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arendt  deliberate talk  heart  jesus  legitimate  love enemies  much  philosopher  political  slow  talk things  talk  theory  voegelin  words 
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Preview: slow reads

slow reads

Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 04:30:48 +0000


Arendt on walking out that door

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 03:07:54 +0000

Does the first nonpolitical use of the word "freedom" -- Jesus' reference in John 7 to being free from sin -- suggest a way to a polis of sorts among those who, like Jesus, have chosen to live a life without fear of necessity? Is this one reason Arendt advocates mining the Gospels for a theory of faith that would spur political action against our grinding world systems?(image)

Political religion & the prophetic

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:23:05 +0000

While our present politics are not at the stage in which “acts of deep hope” would serve anything more than what Brueggemann calls “the royal consciousness” or “the false consciousness,” such acts will come. But whether our actions stem from legitimate grief or legitimate hope, they create political space that has never existed before.(image)

Slow readers

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 23:49:09 +0000

From tomorrow’s Washington Post: “After 22 years, a synagogue study group finishes reading the Torah from beginning to end.”(image)


Fri, 05 Jan 2018 14:13:42 +0000

Found myself tearing up this morning in gratitude for the postal service. How much has been preserved of Jefferson’s thought (what I’m reading now) through his friendships with distant people and this slow means of communicating!(image)


Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:38:00 +0000

So much of a devotional is what you pack of it. Last night, Victoria recalled Jesus’ impossible command to “love your enemies,” the nub of what we had read that morning from Matthew, and applied it. The impossible becomes possible when I chunk my learning. “Love your enemies” may be an example of Hannah Arendt’s “certain […](image)

To have more talk

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 22:00:15 +0000

To take only prescriptively Deuteronomy's command to talk is to see ourselves becoming only founts (or, worse, spouts) of scripture. But if we go with the action verbs, which I think are indicative rather than exclusive, we'd find a context for deliberate talk in the things we do every day: sit, walk, lie down, get up. (Note: we don’t buzz.) When we add deliberate talk to our daily talk – that is, to the kind talk we do anyway when we do other things we do, then the words work themselves into and enrich our days. The words move from theory, if you will, to practice. We reinvent the words we speak and even quote, and they become our own.(image)

This year’s reads, Voegelin in particular

Sun, 31 Dec 2017 08:06:03 +0000

I met a few writers this year who seem to understand who I am and encouraged me in the direction I’m heading. Chief among them is the Austrian philosopher Eric Voegelin. Voegelin is considered a conservative political philosopher; in fact, Mark Lilla introduced me to Voegelin through an essay dedicated to him in Lilla’s The […](image)

Checked out

Sat, 30 Dec 2017 04:00:20 +0000

Political ideologies are worthwhile only if, at their heart, they are accurate and significant expressions of our humanity. They shouldn’t venture far from that heart, either. Otherwise, we’ll find ourselves, as we do now, associating and gathering together mostly at political cross-purposes.(image)