To Eat, To Dispose

Psychosoma hypostatic monism

(the pendulum swings, but its axis is one)

the mind is a body, the body: digestive tract

with a support cast of organs (like thumbs

and brains); “Let us read, mark, and inwardly di-gest”;

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Seven Days, Seven Speeches

I am not a Hebrew Bible scholar, simply an interested layman. Nonetheless, I remember hearing someone say, over fifteen years ago, that Genesis 1 was really a ritual text; I fell in love with this idea before I became acquainted with the arguments, given how I loved the poetry of the text, and hated Creationism. I have the relevant articles somewhere tucked away, and was not able to consult them for this, but a few words at the outset, before the skeleton of the argument: not all scholars agree with this. The illustrious Jon D. Levenson, in his excellent Creation and the Persistence of Evil, cites the arguments below, and the articles it is based upon, with only partial agreement. I found Jon’s fascinated wariness too cautious. I should say that Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis, here, in a two-part article “The Cosmology of P and Theological Anthropology in the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach” (scroll down a bit to get to the link to the PDF of the article), does find this convincing, finds another more dramatic example of this in the priestly literature of the book of Sirach (sometimes called “Ecclesiasticus” — not to be confused with Ecclesiastes), and I found Fletcher-Louis persuasive. Beyond Peter Kearney’s Creation and Liturgy, which turned me on to this idea in the first place, I cannot recall the names of the articles that first proposed these links, though I have them in a binder somewhere for another day, for another amplified and thoroughly annotated version of this post.

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Excerpt #19 — Cicero on the Path from Socrates through Plato to Aristotle; Cicero on Plato & Aristotle on Form

Continuing with Excerpt #17, which treats of Plato’s narration of Socrates’ philosophical path, and Excerpt #18, where we see Aristotle narrating the philosophical development (and position) of Socrates and Plato, here we get the Roman Stoic Marcus Tullius Cicero (B.C. 106-43) on Socrates through Aristotle.

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Excerpt #18 — Aristotle on Plato on the One and Forms

In Excerpt #17, we looked at a narrative that Plato (died 348/347 B.C.) gives us about Socrates’  (d. 399 B.C.) philosophical path. Here, we something comparable narrated by Aristotle (d. 322 B.C.), who also gives us a narrative about Plato’s development, and distinguishes between Socrates and Plato.

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…and to All a Good Night?

First, some (contestable) definitions. Our habits become conventions when we negotiate and then share them with others, and become custom when they sink deeper to take on a regulative role within the life of our community; these customs have something like a self-perpetuating power, and outlive the contexts that gave them birth and made sense out of them, mutating in the transition from context to context, at least intermittently demanding verification or reaffirmation.

Here, I was originally going to explore, loosely, the curiosities associated with the secularization of Christmas — Christmas as a custom. I am forced to cut this short, however, with no guarantee that I shall be able to return to it soon, as the semester has begun in full swing. Here are the first two of the five sections of the original.

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