A Reflection on a Talk by Tim McIntosh Tim McIntosh recently visited New College Franklin and gave a collegium talk on the division of heart and mind in post-modernity. One of his central premises concerned the role of story in transformation, that is in the metanoia or change of mind which occurs in personal upheaval. … Continue reading Enjambment, Hinges, and Stories
There is a lot of good literature on shame, but it can be confusing to assess from a Christian perspective. There are three major reasons for this First, many of those with good things to say about shame often dismiss the concept of sin, even treating it as the boogeyman of our psyches. This is … Continue reading On Whether We are to be Ashamed
Throughout Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the great Bolkonsky household is a home bereft of affection and the caresses of love for which perhaps every child and every parent longs. The father, Nikolai Bolkonsky, proud, intelligent, eccentric, and cynical, has tormented his daughter by his schedule, his demands, his scoffing at her faith and manners. But … Continue reading On Maria and the Death of Nikolai Bolkonsky in War and Peace
from a talk given at New College Franklin in the Fall of 2013 Main Texts: Homer’s Odyssey, Book 8, lines 42-45, 62-94, 483-499, 521-534 Homer’s Iliad, Book VI, lines 440-465 My goal in giving this talk is to inspire wonder and excitement about the program of study here, to encourage intellectual enthusiasm. With this goal … Continue reading A Question of the Liberal Arts: Why is Song a Gift from the Gods?
Image from The Three Sillies by Margot Zemach There is a folk tale about a farmer who scoffs at his wife and the work she does. He decides to switch with her for a day and show her how easy her tasks are in comparison to his own. In the course of the day, he spills … Continue reading The Farmer and his Wife
Occasionally, I tell certain students that they can be right or they can be happy. They have usually been eristic, more clever than kind, critical or corrective of their peers in ways which are not fruitful. More in love with their own rightness than is meet. In other words, they are like me, writing checks … Continue reading Would You Rather be Right or Happy?
Listening to the Little House series, following the lives of Laura and her family, has not been without its challenges. They are so strict, so obedient, so sufficient and skillful. They are themselves a kind of law that I will never live up to. Further, Laura always seems a bit hemmed in by her Ma, … Continue reading Mercy in Little House on the Prairie
I think I know how to speak the truth, that it is easy to do so. The first chapter of Henry Clouds book Changes that Heal served as an excellent reminder that speaking the truth is not easy. Not because it is so hard to so those tough things, but because I often think of truth as … Continue reading Grace & Truth: Thoughts on Changes that Heal, Chapter 1
It never fails, if a boy should love a girl that he loses some sleep in the bargain. It never fails, when a young women first be a mother, that she be stricken now and again with fear and doubt, and sometime wonder many nights whether the child still breathes and should check on her. … Continue reading It Never Fails
Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (epigraph of Brothers Karamazov from John 12:24)ˆ Early in Brothers Karamazov, we meet a mother who has journeyed a long way to visit Zosima, a monk of wisdom and holiness. … Continue reading The Iconography of Sorrow in a Brothers Karamazov