MOST RECENT

Diary: March, 2019

Feb 25. From Anna Karenina: “he did not like to be contradicted, especially when he was met with arguments that incessantly shifted their ground, introducing new considerations without sequence so that it was difficult to know which of them to answer first.” Feb 27. One of those historical events I’d like to take the time…

Diary: February, 2019

Feb 3. In The Brothers Karamazov Smerdyakov says that it would not be a sin to renounce Christ if you were forced to do so. He would step on Christ’s face and apostatize, asking God’s forgiveness afterwards. It’s sort of the perverse flip side of a saying found in most of Dostoevsky’s major novels: “all…

A grand interlocking network?

A few weeks ago, in a moment of some haste, I sold all my bookshelves. Sleek, shiny, and black, they were from Ikea and had, given their age, survived fairly well.  In the course of several moves from Montréal to Toronto and back, they had been taken apart and put back together one too many…

ESSAYS

The search after truth: an Enlightenment episode

For the wit of man cannot for dullness keep the right way to search out truth, but strayeth in diverse errors, and as it were groping in darkness, oftentimes stumbleth, till at length it wander and vanishes away, so in seeking truth, it doth betray how unfit it is to seek and find truth. Jean…

Continue reading

Inventing the virtuous atheist: an Enlightenment episode

It has often been said that Plutarch educated Europe. To understand why, Shakespeare’s name need only be mentioned. For Plutarch’s textual corpus was one upon which the bard could easily draw. Shakespeare obviously mined the Parallel Lives for his own artistic purposes. But its many considerations of the situated human character, and the different lived…

Continue reading

“Taking the Bible as it is”

Recently I heard a phrase about the Bible, said almost in passing, that sounds eminently reasonable stated on its own. To understand the Bible we have “to take it as it is.” This possibly supercilious saying gives me pause. For I think it expresses a deeply-seated human urge to shore up the sensibility of one’s…

Continue reading

“No religion”

According to the most recent census information, released this past week, nearly 30% of Australians have “no religion.” Understandably, that statistic was front and centre in much of the Australian news. The most recent available information for Canada comes from 2001, in which about 17% of Canadians reported that they had no religious affiliation. In…

Continue reading

“A whip out of cords”

So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. Perhaps you’re familiar with this episode. If you grew up like me—in white, Anglo, evangelical Protestant Christianity—it likely featured in the sermons you heard…

Continue reading

REVIEWS

A grand interlocking network?

A few weeks ago, in a moment of some haste, I sold all my bookshelves. Sleek, shiny, and black, they were from Ikea and had, given their age, survived fairly well.  In the course of several moves from Montréal to Toronto and back, they had been taken apart and put back together one too many…

Continue reading

Consensus politics in Canada: Reading Justin Trudeau

We’re now well into October, 2017, and Jagmeet Singh has been elected as leader of the New Democratic Party. He is the first person of a visible minority to attain that role in Canada. An important aspect of this leadership race, as with most, was about contrast. How did the candidates compare with one another…

Continue reading

Seeing “Fargo Season Two”

Albert Camus may not be a character in the second season of “Fargo,” but Noreen Vanderslice (Emily Haine) is repeatedly shown reading her way through one of his most famous texts. The fundamental subject of the The Myth of Sisyphus is this: it is legitimate and necessary to wonder whether life has a meaning; therefore…

Continue reading

Seeing the 2017 National Photographic Portrait Prize of Australia

Several weeks ago I hopped on my bike and pedaled my way across the bridge over Lake Burley Griffin to the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. It was a bright, sunny, and typically cold winter day in Canberra. But I was determined to see this year’s competition for the National Photographic Portrait Prize. (To go…

Continue reading

Seeing “The Case for Christ”

All together there were five of us sitting comfortably in the dark. Truth be told, I was a little surprised I wasn’t the only one there. This movie wasn’t going to break any box office records after all, and it was 10am on Friday. I first read The Case for Christ as a teenager. My…

Continue reading

DIARY

Diary: March, 2019

Feb 25. From Anna Karenina: “he did not like to be contradicted, especially when he was met with arguments that incessantly shifted their ground, introducing new considerations without sequence so that it was difficult to know which of them to answer first.” Feb 27. One of those historical events I’d like to take the time…

Diary: February, 2019

Feb 3. In The Brothers Karamazov Smerdyakov says that it would not be a sin to renounce Christ if you were forced to do so. He would step on Christ’s face and apostatize, asking God’s forgiveness afterwards. It’s sort of the perverse flip side of a saying found in most of Dostoevsky’s major novels: “all…

Australian Diary: August, 2017

July and August were monotonous months. It was wintertime in Canberra, which, particularly in the evening, meant wearing “singlets” under sweaters under blankets. It was cold outside, it was cold inside. The purple wool throw—purchased in touristy enthusiasm in Melbourne—was in near-constant use. Every evening the temptation was an Australian fixture: a warming cup of…

Australian Diary: Holy Week, 2017

This Holy Week past I read the Gospel of John on the assumption that there is something to be gained by doing so in the form we currently have it. That may seem rather obvious. It’s certainly not a novel approach. And it’s worth observing that it doesn’t negate other readings. Those remain possible, fruitful,…

Australian Diary: June, 2017

From suburbia to the nearby countryside, we took a little adventure. And that was thanks to Candace’s co-worker Joanne. Her ageing, resilient minivan took us to three notable spots: the new Cotter Dam, the Canberra Deep Space Station Communication Complex (the CDSCC is operated by NASA), and the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Thankfully, it was a…

Australian Diary: May, 2017

WEEK 8 – May 1, 2017. You’re supposed to see the main attractions. That’s what you do when you travel to a new city. In the past two weeks Candace and I traveled to Sydney and Melbourne. And yes, we went to see some of the main tourist sites. If you’re in Sydney it’s a…

BOOK

Anti-Atheism in Early Modern England 1580-1720. Brill, 2015.

Back to Top