Our youngest son, Chris, recently finished his honors thesis in classics. It is quite technical (yes, I’ve “read” it) and about 100 pages long. That length is pretty typical. Now consider an undergraduate doing this for his thesis on Shakespeare:
In his senior year at Princeton in 1954, Daniel Seltzer, assistant professor of English, wrote a thesis that was nearly six hundred pages long…Dealing with “royal themes–the characterization of moral ideas on the stage,” the thesis was for Seltzer a “kind of catharsis,” and he now looks back with Joycean delight at the comment of his roommate who suggested that “I put the thing on casters.”
Who or what do you love enough to go overboard? Rather, take a look at the people and things you tend to go overboard with and you will discover your true loves!
George Will on President Trump
“…the problem isn’t that he does not know this or that, or that he does not know that he does not know this or that. Rather, the dangerous thing is that he does not know what it is to know something.
His fathomless lack of interest in America’s path to the present and his limitless gullibility leave him susceptible to being blown about by gusts of factoids that cling like lint to a disorderly mind.”
The rest is here:
HT: John Fea
Interview with the eminent philosopher, Martha Nussbaum:
Name a writer or publication you disagree with but still read.
This strikes me as the most hilarious question, given that I’m a philosopher. Philosophy is all about respectful disagreement, and learning from disagreement. No decent philosopher simply parrots some other philosopher, so there must be disagreements somewhere in every case.
I disagree less with J.S. Mill than with any other major philosopher, but I still disagree with Mill a good deal. Aristotle is insightful on some matters, not so insightful on others. As for Plato, Kant, Bentham, Sidgwick, and Rawls, my disagreements are larger, but still compatible with thinking that in some very major ways they were on the right track. I would not say that about Lord Devlin or James Fitzjames Stephen, but I still teach both, in order to learn from their arguments.
If I didn’t disagree with a philosopher it would hardly be worth engaging with him or her, because there would be nothing to learn.
The entire interview is here:
Picture of yours truly with a compelling older Christian, Dr. Dave McCoy.
I’ve been thinking more about aging and the aged these past few years. Sure, part (much?) of it is due to being 59. Hard to believe. Turning forty was somewhat surreal, but sixty?
In any case, it is clearer to me that ever than older people are not typically the lifeblood of churches as they should be. Some is due to them. Did they prepare themselves spiritually as younger folks? I’m sad to say many did not. Lackluster Christians in their twenties and thirties make terribly unimpressive Christians later in life.
Of course, God is gracious and I know examples of those who made course corrections later in life. I also know those who were intentional about their walk with the Lord in earlier life, so it is not surprising they remain so. I am grateful for the men and women I know like this.
This aging stuff has me noticing new things. For example, I check out several blogs and Twitter accounts on a daily basis. One thing that has struck me of late is how so few older people are featured. Sure, there are older people if they are well-known Christian leaders, but that is about it. Where are the older folks? Most feature just the younger folks.
Dan Siegel offers three things that greatly help one’s overall mental health. I rearranged the list (as found in Curt Thompson’s Anatomy of the Soul) so I could make the word FAN. Here are the three things:
Focused attention exercises. These are things such as prayer and meditation on the Word of God.
Aerobic activity. Forty-five minutes a day at least five times a week. We think better when we our body feels better.
Novel learning experiences. Pushing yourself to learn something new. Could be gardening, cooking, a new language, really just about anything that forces the brain to make new connections.
Conceit arises not from knowledge, but from ‘knowing nothing’ ~ wisdom from Chrysostom (HT: Miroslav Volf)
Interesting poll. HT: Tony Reinke
Who doesn’t read books in America?