Friday, February 27, 2009

Balthasar and Barth over at T&T Clark

In lieu of doing my own work on this blog, I present two posts from T&T Clark. They are well worth the advertisement, however, so I don't feel too bad.

  • An excerpt from Rodney Howsare's book on Balthasar for the Guide for the Perplexed series has some wonderful reflections on current Balthasar studies and Catholic theology more generally.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Augustine's Text of John

This book has been out for a few months, but I just ran across it in the stacks at UChicago yesterday. My first published article was "The Johannine Logic of Augustine's Trinity", so Houghton's study caught my eye.

A revised doctoral dissertation, Augustine's Text of John is impressive, to say the least. The OUP website has contents and abstracts available.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two books on papal infallibility

On my desk to catalog is Mark E. Powell's new book, Papal Infallibility: A Protestant Evaluation of an Ecumenical Issue. Powell is a professor of theology at Harding Graduate School of Religion, and contributed a chapter to Canonical Theism on the same topic as his present study.

Meanwhile, James T. O'Conner's The Gift of Infallibility is being offered at Ignatius Press for a special 30% off. O'Conner is probably more widely known for his study on the Eucharist, also available through Ignatius. From the publisher, "In The Gift of Infallibility, theologian James T. O’Connor clarifies the idea of infallibility. He provides a helpful translation of the “relatio” or official explanation by Bishop Gasser given at Vatican I, the Church council that defined the dogma of papal infallibility. Also included in this important volume is the first draft of chapter 4 of the Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, as well as the final, official chapter of the constitution."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Russian Court Seizure of Independent Orthodox Churches

Paul Globle reports on a troubling development in Russia. I think that this story highlights the canonical complexities present in Eastern Orthodoxy in a way that is often filtered out before reaching Western audiences. The ironic thing is that even when we read about the Orthodox Church from Orthodox perspectives, we're often reading theologians from exile communities, whose spiritual history as it relates to the Moscow patriarchate isn't exactly straightforward. The common focus on canonical unity should not lull us into a utopian picture of any of the visible churches; problems certainly abound and we should be aware of them, in Eastern Orthodoxy and elsewhere.

The latest issue of Orthodox Tradition discusses similar issues, and as I understand it the Old Calendarists who run the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies have a related history to the Catacomb Churches that are the topic of Globle's piece. "What Canonicity Means in the True Patristic Traiditon of Orthodoxy" (xxvi.1, pp. 3-26) discusses some of Alexander Schmemann's work on the topic of canonicity,
"1) by examining the popular misunderstandin of canonicity and demonstrating the erroneousness of prevailing ideas about it.
2) by defining canonicity properly, in terms of Orthodox ecclesiology, and particularly vis-a-vis Apostolicity; and
3) by establishing that our particular jurisdiction, the Holy Synod in Resistance of the Orthodox Church of Greece, most firmly and scrupulously exemplifies the Orthodox requirements of canonicity."
Unfortunately, CTOS doesn't seem to provide an extensive online presence for their journal, so you may have to hunt around a bit for the article if you're interested.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

New book on Augustine by Jean-Luc Marion

Jean-Luc Marion's latest book is out with Presses Universitaires de France in their Epiméthée series, which Marion directs. Au lieu de soi: L'approche de Saint-Augustin seeks to examine Augustine's theological work as a non-metaphysical endeavor that is able to challenge us today in our post-metaphysical situation. Guillaume de Lacoste Lareymondie offers a review of the book here. PUF provides a summary and detailed table of contents for the book here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hiring & Homosexual Behavior

Leiter Reports discusses the APA's Jobs for Philosophers listing, where college job postings are published each year. Charles Hermes of UT Arlington has protested against the APA anti-discrimination policy, which currently allows schools with faith statements to discriminate based upon these institutional commitments so long as they are broadcasted explicitly. The schools of concern include Wheaton College, which has a faith statement disallowing "homosexual behavior" by faculty, staff, or students (please note- not homosexual orientation, as many seem to imply).

I'm confused about what exactly Hermes' argument is. He says at one point, "Members of the APA should either convince the APA to enforce its policy or abandon it." As far as I can tell, however, the APA policy allows for hiring discrimination based on "religious affiliation". Abandoning the policy seems to be what Hermes is arguing for. He describes policies against homosexual behavior as "ethical" standards, so perhaps he's trying to distinguish this from "religious" standards. To do so seems to fail to understand the nature of religious life, however.

In any case, a matter of concern for those of you at institutions where this is an issue. It's not as if exclusion from a particular job listing will make or break a college, but it is worrisome to see the extent to which such exclusion marginalizes religious groups, keeping them from the open exchange of ideas with those who differ radically from them in terms of foundational assumptions.

Statement from Wiley-Blackwell about the Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

First, thanks to all for your input on this situation. I'm glad we've had some contributors speak from their experience, and it's been helpful to move past accusations to really find out what happened. Susan Spilka of Wiley-Blackwell has gotten in touch with me again and asked that I post the following statement about the encyclopedia:

"The publication of Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, which Blackwell Publishing Limited (now part of Wiley-Blackwell) contracted in 2006 as a major cross-disciplinary reference work, has been delayed to enable the review by its Editorial Board that was envisioned at the outset of this project. At that time, the Encyclopedia's Editor, George T. Kurian, approved and helped to appoint an Editorial Board of prominent theologians and scholars to perform this responsibility.

After serious concerns were raised by contributors about the Introduction, which was written by Mr. Kurian, we contacted members of the Editorial Board directly for feedback. We learned that Mr. Kurian did not engage the Editorial Board in the manner we had agreed to at the beginning of the publishing process; therefore, we requested that they perform these responsibilities to ensure that the Encyclopedia meets Wiley-Blackwell's standards of scholarship. We acknowledge that we should have been aware of the shortcut Mr. Kurian took in his editorial process sooner, but that does not change our responsibility to rectify the situation now.

We will not speculate on the outcome of the Editorial Board's review. No decision has yet been made about the inventory that is being stored in our distribution facilities.

While we understand and share the concerns of contributors to the Encyclopedia regarding the delay, we must fulfill our responsibilities as a respected global publisher. We sincerely appreciate that many of the Encyclopedia's contributors have taken the time to understand the issues that we and the Editorial Board are attempting to address, rather than making hurtful and damaging accusations."

Some thoughts of my own:
  1. Note that the volumes in inventory have not been pulped/burned. This is not "the first bookburning of the 21st century." Even if they were or will be, however, this is an editing job late in the game, rather than censorship.
  2. Note that the "editing job late in the game" is occurring because editing did not happen at the proper point in the process, when Kurian and Wiley-Blackwell had previously agreed it would occur. While it may be plausible to fault Wiley-Blackwell for not being aware of this, one wonders whether a publisher would immediately think to verify whether the editorial board had actually been consulted during the editorial process. Presumably there's a basic level of mutual trust whereby the publisher wouldn't consider itself obligated to look over the shoulder of the editor every step of the way.
  3. The contributors apparently raised initial concerns about the project, rather than anyone from the editorial board.
  4. While Wiley-Blackwell offers its apologies for the delay this presents to anxious contributors, we should also remember that the encyclopedia was finished and in print well ahead of schedule. If you look at many online book distributors, the encyclopedia isn't even slated to come out until later this year. So, while it was kind of the publisher to offer this note of regret, it shouldn't at this point be a matter of great concern to contributors in the first place. Perhaps a disappointment after thinking that the print date would be earlier than expected, but most CV's of contributors that I've seen still have their articles listed as forthcoming anyway.
  5. As I count it, we have two public statements posted by Wiley-Blackwell about the matter, and one private email of Kurian's that has since been distributed further and reported upon publicly. For those who continue to question the veracity of Wiley-Blackwell's case, we cannot forget the rather extensive accusations that Kurian has made, nor the fact that he has not responded (publicly) to Wiley-Blackwell's description of his editorial process.

UPDATE: Edward Feser notes a few more places that have picked up on the story. Most of this is just rehashing what has already been said, but I'm posting it here because of the CNA article with some more comments by Kurian. While he doesn't seem to offer too much in the way of new information, has has indeed spoken publically again about the matter.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New buzz about the Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

As a smaller-time theology blogger, I'm beginning to see that it pays to comment on controversy! Edward Feser has written a short blurb at the National Review on the encyclopedia, basically rehashing Kurian's case and throwing in a John Kerry reference for good measure. And he links to me! Amazing what "getting attention in the blogosphere" amounts to. Little ole' me. Perpetua of Carthage also comments on the situation.

I would stress again, I'm sensitive to Kurian's concern about confessional scholarship, and I would disagree with anyone who said that such perspectives are not valuable on an academic level. But this situation seems more basic than such PC politcs. It seems to be much more a matter of the editorial process and how it has been approached. I'd also stress, also again, that the information upon which this whole tempest in a teacup is based amounts to two emails, one from the editor and one from the publisher. Sideline commentators (like myself!) should take that into account before we get all righteous in one direction or another.

UPDATE: Ruth Glendhill has picked up on the story now, also with a link to clavi non defixi. As with the others, she seems interested in quoting exclusively from Kurian's charges rather than including the statement of Wiley-Blackwell with it. As Wiley-Blackwell posted their email publicly on my blog before Feser, Glendhill, or others picked it up, I can't help but think that they're not including everything simply for the purposes of stirring the pot some more. Carl at Ignatius Scoop has also picked up on the story, with a bit more common sense and qualifications included.

A few items on Hugh of St. Victor

I'm having one of those days where a running thread of references keeps popping up. Today it's Hugh of St. Victor. I've been reading Jerome Taylor's 1957 study on the biographical origins of Hugh of St. Victor, and this has piqued my interest in Hugh and the Victorine tradition over the past few days. Today, I've seen one or two "Happy Death Day!" notes on blogs for Hugh, and this leaves me with a question. In different places I see different death dates, either February 11th or March 11th, 1141. Most of the March references I see are in older Catholic encyclopedias, so perhaps Feb. 11th is the more recent consensus? If anyone one is more knowledgeable about this, let me know.

Also of note, amidst searching around for the answer to Hugh of St. Victor's death date, I found this from December. An art historian from UC Riverside has recreated the Mystical Ark, used as a sort of teaching aid for theology and cosmology. Also, Paul Rorem offers an article about the Dionysian influence in Eriugena and Hugh of St. Victor, from the October issue of Modern Theology.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spinoza's preface to the reader

We're reading sections of Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus in Tanner's class this week, "wherein it is shown that freedom to philosophise can not only be granted without injury to Piety and the Peace of the Commonwealth, but that the Peace of the Commonwealth and Piety are endangered by the suppression of this freedom." (this abstract from the title page is ironically followed by a quote from the New Testament- I suppose the anonymous author was seeking to divert some attention from his own religious commitments)

Towards the end of Spinoza's introduction he discusses who his intended readers are, and who would be better off not giving the book any mind:

Such, learned reader are the topics which I here submit for your consideration, topics which I am sure you will find interesting by reason of the great importance of the issues discussed in the entire work and in each separate chapter. I would say more, but I do not want my Preface to expand to a volume, especially since its main points are quite familiar to philosophers. To others I seek not to commend this treatise, for I have no reason to expect them to approve it in any way. I know how deeply rooted in the mind are the prejudices embraced under the guise of piety. I know, too, that the masses can no more be freed from their superstition than from their fears. Finally, I know that they are unchanging in their obstinacy, that they are not guided by reason, and that their praise and blame is at the mercy of impulse. Therefore I do not invite the common people to read this work, nor all those who are victims of the same emotional attitudes. Indeed, I would prefer that they disregard this book completely rather than make themselves a nuisance by misinterpreting it after their wont. For without any advantage to themselves they would stand in the way of others for whom a more liberal approach to philosophical questions is prevented by this one obstacle, that they believe that reason must be the handmaid of theology. These latter, I am confident, will derive great profit from this work.
(Brill, 1991, p. 56)

The final bolded sentences are of greatest interest to me. The opinions of Enlightenment savants and cultured despisers should be of little concern to serious theologians, but it is comforting to see that Spinoza- who was quite sensitive to religious life- recognizes what might be described as two tiers of religious thinking. He makes an interesting distinction between "the common people" and "others for whom a more liberal approach to philosophical questions is prevented by this one obstacle, that they believe reason must be the handmaid of theology." In a day when the theological imperative is usually understood as itself a sign of "fundamentalism" or "superstition", it's refreshing to read an assessment that recognizes the possibility for fruitful interaction between those who use reason, albeit in different ways with regard to the theological task. Unfortunately we remain heathens for Spinoza, who have still not quite seen the light of "a more liberal approach to philosophical questions."

I'm sure we're losing a ton of sleep over that. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Thoughts on academic society memberships

This weekend I received the membership directory for the North American Patristics Society in the mail. I was a member during 2008 so I'm in the directory, although I'm not bothering to renew my membership for 2009. Flipping through, it was interesting for me to see who was a part of the society. There were a few names from my institution, some names that I knew from the blogosphere, and a number of big names that I was surprised to see... people who weren't necessarily straightforward patristic scholars, but who did do some research in that area. Flipping through the directory also led me to reflect on membership in these sorts of things.

My philosophy on academic societies at this stage has been to keep it minimal. There are dozens of societies that would make sense for me to join given my research interests, but I can't simply go around joining everything. I keep up with my AAR membership, and other than that I will join other societies as I need to in order to present at their conferences, submit papers to them, etc. That was the case with NAPS, and while I could see myself joining them again down the road, I'm simply not dead-set enough on patristics to justify spending the due money every year as a graduate student. In a few years I'll probably sit down and decide on four or five societies to really commit to, but I figure for now I'll let my interests go where they'll take me, and save my money for books.

I'm curious how others deal with academic societies. They're a great boon to scholarly work, and I'd love to get more involved with them. At the same time, I wonder how much benefit an AAR (or SBL) membership really is... these organizations are such massive umbrellas that I sometimes wonder if a more specific, though less prominent, society might be a better place to spend my time. Getting JAAR in the mail four times a year and only finding a handful of articles of interest can sometimes raise questions about whether the investment is worth it. My current thought on the matter, however, is that even though AAR may be so terribly broad that I don't always find it relevant, it is also a valuable resource because of the sheer number of people that are a part of it, and thus easy to network with.

As a generalist, there are countless other societies I could add to AAR. Medieval theology is a growing interest of mine, and at some point I'll probably add the Medieval Academy of America to my affiliations. I've been a member of the Illinois Medieval Association this past year, and I think these regional groups are also an important place to foster academic relationships and do work on a smaller scale. But as far as historical periods go there's always the sixteenth century, late antiquity, and modernity... as far as fields go there is systematic theology organizations, ethics societies, history associations, liturgy colloquiums... then there are the workgroups and ongoing projects that meet under the auspices of graduate schools or the annual conferences of other organizations, and on, and on...

I'm curious what peoples' philosophies of commitment to academic societies are. I'd love feedback from readers who aren't in theology, too; I don't think this question is especially field-specific. The answers will also vary based on whether someone is a grad student, a professor, a publisher, etc. What memberships are priorities for you? How do your memberships apply to your daily work as a scholar? What recommendations for reforming the system do you have?

Friday, February 6, 2009

An update on the encyclopedia drama...

Susan Spilka of Wiley-Blackwell has graciously responded to my last post about the Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. She has copied a letter that Wiley-Blackwell has been sending to contributors into the comment section, and I'll repost it here as well.

Thankfully some doubts about Kurian's email have been vindicated. Certainly there is discrimination of various sorts out and about in academia today, but the list of editorial board members supposedly guilty in this situation seemed a bit too respectable to be engaged in this sort of thing. The idea that W.-B. would completely overturn the project, rather than make necessary edits and republish, seemed a bit of a stretch as well.

I do hope the folks at Wiley-Blackwell will understand my concern to pass on Kurian's letter, especially given the qualifiers that prefaced it. It seemed important to get the story to light, precisely so that such corrections to the record can be made. This mess will, I hope, be taken care of well, and I'll be sure to report back when the finished project is out.

I would say, to those of you who hold the original edition of this work... it may be nice to keep it for purely bibliophilic interest. A recalled encyclopedia of this stature doesn't come along all that often!

Below is the letter that Ms. Spilka provided:

Dear [contributor]

As a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, you may have received a copy of an email from its editor, Mr. George Kurian, which contains inflammatory allegations against Wiley-Blackwell concerning the cause of publication delay for this work.

We would like, at this point, to give you some more information about the review of the Encyclopedia which is currently in progress, and the reasons for that review.

Wiley-Blackwell has a leading reputation as a publisher of high quality scholarly content. We are responsible to our customers, who rely on the quality of our books, journals and other publications to meet their needs. We are also responsible to our authors, like you, who have professional reputations to protect.

The Encyclopedia was commissioned in 2006 as a major cross-disciplinary reference work on the subject of Christian civilization. Mr. Kurian was known to us as an experienced compiler of encyclopedias, but not as a religious scholar. Accordingly, it was agreed with Mr. Kurian at the outset that an editorial board of prominent Christian theologians and scholars would be appointed to provide expert guidance on the composition of the work and its preparation for publication. Mr. Kurian approved and helped to appoint an editorial board consisting of six such experts and was responsible as Editor for overseeing the review and editing by the board members.

Concern about the content of the Encyclopedia was first raised in November 2008, prior to publication, when we received communications from contributors about the book’s introduction, written by Mr Kurian.

In the course of reviewing the situation with the editorial board (many of whom had similar concerns to those raised by the contributors), we learned that few if any of the contributions to the Encyclopedia were reviewed by the editorial board members as required both by high standards of scholarship and our agreement with Mr. Kurian. Instead, they were only reviewed (if at all) by Mr. Kurian himself. We have therefore asked the appointed editorial board to review the work for scholarly integrity and accuracy prior to publication—the task they were originally recruited to perform-- and the majority of the board has accepted this appointment.

We appreciate that the review process has delayed publication and we understand the concerns of contributors to see their work published. However, we do not feel that we would be fulfilling our responsibilities to our customers or protecting your reputation as contributors if we were to publish this work before confirming that it meets standards of appropriate scholarship.

Mr. Kurian has alleged that this review is being driven by an “anti-Christian lobby determined to ‘de-Christianise’ and censor the Encyclopedia.“ This allegation is completely without foundation. Wiley-Blackwell is a global company and is not affiliated with any lobby or group, religious or otherwise. We have promoted the freedom of expression and ideas for over 200 years and will continue to do so.

We are sure that you will understand that it would make no sense for us to sabotage a project to which we have committed long-term investment and resources, and which we think will be valuable addition to Christian scholarship.

We will fulfill our responsibilities as a respected scholarly publisher. We will also vigorously defend the reputation of our authors and our Company against vicious attacks that we believe are harmful and without basis.”

Blackwell scraps encyclopedia under pressure from objections

UPDATE (2/18): A number of blogs and articles have linked to clavi non defixi over the last two weeks concerning the encyclopedia.  Often these referring sites have only linked to this first post, which only discusses Kurian's original protestation.  More information has surfaced since the time of my writing this post, although many discussions of the matter only seem interested in hearing Kurian's side of the story.  Please see here, here, and here in addition to the following post.

I received the following email about the
Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. I have not read any of the articles from this encyclopedia, nor have I verified anything said below. I do know a number of the contributing authors, however, and the matter seemed of enough concern to post the email here for the purposes of dissemination. If I hear any important updates or matters of correction, I'll publish as needed.

As a matter of summary, a substantial encyclopedia slated for 2009 (and released at AAR/SBL) has faced objections from prominent members of its editorial board for being “too Christian, too orthodox, too anti-secular and too anti-Muslim and not politically correct enough for being used in universities.” The encyclopedia has been pulled by the publisher, and existing copies are being sought out and destroyed.

If anyone has more information on this, please share. I do hope the situation isn't as extreme as the email makes out, but if it is then there's much to be concerned over. I find it odd that such respected scholars would act in so extreme a fashion, but again, I don't know anything personally about the matter. We'll see how things play out. If you have the set, keep it! If you're involved with the project in some way, take action as necessary.

I am sorry to report a looming crisis in the publication of the Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization.

ECC was successfully completed in September 2008. It was completed a year ahead of schedule and in four volumes instead of the contractual three. It was edited, copyedited, factchecked, proofread and finally approved by Blackwell’s editorial team. It was printed and bound and then launched at AAR and SBL where it received high praise. It was also lauded and endorsed by Edwin Yamauchi and Mark Noll and others. I have a copy of the set with me.

Then the devil struck in the form of a wrecking crew of seven malcontents led by David Morgan and Bernard McGinn and some members of the editorial board. They determined that the Introduction and many of the entries were “too Christian, too orthodox, too anti-secular and too anti-Muslim and not politically correct enough for being used in universities.” Under mounting
pressure from the powerful anti-Christian lobby, Blackwell Religion publisher, Rebecca Harkin and Editorial Director Philip Carpenter agreed with this assessment and (illegally) suspended the publication and began proceedings to pulp the entire edition of several thousand copies of the four-volume set just because there are a dozen references to which they do not subscribe and which ran counter to their philosophy and agenda. This is probably the first instance of mass book-burning in the 21st century.

Carpenter and Harkin now demand that not merely the Introduction but also all the other 1,450
entries should be “dechristianized” to make it politically correct before it can be reprinted. This is the most blatant form of censorship in the history of religious publishing. Carpenter, Harkin,
Morgan, McGinn and others are not merely censors but also intellectual vandals and arsonists who destroy other people’s intellectual property. They do so because of an innate hatred of orthodox Christian ideas which they view as subversive of their own universe.

Carpenter and Harkin are working hard to sabotage the project and strip it of its Christian content. Among the words or passages they want deleted are “ Antichrist”, “Enemy” (as referring to Satan), BC/AD (as chronological markers), “Beloved Disciple,” “Gates of Hell,” “Witness,” “Virgin Birth,” “Resurrection,” “Evangelism” “Harvest,” and any reference with an “evangelical tone” or citing the “uniqueness of Christ and Christianity”. They also object to historical references to the persecution and massacres of Christians by Muslims, but at the same time want references favorable to Islam. To make the treatment “more balanced”, they also want the insertion of material denigrating Christianity in some form or fashion. All these I have refused to do. So long as there are people like Carpenter, Harkin, Morgan or McGinn and publishers like Wiley-Blackwell, there will be no freedom for Christian ideas or the expression thereof. Therefore, to paraphrase Churchill, I shall fight and expose them in the courts, fight and expose them in the libraries, fight and expose them in the academia and fight and expose them in the media.

In this struggle I am seeking your support and your prayers. Specifically, I need you to do three

1. I am instituting two legal suits against Blackwell for this highhanded act of censorship. One is a class action suit on behalf of nearly 400 contributors who had worked hard for two years on this project. The suit will seek specific performance, that is, it will require Wiley-Blackwell to publish the book as originally approved and printed, without change and without censorship of its Christian content, tone and character. Blackwell has not paid any of the contributors even one cent but rather promised them copies of the set and also free online subscription. Now they will get neither. By law contributors are entitled to seek restitution for the lost income as well as penal damages for breach of contract. Beyond the financial aspects of the suit, it will send a strong message to the politically-correct establishment that we will not allow the the freedom of Christian expression to be abridged, muzzled, denied or trampled upon. I am also
filing a separate breach of contract suit on my behalf.

If you would like to join in the class action suit please send me an e-mail stating your intention to do so and I will have the attorneys send you within three months all the necessary papers. You will incur no financial costs but will share in any settlement. Please also e-mail a copy of your letter to William Pesce, president of Wiley ( and Eric Swanson, vice
president (

2. I shall appreciate writing to your colleagues, students, university librarians, editors and friends in the media and radio and television stations about this censorship and suppression of Christian expression. I shall also welcome your ideas and suggestions on helpful resources.

3. If you have received a set or any volume in the four-volume set of ECC, please do not return it to Blackwell under any circumstances.

Blessings in His Name,

George Thomas Kurian
Editor in chief, Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization
President, Christian Heritage Society
President, Forum Against PC Censorship
914 962 3287

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Robert Pippin: lecture tonight and new book

Robert Pippin, well-known scholar of German idealism, will be at Wheaton tonight for the philosophy lecture series.  His paper will be, "On Nietzsche’s claim that Psychology is First Philosophy: The Problem of Self-Deception."  I won't be making the lecture, but if it is posted online afterwards I'll provide a link at some point.

Pippin's latest book is another one on Hegel, Hegel's Practical Philosophy: Rational Agency as Ethical Life (Cambridge, 2008).  James Liu offers a review from the Co-op bookstore blog.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Journal for Late Antique Religion and Culture

The Centre for Late Antique Religion & Culture at Cardiff University has a new journal out, the Journal for Late Antique Religion & Culture. Articles are open access and published yearly. I am usually slow to endorse new ventures or online ventures- I catalog enough new scholarship that I know how much out there is crap, so I tend to be rather conservative and miserly in my opinions about academic work. But this journal looks like a promising new contribution to scholarship on the period.

While I'm on the topic, another new journal focused on the late antique period is worth checking out, and I don't think I've mentioned it here before. Johns Hopkins published the first volume of the Journal of Late Antiquity this past year.

Monday, February 2, 2009

AVANT: Treasures of the Armenian Christian Tradition

I am now cataloging Macarius of Jerusalem's Letter to the Armenians, the latest addition in the AVANT series published jointly by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.  AVANT was started in 1998 to cover texts and studies in Armenian Christian spirituality.  There are four volumes in the series so far, two are texts of St. Gregory the Illuminator, who brought Christianity to Armenia, one is the proceedings of a symposium on St. Nersess's 40th anniversary, and the latest is Macarius' letter.  Abraham Terian has worked on all of the translated texts in the series.