“The flowers of religious history are strange flowers”

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”

“Legitimately classed as philosophers”

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”

Julia Kristeva: “The most shameful of chastisements”

Julia Kristeva holds that the fact that Jesus was “condemned as a rebel, even as a criminal, subjected to crucifixion, the most shameful of chastisements”, is the root of so many European ethical intuitions and cultural forms that “we no longer even think of referring [them] back to Jesus”. - - J. Kristeva, This Incredible… Continue reading Julia Kristeva: “The most shameful of chastisements”