We are publishing this article for Holocaust Remembrance Day. May their memories be for a blessing. Death camps represent, perhaps, the most important evidence for the planned extermination of the Jewish people. The death camp manufactured a single product: the speedy and efficient murder of world Jewry. Because of this, the Nazis blurred the lines between life and death. “Life” became an optimistic way to describe an animated dying process, while “death” was normalized into everyday expectation. Nazis sought to turn humans into animals, taking away all semblance of the dignity of human life. Meanwhile, the actual act of murder … Continue reading “Nazi Death Camps: Blurring the Lines Between Life and Death” →
In a previous article, I wrote about the centrality of the divine to Socrates’ epistemology. Here, I will discuss the source of prophecy in Maimonides’ epistemology. Over a millennium after Socrates, Maimonides echoes similar sentiments in his discourse on prophets in Book Two of The Guide for the Perplexed. He writes with the Aristotelian methodology prevalent in Egypt at his time to conclude that a man can be perfectly well-read and even have great character yet still not attain the status of prophet. Maimonides points out that knowledge and other forms of human wisdom, while necessary, are not sufficient to … Continue reading “Divine Revelation in the Epistemology of Maimonides” →
“The world only exists out of the merit of the discourse found when small children study.” –Shulhan Arukh, Yoreh De’ah 245:7 “Welcome, OnScript superfans–and now we know that includes Dr. Brent Strawn,” the podcast host began. (OnScript is a podcast on the Bible that invites Biblical scholars to talk about their work.) At the end of the podcast, the host light-heartedly quizzed his guest, asking him to identify where a couple Biblical quotes came from. The guest identified the first correctly: “Then the king told his attendants, ‘tie him, hand and foot, and throw him outside into the darkness, where … Continue reading “Book Review: The Old Testament is Dying by Brent Strawn” →
Shellfish. Starving children in Africa. The Crusades. In a normal, rational world, these three subjects would be as far apart from each other topically as they are physically. In religious debate between an uninformed atheist and an unprepared Christian, however, these three topics are the conversation’s bread and butter. Having grown up in the church with an interest in theology and philosophy, I have been able to debunk these for years. To my annoyance, while the value behind these posits has been erased completely, the posits themselves subsist in some sort of perverted strength in numbers. I post this article … Continue reading “On the Crusades and Their Significance for Christianity” →
This bit comes from the journal of a Protestant reflecting on his first impression of the Notre Dame in Paris. I walked through Paris, taking some wrong turns but generally going in the right direction, noticing the old, pretty facades that make this city a bit of a wonderland, the aftermath of the previous night’s celebration–a toppled three-wheel motorcycle, quiet streets, and signs of drinking and festivities. The city was just beginning to wake, and once again it felt like a modern metropolis. O Paris, city of love, ailed by the uprooted immigrants, traumatized by war and occupation, yet still … Continue reading “A Protestant’s Reflections on Notre Dame” →
A good dose of it.