Friday Linkage

July 3, 2009

Because I am writers-blocked like nobody’s business:

1.) I imagine many readers already know about A Supposedly Fun Blog, a group blog on Infinite Jest.  So far it looks quite good. (Now that I have outside stimulus, its probably safe to say you’ll be seeing more posts like my very first in the future.)

2.) Having written my undergrad history thesis on the University of Chicago’s neo-Thomistic turn during the Hutchin’s years, I was tickled to see First Principles posting a profile of Sidney Hook.  That’s probably the most press the man’s gotten this decade.

3.) Hit by a car? Having an existential crisis? Hike up your skirts and move to Uzbekistan!

4.) The first in a series of posts on Nietzsche and the New Atheists.

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2 Responses to “Friday Linkage”

  1. Jason said

    “my undergrad history thesis on the University of Chicago’s neo-Thomistic turn during the Hutchin’s years”

    What did you find out? Anything interesting about Adler? How did the Neo-Thomists get along with Strauss?

    • H.C. Johns said

      The thesis was focused on Catholic renewal projects, so it was less a question of discovery than contextualizing several different movements relative to each other. Its basic conclusion was that mid-century catholicism set itself a project of modernization and renewal pursued through totally non-modern strategies: ritualization, rearticulated traditions, substantial revision of Thomism, etc. I argued that the emphasis on practice was a paralel to the church’s doctrinal shifts during that time period. Adler’s project for Chicago fit in nicely with that. (Hook was one of his major interlocutors for the exchange I based that section of the paper off of.)

      I’m not entirely sure, but it sticks in my mind that Strauss was actually hired by Adler’s department, which Adler had stuffed with neothomists and classists early on. Suffice it to say, Adler didn’t get much out of Strauss’s ironic temperment: in his autobiography, he said something to the extent of “so far as I could tell, he thought there were no major disagreements between any major philosophy. Absurd!” (This from a man who spent his whole life documenting said disagreements.) So, they didn’t much like each other, but there’s definitely a common thread that ties together the natural-right response to world war 2 to the emergence of neo-conservatism.

      If you’re curious, Purcell’s book the Crisis of Democratic Theory is a fantastic history of that era… Highly recommended.

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