commentary on our contemporary religious landscape”