Samuel Pufendorf fumed that there is "not one iota of legitimate process" in the Roman trial of Jesus, which was "a public act of terror", & it's an honour to be talking about the trial at Pufendorf's old faculty at Lund University today. Register here.
"I don’t concern myself with vengeance, my heart is free of rage, the world will be rebuilt – & though this ugly age has banned my words, they will yet ring out beneath new walls." - Miklós Radnóti, killed in the autumn of 1944
1,350 years before La Mettrie wrote his materialist L'Homme plante (Man a Plant), Nemesius reminded us that we're part plant: "The veins are like roots of the liver that draw the food from the stomach, as the roots of plants draw it from the earth..." For more on this: Nemesius of Emesa on Human Nature… Continue reading “Veins are like roots”: Nemesius of Emesa on Human Nature
"Truth means that being is open to understanding & explanation; beauty means that the emergence of being in the human world manifests the mystery of being as something perennially enchanting; goodness that the world includes an unselfconscious favour & grace." - Jan Patočka
"The wonder of being is no fable." - Jan Patočka, Heretical Essays in the Philosophy of History
"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."