My review of Stuart Jeffries's new Verso book is out today in The Spectator. My critique: he reduces culture to industry, & forgets right-modernism. A shame he doesn't thematize Adorno's high-cultural ('conservative') Marxism & the Left's low-cultural turn. On a positive note: "In his 2016 book, Grand Hotel Abyss, Jeffries showed himself to be a… Continue reading My debut in the culture pages of The Spectator
A book I'll need to read soon, by the always-stimulating David Litwa - -
I started an immersive new Chinese novel last night, Chen Qiufan's Waste Tide. This caught my eye on p. 31 (as did Dante in the original on p. 30): "They were confused as to why this well-dressed laowai would appear here, like some vision of Jesus of Nazareth passing through waves of heat, clouds of… Continue reading Chen Qiufan, “Waste Tide”
I'm very pleased to see that my new book made it into First Things Magazine's 2021 Year in Books. Peter Leithart writes: "The Innocence of Pontius Pilate [is] a brilliant work of historical detection." I'll close the year by thanking my publishers & reviewers!
What is it that we remember, & forget, on 25 December? The Budapest literary weekly Országút has published my brief reflection on the dating of Jesus' birth, the feast of the Unconquered Sun, & the origins of Christmas. Conclusion: "The revelation of Love bisects the world of time, so Christians believe, every day until the… Continue reading “The revelation of Love”: Essay in Országút
How did Years of the World & Years of Rome become Years of Our Lord? (It took ages.) I'm delighted to be giving the last of this year's "Budapest Lectures" at Matthias Corvinus Collegium today. On time-reckoning, but especially holidays, as a form of cultural memory - & advanced computation.
I'm deeply honoured to accept an invitation as visiting professor next semester at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. I will give a humanities seminar on "Jesus as Philosopher, Philosophy in the Gospels", drawing on texts by George Steiner, Runar Thorsteinsson (below), George van Kooten - & the Gospels.
In the last Danube Institute lecture on Jan Patočka, I argue that his philosophy of war & peace is not inspired by 20th-c. “War-ideology” (Kriegsideologie) but by a certain Platonism, a certain Christianity, & by what he calls "prayer for the enemy". Tomorrow in Budapest, with a reply by Dimitry Kochenov of the CEU Democracy… Continue reading Last Budapest lecture on Jan Patočka
"Who denies the music of the spheres denies poetry, denies man, & spits on Blake, Shelley, Christ & Buddha." - Allen Ginsberg, "Notes on finally recording Howl", 1959
Augustine says that human 'justice' is “a thing to be mourned &, if it were possible, washed away with tears”. He has in mind all the convicts who never had, or have, any hope of secular justice. Tomorrow I'll talk at Károli Gáspár University, in Budapest, about how that connects to Augustine's reading of the… Continue reading Human ‘justice’ is “a thing to be mourned”: Budapest lecture on Pilate & Jesus