A Body Thou Hast Prepared

With the Advent season underway I thought it would be nice to begin a few reflections in preparation for the Nativity of Christ. I've been thinking a lot lately about the metaphysical questions surrounding Christianity, especially in relation to the other "major world religions." I've also just been listening to Handel's Messiah and so my... Continue Reading →

What is Chivalry? (Part 4)

We have discussed various aspects of chivalry, working on a general definition via our reading of Kenelm Digby's Broadstone of Honour. In part one we learned that chivalry is a "spirit or state of mind which disposes men to heroic and generous actions and keeps them conversant with all that is beautiful and sublime in the... Continue Reading →

What is Chivalry? (Part 3)

Religion is a word and category that has come under considerable criticism over the last few centuries. And this, not merely by atheists or secularists, but by modern Christians, scholars, pastors and theologians. By and large the effort has been to "freshen-up" the feeling and "face" of Christianity in particular, and make it more amenable to... Continue Reading →

Church Music

Many of us have probably experienced something of the "worship wars" which exist as an unfortunate accident in the history of the Church. Whether in Protestant or Catholic settings; whether it's over an organ, piano, guitar or (God forbid) a drum-set; it seems the subject of church music always brings with it strong opinions and... Continue Reading →

Nature a Temple

I've been thinking a good deal lately about how medieval Christians understood the natural world they lived in. With much of the contemporary discourse on ecological concerns (and even "eco-theology"), I think it is helpful to gather insights from the wisdom of our Christian ancestors. Kenelm Digby, that excellent scholar of medieval Christianity, has unearthed... Continue Reading →

On Authorial Intent

"Authorial intent" is something many philosophers of language have balked-at over the last century, especially post-modernists within the so-called New Criticism school of thought. The idea is that "all we have is the text" so we shouldn't get distracted in trying to know the "mind of the author" since such a thing (if it existed) is technically... Continue Reading →

What is Chivalry? (Part 2)

We began last time (part 1) by introducing a positive definition of chivalry, following Kenelm Digby's Broadstone of Honour. In it he states that chivalry is that "spirit or state of mind which disposes men to heroic and generous actions and keeps them conversant with all that is beautiful and sublime in the intellectual and moral world." It... Continue Reading →

What is Chivalry? (Part 1)

One often hears the phrase, "chivalry is dead." And by this it is not always clear what is being referred to. By chivalry do they mean romantic feeling? Or perhaps knights in shining armor? Maybe, ladies in waiting? Or is it castles and flying banners? In all such cases I suppose the phrase, "chivalry is... Continue Reading →

Honor: A Lost Wor[l]d

There is a word which seems to find little use today. And though it covers the pages of the English Bible and permeates the entire history of Christendom, it seems to have nearly fallen off the proverbial map of common parlance. That word is honor. And with its disappearance there has also withdrawn from us an... Continue Reading →

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