Thinking Blue Guitars

Slogans stifle thought.

Month: July, 2010

Terry Eagleton on Cardinal Newman

Terry Eagleton writing in this week’s LRB on Cardinal Newman:

Militant atheists today regard religious faith as a question of subscribing to certain propositions about the world. Newman countered this theological ignorance, pervasive in his own time too, with the Romantic claim (and this from one of the towering intellects of the Victorian age) that ‘man is not a reasoning animal; he is a seeing, feeling, contemplating, acting animal … It is the concrete being that reasons.’ It is the imagination, he holds, which is primary in matters of faith. Yet this passionate subjectivity was never whimsical subjectivism. How could it be, in a Catholic thinker for whom faith and truth were communal and institutional rather than a matter of private intuition? Newman, like Kierkegaard, recognised that religious faith is a kind of love, and like love engages intellect, emotion, experience and imagination together. There is a ‘notional’ kind of knowledge, Newman argues in An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, by which he means a knowledge of abstract ideas, and there is ‘real’ assent, which involves one’s whole personality.

Full article here.

Literary/ Jazz Desktop Backgrounds

I’ve been away for a month or so, mainly because I’ve been finishing my Research MA dissertation. To mark my return I thought I’d start with something fun. If you haven’t already, you should really check out A Piece of Monologue, one of the best literary blogs around (and by far the most aesthetically pleasing). Rhys Tranter, the guy who runs the site, has recently started designing literary- and musical-themed desktop wallpaper backgrounds. Here are a few of my favourites:

Samuel Beckett (You’ll quickly learn that if something – anything – has ever happened to either Beckett or David Lynch, then Rhys will know about it and have put a link to it! Indeed, he even has a great website dedicated to all things Lynch, Industrial Symphony)

Philip Roth

Blue Note Jazz Musicians – Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane (These both link to a sister site of A Piece of Monologue)

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