Joel Isaac, “Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences from Parsons to Kuhn” (Harvard UP, 2012)
Imagine the academic world as a beach. The grains of sand making up the beach are the departments, institutes, and other bodies and related gatherings that make up the officially sanctioned parts of academic institutions and academic life. There is a world between the grains, however – a world of... Read More
Patrick Allitt, “The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History” (Yale University Press, 2010)
Tired of politics? I grew tired of campaign commercials, especially once Mitt Romney identified Pennsylvania (where I live) as a battleground state. Now that the ad wars have ended and the ballots have been counted, I am really interested in understanding what has happened to modern American conservatism. That is... Read More
Jill Gordon, “Plato’s Erotic World: From Cosmic Origins to Human Death” (Cambridge UP, 2012)
It’s traditional in Plato scholarship to divide his dialogues in various ways. One common division is a temporal one that distinguishes among early, middle and late dialogues. Another is by content: there are the so-called erotic dialogues, which include Symposium, Phaedrus and Alcibiades I, where themes of love and friendship... Read More
Ulrich Plass, “Language and History in Theodor W. Adorno’s Notes to Literature” (Routledge, 2007)
In Language and History in Theodor W. Adorno’s Notes to Literature (Routledge, 2007), Ulrich Plass makes the case for the importance and relevance of Adorno’s often forgotten and derided attempts at literary criticism. Plass specifically draws our attention to five subjects, Eichendorff, Rudolf Borchardt, Stefan George, Heinrich Heine, and Goethe,... Read More
Whitney Bodman, “The Poetics of Iblis: Narrative Theology in the Qur’an” (Harvard UP, 2011)
The Qur’an is filled with stories. It chronicles the lives of prophets, the stories of believers and non-believers, and lays out the creation of the cosmos. However, the Qur’an’s narrative qualities are often overlooked. Recently, there has been an increasing turn to literary models for approaching scripture by academics. Whitney... Read More