Review – Ascetic Eucharists by Andrew McGowan

Summary: Ascetic Eucharists by Andrew McGowan is a landmark book in early Christian studies both for its methodology and its content. Its successful marrying of anthropological techniques, broad familiarity with the ancient world, and close reading of texts provide a benchmark for future research. Though at times the monograph betrays its...

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A Place for Study

Academics may not pay enough attention to physical space. The crucial question is whether one has a space that is conducive to rigorous intellectual labor. Humanist pedagogues, ever eager to seize the least scrap of productivity, were keenly interested in this topic. Here are some recommendations from Heinrich Bullinger...

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Satire, Friend of the Christian Humanist

Should a Christian humanist approve of Stephen Colbert or Saturday Night Live? Read this snippet from Heinrich Bullinger’s A Plan of Study and decide for yourself. But whoever rejects and hates satire on the grounds that the word “satire” is derived from “satyr,” because this genre of poetry contains things ridiculous...

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The Christian Humanists’ Guide to Drinking and Sex

Yes, it’s a clickbait title. It’s also accurate. This is from chapter 2 of Heinrich Bullinger’s A Plan of Study, a guide to aspiring Christian humanists: For everyone knows what Seneca wrote on this topic to Lucilius in book 12 of his correspondence and what Pliny wrote in book 14...

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Reading, Annotating, and Reviewing Books: My Method

As a scholar, my job consists of assimilating and disseminating information. The process of reviewing books entails both. My method prioritizes efficiency: reading as quickly as possible with as much comprehension and long-term retention as possible. The information also needs to be stored in a format that makes scholarly...

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Book Review: Erasmus by Cornelis Augustijn

Cornelis Augustijn, Erasmus: His Life, Works, and Influence, trans. J. C. Grayson (Toronto: University of Toronto, 1991) This biography of Erasmus is extraordinary for its lucid brevity. It is no easy task to depict a figure of Erasmus’ stature—his life, works, and influence!—in 200 pages, but Augustijn delivers. A...

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Human Passions and The NeverEnding Story (German translation)

This summer I’m reading some children’s literature in German just to keep in shape while having fun. I was delighted to discover that one of my favorite childhood movies, The NeverEnding Story, was originally a German novel: Die unendliche Geschichte by Michael Ende. So it’s been nice having memories of the film come...

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Livy Line by Line: 4.1 Part 2

Step 1: The Text as a Whole (quickly read, look up vocab) Forte quadam divinitus super ripas Tiberis effusus lenibus stagnis nec adiri usquam ad iusti cursum poterat amnis et posse quamvis...

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Livy Line by Line: 1.4 Part 1

The Story So Far: In the first 3 chapters of Book 1, Livy has discussed the pre-history of Rome. At the end of chapter 3, the city of Alba Longa has been founded. The last king, Aventinus, has...

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