Monthly Archives: June 2014

Cosmopolitanism (Confucius)

Confucius said, “By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice (habit), they get to be wide apart.” 「性相近也,習相遠也。」The English is Legge’s translation. I’m told that a more literal translation reads: “By nature men are close to each other, by practice(habit) they are far from … Continue reading

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(Objects, Dwelling, World) Greeks & Jews  (The Epistle to Diognetus)

In the Epistle to Diognetus, both Greeks and Jews are arbitrary. The Greeks arbitrarily select, turn and shape some material object into a holy object worthy of veneration. The Jews are right to think “they adore the God of all … Continue reading

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The Epistle to Diognetus (Franz Rosenzweig)

Daniel Boyarin came to Syracuse last spring to talk about Christian apologetics and the inventions of religions. He shared this little piece from The Epistle to Diognetus. Written by an unknown author perhaps between 117-225 CE, the description of Christianity … Continue reading

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Anti-Semitic Attacks in France

After a wave of anti-Semitic harassment in France, I’m wondering if anyone can tell me why this kind of stuff seems to happen mostly in France, and not in Great Britain? It can’t be because of “Islam,” because there’s a huge Muslim … Continue reading

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(Of and In It) Five Senses (Michel Serres)

Michel Serres stands out as one of the French philosophers whose work has shaped the discourse of philosophical aesthetics. Unlike the case of Heidegger, who haunts this text, body and corporeal sensation are figures that steep the thought reflected in … Continue reading

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German Nihilism (Leo Strauss Nazi Neuesachlichkiet)

I have not yet read William H.F. Altmans The German Stranger: Leo Strauss and National Socialism. But I saw on FB a photograph of a young’ish Leo Strauss looking particularly thuggish. Immediately, it reminded me of a neuesachlichkeit portrait. I posted the photograph … Continue reading

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(Christian) Religion and (American) Politics (David Brat Eric Cantor)

Funny, they share the same strong features and clean-shaven good looks, and even basic eye-ware. What is there that really distinguishes them? Probably not much. So on one hand, good riddance. On the other hand, it’s a disaster. The recent drubbing … Continue reading

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Don’t Support BDS (Cautionary Tales of Mohammed S. Dajani & Eric Cantor)

Larry Derfner has argued that liberal Zionists who support a 2 State Solution should start supporting BDS, because it’s only BDS, as a form of shock therapy, that will shift the Israeli political landscape. I think it’s bad idea, mostly … Continue reading

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Shaare Zedek New Bethel Way of the Cross (New York Moorish Revival)

I’m still on 118th St, where, a couple weeks back, I stopped to notice the bold red and clear whites of the Moorish revival New Bethel Way of the Cross. It turns out that New Bethel Way of the Cross used … Continue reading

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Force of Imagination & The Sense of the Elemental (John Sallis)

To sort out the contours of aesthetic Jewish philosophy, a friend-colleague recommended John Sallis. Here’s what I came away with. The fundamental tension outlined by Sallis in Force of Imagination: The Sense of the Elemental is the one between sense … Continue reading

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