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MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 145

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Guests on Volume 145: David I. Smith, on Christian teaching as a set of practices that accords with Christian content; Bruce Hindmarsh, on the rise of the conversion narrative in early Evangelicalism; Jason Baxter, on the psychological subtlety in Dante’s Divine Comedy; John Fea, on the entanglement of American evangelicals and politics; Laurie Gagne, on the spiritual longing of French philosopher Simone Weil; and Matthew O'Donovan, on singing Renaissance polyphony with Stile Antico.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 36

Juvenescence: Robert Pogue Harrison on Cultural Age

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Cultural critic and professor of Italian literature, Robert Pogue Harrison, examines the conditions in which cultural transmission can take place. In this Conversation, Harrison argues that Western culture is on the cusp of a new mode of civilization that can either result in a rejuvenation of the legacies of the past or in their juvenilization, the latter of which would lead to a loss of cultural memory and the infantilization of desires. Harrison reflects not only upon the ways in which our culture is evolving into a younger way of being human, but also upon the peculiar and precious qualities of youth that are uniquely receptive to fostering the amor mundi needed to preserve and transmit a world of permanence and belonging.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 35

Glorious Abasement: John Betz on the Prophetic Critique of J. G. Hamann

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Theologian John Betz discusses the eighteenth-century philosopher and translator, Johann Georg Hamann, critic and contemporary of Immanuel Kant and other prominent figures of the German Enlightenment. Hamann, even from the early stages of the Enlightenment, saw and argued that the project of modernity would lead to its own destruction. Hamann argued that reason could not, by itself in a pure form, give a complete account of reality, for he saw that the modern ideal of “pure reason” is a fiction. Reason, he argued, is always embedded within an historical culture and language from which one can never fully be detatched. In his evaluation, Hamann anticipated the postmodern critics of the twentieth century; however, he avoided the nihilism of postmodernism by observing the revelatory character of language and history. By focusing on the divine kenosis or humility of God, who creates, reveals, and condescends to humanity through His Word, Hamann maintained that man’s pursuit of truth is always contingent on God’s Word in special and general revelation through history and creation. Throughout the interview, Professor Betz describes the centrality of God’s condescension in Hamann’s understanding of knowledge and reason. It is through the humility of God in his condescension to communicate to man that Hamann recognizes the Promethean project of modernity to attain enlightenment from man’s resources alone. $6

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 144

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Guests on Volume 144: Jonathan McIntosh on the influence of St. Thomas Aquinas’s metaphysical ideas on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien; Kevin Vost on the history of thinking about friendship in Patristic and Medieval Christian thought; Malcolm Guite on wisdom from Samuel Taylor Coleridge about reason and the imagination; R. David Cox on the influence of the Virginia Episcopalian tradition on the religious life of Robert E. Lee; Grant Brodrecht on why Civil War-era evangelicals in the North placed such a high value on preserving the Union; and Peter Bouteneff on the theological richness of the music of Arvo Pärt.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 141

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Guests on Volume 141: Grant Wythoff, on the technophiliac obsessions of Hugo Gernsback, the geeky midwife of modern science fiction; Susanna Lee, on how the hard-boiled protagonists of crime fiction in the 1930s and 40s were replaced by more nihilistic tough guys in the 1950s and 60s; Gerald R. McDermott, on how the work of theologian E. L. Mascall can expose blind spots in contemporary Christian thought; Carlos Eire, on how and why religion became “interiorized” in the wake of the reformations of the sixteenth century; Kelly Kapic, on theology’s use of experience and why the Incarnation is the ground of Christian hope; and James Matthew Wilson, on the beauty of truth and goodness, and on the necessity of cultivating “intellectual vision.”

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 29

Brand Luther: Andrew Pettegree on Martin Luther, Printing, and the Making of the Reformation

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It is often noted that Martin Luther’s Reformation could never have advanced the way it did without the technology of the printing industry. While the coincidence of Luther and the printing press undoubtedly contributed to the Reformation’s rapid spread, the printing world at the time of Luther was largely under the patronage of the Catholic church, and it was not inevitable, according to Andrew Pettegree, that “print would become an agent of insurrection.” In his book, Brand Luther, historian Andrew Pettegree shows how Luther’s facility for writing in German and his intuitive business sense not only spread ideas and incited controversy, but completely transformed the distribution model of the printing industry. 56 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 140

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Guests on Volume 140: Matthew Rubery, on the history of the “talking book,” and on how reading aloud differs from listening to it being read; James Herrick, on the “post-human” aspirations of the transhumanist movement, and how its plausibility is established by stories; Jack Baker & Jeffrey Bilbro, on lessons that universities should heed from Wendell Berry’s essays, poetry, and fiction about commitment to living in a place; Timothy Gloege, on the influence of business methods on 20th-century evangelicalism through the shaping of Moody Bible Institute; David Hollinger, on how the sons and daughters of mid-20th-century missionaries to Asia came back to the U.S. and influenced government, journalism, and the academy; and Barrett Fisher, on the themes of the challenge of faithfulness as presented in Shusaku Endo’s Silence and in Martin Scorsese’s film version.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 139

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Guests on Volume 139: W. Bradford Littlejohn, on post-Reformation debates about the meaning of freedom; Simon Oliver, on how the doctrine of creation ex nihilo is a doctrine about God (and not just the origin of the universe); Matthew Levering, on the necessity of God’s wisdom in the doctrine of creation; Esther Lightcap Meek, on Michael Polanyi’s case that making contact with reality is a process of discovery; Paul Tyson, on resisting our modern assumptions about knowledge in favor of knowledge that is grounded in wonder; and David Fagerberg, on acquiring a liturgical posture in everyday life.

MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 19

Jeremy Beer, "On Christopher Lasch"

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(From Modern Age, Fall 2005)

In this biographical sketch, Jeremy Beer describes the intellectual trajectory of cultural historian, Christopher Lasch, whose career spanned from the 1960s through the early 1990s. Beer recounts how, despite growing up in a “militantly secular” home and, throughout his career, sympathetically grappling with the works of Marx and Freud, Christopher Lasch distanced himself from the leftist “radical intellectuals,” whose version of progressivism did not coincide with Lasch’s understanding of a healthy democracy. In his scholarship and criticism, Lasch was concerned about democracy, both as an achievable ideal and as an imperfect reality. He rejected the Left-Right dualism of American politics, arguing that the ostensibly opposing ideologies were merely two sides of the same coin that amounted to the refusal to acknowledge human limitations. Lasch’s diagnosis of the modern, “anxiously narcissistic” self involved a sharp critique of the culture that produced it, namely, a culture that condoned the conquest of nature through scientific, technological, and economic methods without any regard for naturally or institutionally based limits on human freedom. 55 minutes. $2.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 138

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Guests on Volume 138: John Milbank, on why politics needs to recognize the human soul (and what happens when it doesn’t); Adrian Pabst, on the “metacrisis” of liberalism; Glenn Olsen, on Christopher Dawson’s understanding of religion and culture; Rupert Shortt, on how scientism misunderstands God and divine action; Oliver O’Donovan, on the significance of love, community, and friendship as ethical and eschatological categories; and David Bentley Hart, on the hazards and delights of translating the New Testament.

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