Saturday, May 07, 2005

Things of Interest

* PseudoSeven: Nathanael Robinson hosts Carnivalesque #7 #5, the Early Modern Carnival. There are some really great posts. Here are just some of the topics: whether Newton was a deist, Ratzinger on Galileo and the Church, Hume's natural history of religion, the nature of Carnival, the role of women in the French economy, British royal scandals, Jane Austen's word artistry, the inimitable Sor Juana, the Reformation, Reuchlin and the Dominicans on Jewish books, and the methodology of the history of ideas. An awesome collection of posts. Go see!

* Richard discusses The Argument from Hell at "Philosophy, etc."

* Lindsay at "Majikthise" continues her discussion of moral relativism with a Relativism Case Study.

* William Vallicella at "Maverick Philosopher" summarizes an argument that Romanticism is subjectified occasionalism in About Schmitt: Romanticism as a Form of Occasionalism. I find this a very intriguing idea. It's an odd interpretive move, but the more I think about, just given what little I know about the Romantics, the more I think there may be something in it, at least as a suggestive beginning for interpretation.

* Steven Riddle at "Flos Carmeli" has a nice poem called Jonah.

* Colonel David Hackworth, military reform advocate, died Wednesday. Hackworth is best known for his organization, "Soldiers for the Truth," which provides a forum for investigation and dissemination of information about (among other things) mismanagement of the military by Congress or the Pentagon, civil rights issues for soldiers and veterans, and the accurate flow of information between the military and civilians. Hackworth was a pro-military voice who was sharply critical of American participation in and handling of the Iraq war. (hat-tip on the bad news: Vox Popoli)

* Apparently, East Waynesville Baptist in North Carolina asked nine members of the congregation to leave because they were Democrats, leading to more than 40 leaving in protest. (hat-tip: Science and Politics). There has been a lot of fuss about it in the blogosphere; but it's actually not particularly surprising. Baptists are schismatic by nature, and there are few of us who are or have been Baptists who have not experienced church splits of one sort or another over some silly detail or other: the use of tambourines and overheads in church services comes to mind as one example. It follows from the Baptist emphasis on the individual and the local congregation; the church power structure is entirely bottom-up, with the real power belonging to the individual Baptists, who gather together into a congregation, which pools money with other congregations for particular purposes (usually missionary purposes of various sorts) to create a convention. What seems to have happened -- although the news articles are very vague -- is that the pastor exceeded his authority, which is established, of course, by the by-laws created by the congregation.

* At "Ralph the Sacred River" there's an interesting post on George Psalmanazar (1679-1763).

* By all accounts, Revenge of the Sith will be much better than Episodes I and II. Hurray!

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