Archive for February 22nd, 2008

An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine continues, as does Newman’s look at how the ancient pagans thought of the Church. In this part of the chapter, he considers why pagans so consistently named  Christianity as a “superstition” and as a magical religion of witches (malefici).

Chapter 6B: Christianity and Magical Religions.


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A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation continues. The discussion of “the terror of the night” segues into a discussion of the temptation to suicide. This week deals with more unusual motivations, to get them out of the way. Next week’s chapter returns to suicide for reasons of fear and depression, and is quite long. It would seem that the good saint knew plenty about this particular temptation. (I should warn you also that some of the opprobrious epithets in this chapter are not safe for work or little ones’ ears.) But characteristically, More gives us plenty of humor and his keen appreciation of human nature, to lighten a dark subject.

Btw, we’re almost at the end of Book Two!

Book 2, Chapter 15


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Mr. Ron’s Basement, for those unlucky enough not to know it and fortunate enough to have it all before them, is one of the earliest and best literary podcasts. Its mission is simple: to read forgotten short stories. The Basement is mostly full of funny tales, but there are also a good many serious ones. Occasionally Mr. Ron branches into novels. He adorns each podcast with good public domain or podcast-safe music, and discusses his unknown authors’ biographies. Mostly, though, he appears to have a lot of fun.

Maria Lectrix is not, to be honest, a podcast in what has come to be the full meaning of the word. I use podcasting as a method of distribution, not an artform; what I provide is something like a serialized audiobook service. That’s not a bad thing, but that’s all it is.

Mr. Ron has been creating something quite a bit more artistic, civilized, and difficult.

My thousandth segment was a mere matter of endurance. His thousandth episode will be a milepost of rare beauty and joy. Be sure to be there.

To Mr. Ron’s Basement, and to Mr. Ron! Ars longa!

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