Update

Having now finished my travels, outlasted food poisoning and faced the Auburn weather version of Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace (“It was an awful moment for the three young men. Nobody likes to be burned alive.” (from The Bible Story)), I am now back to work.  Currently, I am writing a new talk on Merleau-Ponty and proofing an article for the book, Turning East:  Contemporary Philosophers and the Ancient Christian Faith.  I hope tomorrow to get back to work here on philosophical questions.  I may also post some bits from the new MMP talk.

The Unexpected Pleasures of Blogging

Completely unexpectedly, in the midst of my late travels, I got to meet William Eaton, aka Montaigbakhtinian.  Though surprised to meet him, I was not surprised by him:  very smart, very articulate, very warm; a gentleman.  It is always nice to put a face to a name, even better a person to a blog, it turns out.  It is easy to forget that blogs, no matter how much of us they contain, are two-dimensional.  (A grammatical remark?)  I suppose the only sort of person a blog could tend to capture would be the type of George Kittredge, the coal mining tycoon who is Tracy Lord’s fiance in The Philadelphia Story.  Of him, Tracy’s former husband, Dexter Haven, quips:  “To barely know him is to know him well.”

Travels

I am about to begin traveling, so things will be very slow here.  I know they have not yet gotten back to their pre-Summer speed; I hope they will return to that speed when I return later this month.  Some time away should do me good. As always, thanks to those of you who keep up with the blog and especially to those who comment. While I am away, please keep up with the blogs on my bloglist:  there’s been lots worth reading on Mists on the Rivers, on Distinctly Praise the Years, on Logismoi, on Montaigbahktinian, etc.

Happy Fourth of July!

Summer Posting

I have started my summer teaching and so will have much less time for the blog.  I expect that over the next few weeks the blog will be relatively quiet, and will likely serve primarily as a place to post some teaching material and for commonplace book entries (quotations, etc.)  I do still have some outstanding obligations in the Comments to some of my previous posts, and I hope to discharge those soon.

My best wishes for everyone’s summer!

Home Again, Home Again

Back in the South, celebrating Pascha.  Fun trip–as I expected, I learned a lot; my paper will improve as a result.  It was great to see my former students, and my old and new friends.  My thanks to all of them!

I plan for the blog to pick up its pace again.  For those of you who keep up with the blog, and especially those who comment, let me tell you how much I appreciate your time and how much I have profited from your comments.  As I have said in the past, I am getting the better part of this deal.

Heading North

Off to the north country:  I’ll read my essay, see old friends and former students, enjoy the change of scenery.  I will learn a lot, I’m sure.  I return to the heart of Dixie on Saturday, I hope in time to celebrate the Paschal Divine Liturgy with my parish.

For those who do not know the Paschal Liturgy, one of its many highlights (and indeed one of my favorite pieces of writing of all time) is John Chrysostom’s Paschal Homily.  I post it here:

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived therefor. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts. And he both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.

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