Monthly Archives: July 2013

Brilliant Posts: on the roots of Western democracy

This thoughtful and informative post by William Newton was deservedly featured on WordPress‘s Freshly Pressed list a few days ago. In Newton’s own words,

Reading a 6th century text is probably not most people’s idea of a good time, but on this (11 July) Feast of St. Benedict (480-547 A.D.) I want to encourage you, even if you are not Christian, to take a look at an extremely important document to the development of Western culture, the Rule of St. Benedict….” 

He points out that the importance to Western culture of St Benedict’s Rule – though often overlooked today – lies in its having generated a number of profoundly important ideas which still shape our flawed but continuing attempts to live in a civilised manner with one another.

Do read this post, revisit these ideas, and realise how key thinkers still reach deeply into our lives, shaping them, from what we tend to regard as the distant past….

The Monastic Roots of Western Democracy

200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Brilliant Posts: A new twist on the Grim Reaper

This is the third in my Brilliant Posts series. I’ve just discovered an unusual blog called The Call of the Siren, by Nick Owchar, in his own words “…. a site about books on myth, fantasy and more, which continues a regular column that I wrote for the Los Angeles Times for many years while serving as deputy editor of the newspaper’s book coverage….”

To quote from Nick Owchar again, “When Julian Barnes writes about losing his wife to a brain tumor, he writes instead about the adventures of 18th and 19th century balloonists. It makes for the most unusual kind of memoir — and it highlights how truly difficult it is to express what we’re feeling when one of our loved ones dies…..”

We need to be more open, more lateral, more literary, more honest, in approaching the topic of death.  It has become more and more something to avoid, as secularism bites deep into our culture.

Read this post. It holds riches….

 Books of death: new in bookstores. 

200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page