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The Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy

In Oxford University Press, Philosophy, Samuel Pomeroy, Stephen Blackwood on June 16, 2016 at 4:17 pm



2016.06.10 | Stephen Blackwood. The Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy. Oxford Early Christian Studies. Oxford: OUP, 2015. Pp. xxi + 338. Soft-cover.

Review by Samuel Pomeroy, KU Leuven.

Thanks to Oxford University Press for providing a review copy.

According to Boethius, you are what you hear. If memory is integral to ethics (164–5), and hearing is integral to memory (169–71), then properly ordered poetry has the capacity to harmonize the dialectical nature of the intellect within the epistemological framework of creation (cf. 238). As the ars memorativa of the Trivium are the means by which sense and intellect are united (186), so too the complex metrical structure of Boethius’s Consolation is an invitation to perceive the particulars of cosmic harmony held together by divine providence (234). But it is not an invitation to silent, private reading towards esotericism. For Boethius the poet, the dialogical phonic dexterity of his Consolation’s meter is itself the gateway towards recollection. Read the rest of this entry »


Paul’s Graeco-Roman Context

In Cilliers BREYTENBACH, Graeco-Roman Backgrounds, Paul, Paul Linjamaa, Peeters, Philosophy on December 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm


2015.12.24 | Cilliers Breytenbach, ed. Paul’s Graeco-Roman Context (BETL 277). Leuven: Peeters, 2015. Pp. 773. Hardcover. ISBN 9789042932715.

Review by Paul Linjamaa, Lund University.

Many thanks to Peeters for providing a review copy.

This book comprises the printed proceedings following the 62nd Colloquium Biblicum Lovaniense, which took place 16-18 July, 2013. Among the 34 essays, we find studies on broad issues, such as Paul’s Romanization (by Marie-Françoise Baslez), Paul’s use of Metanoia (by David Konstan) and Paul’s relation to wine and drunkenness (by John T. Fitzgerald). We also find more narrow studies, such as two articles on Romans 7:7-25, one by Samuel Byrskog investigating the identity of the “I” in this passage, and another by Antonio Pitta presenting a new interpretation of the passage from the perspective of Aristotle’s Poetics. Since I cannot comment upon all 34 essays, I have made a selection from essays that were presented by scholars invited to give a main lectures at the conference, as well as papers from each of the groups of accepted contributions. These papers fall into three categories: papers interpreting individual phrases in Pauline letters; papers on the rhetorical strategies and concepts underlying Paul’s letters; and papers focusing on historical questions and post-Pauline literature. Read the rest of this entry »