The work of God is the calling of a people, whether in the Old Covenant or the New. The church is then not simply the bearer of the message of reconciliation, in the way a newspaper or a telephone company can bear any message with which it is entrusted. Nor is the church simply the result of a message, as an alumni association is the product of a school or the crowds in a theater are the product of the reputation of the film. That men and women are called together to a new social wholeness is itself the work of God, which gives meaning to history.
John Howard Yoder
I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us too. I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right. In the meantime, I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.
Anne Frank

Another World is Possible

The introductory Q&A on Alain Badiou by Samuel Grove interviewing Colin Wright is fascinating. Badiou is a new philosopher to me and he sounds very interesting!

Quotes are Wright’s talking about and around the subject of Badiou.

Capitalism:

Zizek’s reading of the epidemic of apocalyptic Hollywood disaster movies is relevant here.  He suggests that capitalism’s hold on the collective imaginary is such that it is now far easier, particularly in the face of mounting evidence of environmental catastrophe, to picture the whole planet going up in flames, than it is to conceive of the end of capitalism.  So it’s a serious problem.

Change:

I found one key area in Badiou’s work where this link is acknowledged.  Of all places, it’s in his idiosyncratic reading of Samuel Beckett.  Beckett’s great at zooming in on a stubborn will to keep going even in the absolute absence of any evidence for rational optimism.  In these difficult times, this idea of a kind of dogged, excessive hope strikes me as important.  But the practical point, even in Beckett, is that this attitude opens one up to being ready to realise change when its possibility actually comes along.

Getting involved in politics:

The truth to which a subject has to be faithful, in order no longer to be only an individual, must be universal and open to all.  This means there are no prior qualifications that would exclude people from getting involved in politics, such as age or levels of property ownership or citizenship.

And there’s a lot more there that I could quote out of context but I’d recommend going back and reading the whole thing… I’m going to.

A contemplative response

Here’s one way of responding, in a contemplative prayerful way, to horror.

Only a game as brazenly confident as BioShock Infinite could successfully ruminate on religious and class philosophies while also offering the player magical trousers that can set bad guys on fire.
good review in the Telegraph about the game…

A Kinder, Gentler, More Grown-Up Easter

Some thoughts from Roger Wolsey on Easter and how it is celebrated.

Papal retirement

An interesting article on Papal retirement by Mary E. Hunt and the matter of conscience

And some more…

Eugenie Clark - Lady with the Spear (An autobiographical account of her early scientist career that took her spear fishing to many interesting places. Very interesting account. Also: non-fiction!)

Alex Bellos - Alex’s Adeventures in Numberland (A book about maths that was entertaining. I liked the history of maths and the stories about people. Only got lost a couple of times… Non-fiction.)

Wendy Jones - The Thoughts & Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superios Funerals (I wish reading a dictionary would make you smart. A sweet little tale set in a 1920s Welsh village. Female characters were a bit boring, but it was a good little read.)

Angela Carter - Wise Chidren (A riotous story of Hazards and Chances throughout the lives of the twins. Brilliant.)

Matthew Quick - The Silverlinings Playbook (This was a great read. Not read much were the main character has mental health problems, so that was quite interesting but also the story was absorbing. Even despite the large presence of American Football…)

Ben Aaronovitch - Whispers Underground (Third in line in the series. I enjoy the characters and I seem to learn something new about London everytime. It’s also nice to not have fantasy set in a feudal society.)

Nick Harkaway - The Gone-Away World (Very enjoyable ramble through a war satire, ninjas and mimes, kung-fu epic, adventure. Bit explanatory-heavy in the beginning but picked up the pace admirably later on.)

Art Spiegelman - The Complete Maus (Wow…what a powerful book.)

the proper habitat for truth is human relationship
Josef Pieper

Jan part 2

Maeve Binchy - This year it will be different (Slightly odd reading Christmas themed stories in January, but it was surprisingly good.)

Terry Prachett - The Truth (And thus the newspaper is born.)

Philippa Gregory - The Other Boleyn Girl (Not Anne, the other one. Again, this was a surprise - I didn’t think I was into historic fiction. But a well written book is a well written book. I got slightly bored with some bits but overall a good read.)

Agatha Christie - Sleeping Murder (Should one rake over old details long forgotten? The last Miss Marple mystery.)

Michael Chabon - The Final Solution (A detective novella with an interesting parrot.)

Georgette Heyer - Cousin Kate (A regency romance novel, again, a nice surprise. Seems it’s also the name of a Christina Rossetti poem.)

Jo Nesbø - The Bat (The first Harry Hole mystery. In Australia)