The impossible and the possible

The great Max Weber

  "Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth -- that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible."Max Weber, illustrious German social theorist (arguably the founder of sociology), born in Erfurt in 1864) Posted from Erfurt, Germany … [Read more...]

Two items about that thwarted attack on a French train

Der Eifelturm

  The first is by Dr. Charles C. W. Cooke: It makes a very important point. As does the second, by Mona Charen: Her ringing defense of . . . well, manliness won't be well received in certain quarters.  Those quarters may, in the present … [Read more...]

“What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis”

The Hague Netherlands Temple

  One of those two religions is Mormonism: The article is a tad bit long, but it's very thought-provoking. What do you think?  Does this ring true to you? Thanks to Ryan Campbell for bringing this article from Time to my notice.  Posted from Erfurt, Germany    … [Read more...]

Medieval Christian polygamy, sanctioned by the Pope?

Graf von Gleichen mit seinen zwei Frauen

  All the way back in the 1990s, I wrote a few lines in the book Offenders for a Word about Christian polygamy: The sixth century Arab Christian kings of Lakhm and Ghassan were polygamists, for instance, as were the contemporary Christians of Ethiopia. Pope Clement VII, faced with the threat of a continent-dividing divorce, considered bigamy as a solution to the problem of Henry VIII. Was he, with such thoughts, flirting with becoming a non-Christian? Did M … [Read more...]

A report from the conference’s second full day

M. M. Kaplan at 34

   One of the sessions that we attended today focused on “Authority in Islam.” I was most interested in a paper by Johannes Rosenbaum, a young German scholar who recently finished his doctoral dissertation. He focused on contemporary Muslim “advice manuals” from South Asia (essentially India/Pakistan)—written by Islamic clerics but also, sometimes, by physicians—as a window into contemporary Islamic thinking on marriage. It’s an interesting and fresh ap … [Read more...]

A fun faith-promoting tale

Lucknow miscellany

  Faith-promoting folk tales abound among Latter-day Saints. Did you know, for example, that Alice Cooper and Steve Martin are Mormons?  Have you heard that Albert Einstein once said that “Next to me, James Talmage is the greatest scientist in the world”? But we have no monopoly on such bogus anecdotes. And, for what it's worth, for example, I've observed similar things among such subgroups as atheists, gays, and so forth. … [Read more...]

“A modern-day Oskar Schindler”

Memorial to a great but very flawed man I'm thinking about this one.  Quite seriously. Should I join in?  Should you? Do such efforts reward and fund ISIS? Will such payments actually encourage the taking of more hostages? On the other hand, can we simply sit back and do nothing? The plaque shown above reads as follows: Oskar Schindler saved more than 1200 Jews f … [Read more...]

“The widening world of hand-picked truths”

Luddism, at its origin

   I might quibble at one or two points, but I share his overall concern -- regarding science and other areas, too:  Posted from Erfurt, Germany    … [Read more...]