Philip LeCuyer’s “Reading the Book of Esther”
This essay presents two concepts, ‘angular unconformity’ from geology, and ‘assymetrical repetition’ from astronomy, to use in approaching the Book of Esther. Esther, the final book added to the Hebrew Bible, is the only biblical book written by a woman. If it is a revelation, it is the final revelation in that tradition. The name of God does not occur in its text. Reading the Book of Esther points to a major scribal unconformity and pervasive assymetrical repetions on every level in interpreting the text’s theological silence.
Philip LeCuyer’s “Intellectual Sin”
This lecture is an examination of key passages in core texts by Descartes (TheMeditations), Kant (The Critique of Pure Reason), and Heidegger (Basic Concepts).Three intellectual sins are defined: desire for certitude (Descartes), enthusiasm (Kant), and authenticity (Heidegger). They are, respectively, sins against logic, rhetoric, and grammar. “These sins are real, and they have real...
Michael Wehring Wolfe’s “Cide Hamete Benengeli, Author of Don Quixote”
Michael Wolfe’s lecture, Cide Hamete Benengeli, Author of Don Quixote (2016) presents an understanding of Cervantes’ wonderful novel that changes everything. Since its first publication in 1605, Don Quixote has most often been read as an encounter between imagination (giants) and reality (windmills). This lecture, by exploring the issues which surround the elaborate creation...
Martha Franks’ “The Practice of Law and the Love of Philosophy”
Download PDF My name is Martha Franks and I am a Johnnie. I admit that I am powerless over my interest in philosophy. I am also a practicing lawyer, having spent a career specializing in the arcane world of water law, a kind of law that raises strong passions in the desert Southwest of Santa Fe. I wanted to give this lecture because St. John’s students considering law school have...
John Cornell’s “Dante Our Contemporary: An Introduction to the Divine Comedy”
In our first posting in the Respondeo Lecture and Essay Library, John Cornell presents a remarkable insight into Dante’s vast intelligence, most especially into Dante’s sotto voce but insistent dismembering of the doctrine of Original Sin with all its medieval gloom-and-doom overtones. With this guidance we can begin to appreciate how Dante laid the foundation for modernity.