New at VoegelinView this week
- For those who have not visited VoegelinView this week:
Our Elites will make Virtue Unnecessary--
Grant Havers, in a discussion that resonates in current politics,
examines American historians who dislike Christianity or distrust
the people, or both: "Even the most elitist of the founders
presupposed that the people must already possess a moral sense,
which would take prime place over the authority of an equally
fallible leadership class." Read part 2 of "Lincoln, Charity, and
"We the People."
General Suppositions versus Unique Resonances--
Eric Wilson concludes his reflections on the foundations of
Gnostic film with a consideration of a forerunner of gnostic art,
William Blake: "Blake, taking a middle way, believes that the
sublime arises from a sensual scrutiny so intense that it
penetrates to an unbounded energy at the heart of distinct
forms." Read part 5 of "Secret CinemaGnosis and Film."
The Limits on Human Grandeur--
Eric Voegelin makes explicit the basis for the maximum
differentiation of experience in history: "The insight that man
in his mere humanity, without the fides caritate formata, is
demonic nothingness has been brought by Christianity to the
ultimate border of clarity that by tradition is called
revelation." Read this week "The Historical Horizon Classical
and Christian Experiences."
Those to whom Evil is done . . .
Max Arnott returns with a look at a book that won the Newbery
Medal for children's literature in 1929, The Trumpeter of Krakow
: "Even your columnist, who is a skeptic about historical novels
and young people, was pleasantly surprised," and "Most
importantly, the novel has a moral centre, that 'pith of
philosophy' that Stevenson said is essential to a good story."
Read "Another Young Man with a Horn."
on the Inside
"Whispering new joyes to the milde Oceán . . ."
We wish you a blessed Christmas and present this week a few
Christmas poems, including some traditional Christmas carols
from as early as the 16th century.
Shutting the Door to Reality--
Barry Cooper considers Robert R. Reilly's new book, The Closing
of the Islamic Mind, and finds it a splendid analysis: "The most
significant political consequence today of the ascendancy of
[Islamist fundamentalism is] that democracy is rendered
impossible for believers. This is less because Sharia is Gods
law than because the prerequisite of democracy is the
respectability of reason." In Book Reviews read "The Magical
World of Islam."
A Judicial Contempt for the People--
Colin May offers the concluding part of his reflection on a book
advocating judicial control of our culture: "[Such a
constitutional judge] is not concerned with virtue but takes on
the role of an elite altruist claiming [to represent] the values
that are common to all. . ." Read the conclusion of "Lording it
Over Democracy: When Judges Moralize."
The URL is www.voegelinview.com
- For those who have not visited VoegelinView this
week:A Pause for Thanksgiving � The VoegelinView staff will take a break from Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 28th) until the following Monday, December 2nd. We wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.NEWThinking About the State is Latent High Treason--Juergen Gebhardt continues his description of Voegelin�s intellectual development and contrasts his thinking with that of Leo Strauss: �In an age of intellectual and political crisis, whatever separated Strauss and Voegelin, . . .they agreed on the philosophical importance of historical reflection in order to regain a sense of the fundamental issues of human existence.� Read part 2 of �The Timely Legacy of Voegelin and Strauss.�Suffering as the Basis for Community--Richard Avramenko and Jingcai Ying offer their portrayal of three women in Dostoevsky�s The Possessed, and find in the characters a redemptive meaning for suffering: �Love is compassion, the willingness to suffer with others . . . . By sharing others� suffering and self-sacrificing, individuals can forge a communal bond that leads to salvation.� This week read Part 2 of �Dostoevsky�s Heroines, or, on the Compassion of the Russian Woman.�Reason is left to shift for Itself--We continue Eric Voegelin�s analysis of the English loss of reality following the religious upheaval and the arrival of Newtonian physics: �When the light of faith is extinguished, the dogmatic symbols lose their luminosity of meaning and become a dead letter, a jungle of logical inconsistencies, and a collection of unverifiable propo�sitions. When the symbols no longer glow with the inner light of faith, the time has come for their examination under the external light of reason.� Read part 3 of �The English Quest for the Concrete.�The Trial of Socrates--In this chapter from his new manuscript �Knowledge, Sophistry, and Scientific Politics: Plato�s Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesman,� James Rhodes tackles the complex problem of Plato�s critique of geometrical politics in the Eleatic dialogues. He offers a compelling explanation of how those dialogues repeat the charge of sophistry brought against Socrates by the Athenians and why Socrates �must expect death from Homeric believers.� This week read Part 2 of �The Real Name of the Stranger.�on the Inside�. . . your love, too big, sinks my song of thanks . . . �Poetry Editor Thomas D�Evelyn presents contemporary Chinese poet Xue Di, who left China following the Tianamen Square bloodshed and now reflects on his experiences in a poem in which the cry of the child is the the cry for freedom. Read this week in Poetry �Gift.�Challenging Plato�s �Platonism�Our Editor Ron Srigley explores the agreements and disagreements between James Rhodes� and Zdravko Planinc�s interpretations of the Eleatic dialogues, particularly Plato�s Statesman, which have been presented here over the past two weeks. Read in Commentary this week �Challenging Plato�s �Platonism.� �Has the Liturgical Reform been Beneficial?We are pleased to welcome back Stephen Millies to VoegelinView. He reviews for us a book that assesses the results of Vatican II after almost fifty years: �Since something little short of a war has unfolded during last five decades over how to interpret the Council, Faggioli�s claim that we can find such a key seems facile, almost too cute.� Read in Book Reviews this week �Vatican II: A Liturgical Restoration of Religious Experience.�Rationalism: the Bane of American PoliticsWe welcome Corey Abel to VoegelinView. He reviews for us Gene Callahan�s new book, Oakeshott on Rome and America. Among Abel�s observations: �Callahan does not sugar coat the fact that there is a deep incoherence in the American political tradition, and a deep incoherence in the defense of liberty offered by both libertarians and by variously styled conservatives.� Read in Book Reviews this week �A Foreshortened Tradition.�Please note that this will be the final Sunday night notice to the evforum.The URL is: http://voegelinview.com"