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  • The Forsaken Jesus and the Black Sun of Atheism

    April 24, 2017

    The Black Sun In an essay he wrote entitled: Atheism and Monotheism Jean-Luc Nancy used the metaphor of the “black sun” to describe atheism. He writes: “The day will perhaps come, and perhaps it is not even so far away, when we shall characterize all contemporary thinking…

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  • We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God

    April 21, 2017

    We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God. David T. Koyzis. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2014.   It seems almost a truism that monotheism favors monarchic and hierarchical forms of political legitimacy. All authority arrives by appointment from on high. It flows down…

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  • Whither Catholic Education?

    April 20, 2017

    The Case for Catholic Education: Why Parents, Teachers, and Politicians Should Reclaim the Principles of Catholic Pedagogy. Ryan N. S. Topping. Kettering, OH: Angelico Press, 2015.   Ryan Topping is a fellow at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH. This slim book is…

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  • Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth

    April 19, 2017

    Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth. David Bentley Hart (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2003).   The Beauty of the Infinite is a complex and subtle work that presents an aesthetic defense of Christian rhetoric against those who embrace what David Bentley Hart…

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  • Equivalences of Experience, and Symbols of the Depth By Which Experience Lives (Part II)

    April 18, 2017

    III Voegelin begins his essay by explaining that the search for constants of truth about human order in society and history will not be found at the level of symbols, that is, in spoken or written words or other expressions of meaning. The historical process of the…

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  • Equivalences of Experience, and Symbols of the Depth By Which Experience Lives (Part I)

    April 17, 2017

    “Equivalences of Experience and Symbolization in History” (1971) is, in my view, one of Eric Voegelin’s five most important stand-alone essays, along with “Immortality: Experience and Symbol” (1967), “The Gospel and Culture” (1971), “The Beginning and the Beyond: A Meditation on Truth” (written 1974-77), and “Wisdom and…

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Elena Shestopal Russia

New Trends in Russian Political Mentality: Putin 3.0. Elena Shestopal, ed. Lanham, Lexington Books, 2015.
 
Quantitative measures of political phenomena can be enormously appealing.  They seem to provide a parsimonious expression of political reality.  The "scientific" basis of quantitative methodology also lends to it a logical rigor not found in purely descriptive approaches of politics.   Unfortunately, they are often inaccurate. …

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Russia Religion 1

Russia's Lost Reformation: Peasants, Millennialism, and Radical Sects in Southern Russia and Ukraine, 1830-1917. Sergei I. Zhuk.  Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 2004.
 
Suppressed by both the Russian Orthodox Church and Soviet scholars, Russia's "radical reformation" has been lost and forgotten in recent historiography.  Zhuk resurrects this movement into our historical consciousness by primarily looking at two nineteenth-century groups: the…

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Russia Religion 2

Religion, Morality, and Community in Post-Soviet Societies. Mark D. Steinberg and Catherine Wanner, ed. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2008.
 
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there has been a new prominence of religion throughout Eurasia in ethno-national identification, social practices, and public policies. Mark D. Steinberg’s and Catherine Wanner’s edited volume seeks to explore the…

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Russia Orthodox Church

What will be the contribution of the Russian Orthodox Church to the creation of a civil society in post-Soviet Russia?  Much depends on whether the Russian Orthodox Church is a nationalist institution.  On the one hand, if the Russian Orthodox Church is in fact a nationalist institution, then its contribution to a democratic civil society will be negative; on the…

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Russia 1

The Russian Empire, which lasted from 1721 to 1917, spanned an enormous territory of almost 14 million square miles (36 million sq km) across the eastern portion of Europe and the continent of Asia. Ruled by an autocratic government, with its capital at St. Petersburg, its 170 million people were of over 100 different ethnic backgrounds, comprised primarily of Christians,…

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Amber Room Russia

The original Amber Room was in the Catherine Palace: it was a chamber with amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors.  It was created from 1701 to 1709 for the Prussian King Wilhelm I, who in turn gave it to Peter the Great (r. 1694-1725) in 1716 to form a Prussian-Russian alliance against Sweden.  The Amber Room remained there…

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Russia Volgograd

The Russian Empire was one of the largest empires in the world, spanning almost 14 square miles (36 million sq km) across eastern portion of Europe and the continent of Asia.
The Russian Empire’s population was 170 million people of over 100 different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
The Russian Empire emerged as one of the great world powers and played a leading…

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A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century. William F. Buckley with James Rosen, ed. New York: Crown Forum, 2016.
 
James Rosen provides the reader with a selection of obituaries written by William F. Buckley for National Review. The cast of characters memorialized include significant political figures, family, entertainers and artists, friends, and friends who were political adversaries.
It is…

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Political Realism and Wisdom. András Lánczi. New York: Palgrave MacMillan Press, 2015.  P. 211.
 
András Lánczi’s latest English publication, Political Realism and Wisdom, consists of seven chapters, bookended by a short preface and conclusion, all loosely bound by the large-order themes of the work’s title. The manner in which the two threads are separated and collected—the dialectic, as it were, between…

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Chehkov

Physician, playwright, philander, short story author, and prison reform advocate, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904) lived a life full of paradoxes. He had a religious education but became an atheist; he wrote literature initially for money for which he later became immortalized; he was trained as a physician but treated peasants without pay; he was promiscuous as a bachelor only to…

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