New at VoegelinView this week
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"Check Your own Experience"
Charles R. Embry requested students of Ellis Sandoz from past years to offer reflective judgments on his teaching. Among the responses: "Completely balanced . . . That is the mark of a great teacher," and, "[Sandoz'] teaching philosophy involves getting students to see for themselves what is . . . worth preserving. That includes acquiring a vast acquaintance with canonical texts . . ." Read this week part 3 of "Ellis Sandoz as Master Teacher."
The Meaning of "The Cultural Death of God"
Beginning this week Fr. Brendan Purcell considers the challenges to contemporary theology reflected in the thought of Piero Coda, who has observed: " 'A long and complex historical-cultural process has led to the "cultural death" of God in the West . . . This final result of modern thought can provide us with a new point of departure to deepen [our understanding] of the mystery of Jesus-crucified and forsaken, . . . and especially, to the absence-of-God experienced by humans today.' " Read "Piero Coda's Theology of History: Part 1 -The Trinity and Love."
Existential Truth versus Accepted Doctrine--
We begin this week one of Eric Voegelin's great essays, and in this first part he proceeds in narrowing circles like the falcon: "For 'ages' are badly deficient in consciousness and order of intellect-they are the social and historical field of deformed existence which, having slipped from the control of consciousness, tends to usurp the ordering authority of existence. . . . we all have had our encounters with men who, sternly rejecting their humanity, insist on being modern men and, in so-called discussion, try to bury us under the rhetoric of deformed existence." Read some basic insights in part 1 of "Equivalents of Experience and Symbolization: Part 1- What is Permanent?"
The Trinity, the Trivium and the Comedia--
Max Arnott rejoins us with his reflections on the the life and work of Dorothy L. Sayers, most famous as a detective fiction writer: "She represents a unique overlap in the Venn diagrams of the era, the only writer of that period who was a Christian and a woman and a mother and a scholar of broad experience and a popular writer and an independent operator." Read this week "The Inkling Who Wasn't There."
on the Inside
". . . Like a wedding gown made of cobwebs . . ."
Poetry Editor Thomas D'Evelyn presents us a study in the ephemeral: a poem by Charles Simic, a Serbian-born American who endured a refugee's life after World War II and went on to become a prolific writer and poet and eventually a Poet Laureate of the United States. Read in Poetry "The Blur."
Human Beings Like the Rest of Us--
We welcome the return of Gene Callahan to VoegelinView. He looks at a biography of the third and fourth Presidents of the United States that is bound to affect our thinking: "This book's greatest virtue . . . is that it removes Madison and Jefferson from the realm of demi-gods, and shows them as sometimes public-minded and sometimes partisan, sometimes far-sighted and sometimes obtuse, sometimes virtuous and sometimes sinful: in other words, it shows them to be human beings like the rest of us." Read in Book Reviews this week "Madison and Jefferson."
The Philosopher as the Servant of the Gods--
We present this week part 3 of the audio recording, the "Irish Dialogue with Eric Voegelin." In this excerpt, Voegelin discusses the purpose of Thucydides' Peloponnesian Wars and the irreversibility of social disease, the perduring value of Platonic-Aristotelian philosophical analysis, etc.: "You have to be the servant of the gods even if your society's going to hell." Go to the Audio page to listen to part 3 of "The Irish Dialogue with Eric Voegelin."
". . . Craft your golem to find what you look for . . ."
A young student of Professor Barry Cooper read Eric Voegelin's Science, Politics and Gnosticism and responded by composing a new lyric to a popular song, which she sang for her class. It was caught on video and is now available at YouTube. We have embedded the video here at VoegelinView so you can see and listen to singer and lyricist Kirsten per Andersen. Enjoy it in The Lighter Side: " 'Rolling in the Deep' à la Voegelin."
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"