Book Notice: Beyond Superlatives (Skinner)

Beyond SuperlativesWhile the subject matter is out of keeping with what I normally post about here, I wanted to make mention of a colleague’s recent book. My colleague in philosophy & theology, Dr. Hollis Phelps, is a Badiou specialist, but is also an impressively versatile guy, academically speaking (he’s actually writing a book on jesus at the moment). He has just received the author copies of his second book, an edited volume on the mathematician and philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead. The book is entited, Beyond Superlatives: Regenerating Whitehead’s Philosophy of Experience (Cambridge Scholars, 2014) and was co-edited by Roland Faber (Claremont) and J. R. Hustwit (Methodist University). Here’s a description of the book:

This collection of essays, drawn from the latest generation of Whitehead scholars, explores how, in the deconstruction of certain concepts, an unceasing invitation of possibility and change is released, both in relation to ongoing philosophical conversations, and as applied to lived experience. The essays make a significant intervention in the field of Whiteheadian scholarship by creating new intersections and paths that extend Whitehead’s thought in novel, and often unexpected, directions. The philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead proposes a radical reconceptualization of experience-one in which we, and all other things, are composed of mutually implicated series of events in an infinite universe of interaction, generating and regenerating experience. Far from indicating a new superlative of holistic integrity, Whitehead prefers the always incomplete movement of all realities, which is the source of vitality for every new generation. This volume applies Whitehead’s philosophy to superlatives-those valued concepts that limit and define our categories amid the flux of experience. The first half of this book probes the superlatives that have historically defined philosophical method in the West. These essays trace the adventures of concepts like substance, novelty, system, and truth. Ossified oppositions that define these superlatives are fractured, indicating new directions for growth. The essays in the second half of the book reflect on the influx, fragility, and impossibility of superlatives like care, tragedy, love, and loss in human experience, generating new matters of philosophical discourse. Superlatives abound. But Whitehead cautions us to attend to their multiplicity. The mutual immanence of events constantly generates new constellations of importance, and so superlatives, because they are contingent upon unstable modes of togetherness, cannot be taken for granted. Any of these concepts may have a particular significance today, but as events coalesce into new constellations, those ideals will continue to take on new meaning.
Be sure to pick up a copy so that Hollis can buy me lunch with his share of the royalties. ūüôā

Sign Up for Ecclesia-Ethics Conference (Online, March 1 & 8) (Gupta)

Last year (2013) I was honored to be a part of the inaugural online conference called “Ecclesia-and-Ethics.” I gave a paper and there was lots of great interaction afterwards.

Now, in 2014, the conference is happening again – you can “attend” from the comfort of your couch, office, or bed! Great speakers and for registration you pay $10 towards one of the charities the conference supports (like World Vision) or towards a charity of your choosing.

The dates in 2014 are two Saturdays – March 1 & 8. Here is a sampling of some of the speakers:

Michael F Bird

Benjamin Myers

Bill Mounce

Scott Rae

Douglas Groothius

Loren Wilkinson

To be honest, for $10 it is totally worth it. My impression was that the attendees/participants last year found it to be very rewarding experience (I know I did!), especially interacting with people from all over the world.

Timothy Michael Law: He’s Got 99 Problems But a Book Ain’t One (Skinner)

Law DogTimothy Michael Law¬†is a Septuagint specialist with a lot going on right now. In addition to serving as the editor-in-chief for Marginalia Review of Books, he has recently launched a new podcast series (The Septuagint Sessions).¬†I listened to the first one this morning while primping in my bathroom mirror. The intro music alone is worth your time. Probably the biggest thing he’s got goin’ on is that book. Yeah,¬†everybody’s been talking about¬†When God Spoke Greek,¬†for awhile now but let’s be honest, you can’t read everything you want to read right away…so yes, I’m a little behind.¬†A number of individuals in the blogosphere have said¬†very positive¬†things about this book over the past few months. I’m late to the party, but at least I showed up. I have been reading Law’s introduction to the Septuagint in recent weeks and I’ve been impressed by¬†his ability to¬†discuss¬†his subject matter with¬†substance while doing it in a very readable way. I think he has written what will be, for many (myself included), the go-to resource for introducing students and other interested non-specialists to the LXX. Everyone’s been saying this, so at the risk of sounding unoriginal, let me say that I like this book a lot and I think you should check it out. What you don’t know is that if you really want to appreciate the subtleties of Law’s argument, you¬†need to¬†keep the soothing sounds of Tupac’s All Eyez On Me or Jay-Z’s Hard Knock Life on a continuous loop in the background. Trust me, it will enhance your experience immeasurably. Well done TML!