"Having enslaved electricity, captured lightning in the copper wire, man has created a culture that leaves no room for poetry." - Aby Warburg, via Chloe Aridjis in the London Review of Books (5 Nov 2020)
Reading Clement of Alexandria - as I'm sure Nietzsche did - can feel, weirdly, like reading Nietzsche. This is Clement, disillusioning the 'pagans': "By now, even your myths have grown old ... Where is Zeus? ... He has grown old ... See, the myth is stripped bare ... Search for your Zeus. Do not scour… Continue reading Nietzsche in Alexandria
When a young romantic, Herder, took course notes in the 1760s, his lecturer - Immanuel Kant - held the floor in Latin. There is more on why this matters - and much else - in chapter 1 of The Innocence of Pontius Pilate (March 2021).
Why did Friedrich Nietzsche, who'd just finished writing "The Antichrist", sign his letter to the Vatican's Secretary of State, "The Crucified"? There's an answer to this - and much more - in the prologue to The Innocence of Pontius Pilate (March 2021).
On my mind. "Nowhere on earth today is a legitimate power to be found; even the powerful are convinced of their own illegitimacy." - G. Agamben, 2010
It is so deep, and so fitting, that Bach's soulful early cantata is titled in German, “God’s time is the best of all times” (Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit), and in Latin, "The tragic act" (Actus tragicus). Even the best of all times is tragic. Here conducted by Karl Richter.
One of the minor tragedies of the mid-twentieth-century American hegemony is that we listen to Glenn Gould, rather than to the European women who outshine him - Maria Tipo, and, here, the shimmering Marcelle Meyer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shgkSppX3yI
Was the circulation of the blood discovered by William Harvey in the 17th century? Probably. But several 17th-century humanists thought it was described rather well by a 4th-century Syrian bishop. See the opening paragraphs of my article in the new issue of Early Science and Medicine, "The Government of the Body".
Delighted that John Milbank finds The Innocence of Pontius Pilate to be "a fascinating treatment of how interpretations of the trial of Jesus have greatly informed Western understandings of law, of religion and of the secular".
The first review of my next book is in. According to an eminent legal historian, it is "an original, compelling contribution that brims with erudition. A work of real sweep and ambition." Gratifying to hear!