Tag Archives: what i’m reading

The Abbasids – History, Landscapes & Pictures

Trying to do due diligence on Arabic and Islamic history, I picked up Hugh Kennedy’s When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World: The Rise and Fall of Islam’s Greatest Dynasty at a friend’s recommendation. It’s good meat and potatoes orientalism. The … Continue reading

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God or Nature and Vibrant Matter (Jane Bennett)

Against the classical notion that matter is inert and passive, the ideas are familiar and will come as no surprise to any casual reader of popular science. For all that, Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (2010) represents … Continue reading

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New (Vital) Materialisms

Reviewing my reading notes, I’m not sure what to say about the excellent edited volume, New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics edited by Diana Coole and Samantha Frost. I’m looking at it as a sister, cross-over companion to Material Feminisms edited by … Continue reading

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Poisons, Hemorrhoids, Cohabitation (Maimonides)

Worldly and cosmopolitan, this is not the Maimonides I read in graduate school. His short medical writings were translated into English by Fred Rosner for the Maimonides Research Institute in Haifa back in the mid 1980s. For undoubtedly puerile reasons, … Continue reading

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Material Feminism & Jewish Aesthetic Thought (New Chapter)

Needless to say, there has been little to zero recognition of these kinds of questions in Jewish philosophy about human viscera, affect, imagination, and the constitution and deconstitution of human subjectivities. The larger contexts to all this are woolly ideas in … Continue reading

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Decadent Religion in the Digital Age (Shulem Deen)

Happy to have gotten around to All Who Go Do Not Return, Shulem Deen’s memoir about leaving the Skever Hasidic community for the great big world. The importance of this memoir has many aspects, starting with the obvious human interest of … Continue reading

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Techno Romantic Network Religion (In Church With Bruno Latour)

For the Information Age, Bruno Latour writing about religion reads a little like Schleiermacher, On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers. Latour’s own contribution, Rejoicing: Or the Torments of Religious Speech, joins a long list of European philosophers turning to religion in … Continue reading

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Thinking Photographs (Robert Frank, The Americans)

Do the titular figures refer to the individual people or to the actual photographs? I would hazard the suggestion that you flip back and forth between the two registers, between referent and representation, always. Pictured between 1955 and 1956, The … Continue reading

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Monotheism & Empire in the Ancient Near East (Mark Smith)

Building up what looks like a meta-thesis re: the ancient Near Eastern origins of biblical monotheism, Mark Smith turns with a strong hand to the question of empire. God in Translation: Deities in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Biblical World is … Continue reading

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The God and The Gods Of Ancient Canaanite Israel (The Early History of God) (Mark S. Smith)

Reading Mark Smith’s eminent study throws light on the way that The Early History of God, indeed the early history of God itself, is a history of the image in which that figure has been cast and recast over time. … Continue reading

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