Help with course planning!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m going to be offering a course on the Qur’an next semester. One thing I didn’t factor in when I volunteered to do this, however, is how quickly I need to complete the book order (due to some changes in how Shimer is managing its book ordering). So I have two questions:

  • Is there any standard, classical commentary on the Qur’an by a major figure (like al-Ghazali) that is readily available in English translation?
  • Is there any specifically Sufi commentary on the Qur’an that plays a role similar to that of the Zohar in Judaism? Is it readily available in English translation?

I welcome other recommendations as well, but those questions are the most urgent for me.

So, which translation of Dante’s Inferno is best?

Further specification: for practical use in an undergraduate class.

If we have time, maybe we could also discuss why on earth a new translation of Dante seems to come out approximately every two months.

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A humble request

If you have read one or more of our books, please consider writing a review on Amazon (links to US and UK site are given on the linked page for each publication). The more reviews we have, the higher we will turn up in search results, and the more likely people are to actually purchase the book when they are browsing.

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Crowdsouring request: Let there be light!

Dearest readers, I need to compile a list of notable passages from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament that use imagery involving light for a project I’m working on. It would also be helpful if you knew of exemplary commentary on said passages from the rabbinic or patristic literature.

I’ll start the list: John 1.

Posted in Help. 15 Comments »

Virtual bulletin board for Syracuse conference

A reader e-mailed asking if I could put him in contact with potential roommates for the Syracuse conference, as the conference organizers were unwilling to take up such matters. It seemed best to me to provide an open thread where people can make contact and coordinate with each other — so have at it, and feel free to pass along the existence of this post if you know of others who might be interested.

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Middlesex Petition

The petition to save the Middlesex philosophy department is tantalizingly close to its goal of 10,000 signatures — please take a moment to sign if you haven’t already. (Other bloggers are encouraged to post this as well.)

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Further Crowdsourcing

Michael Pacher, "St. Wolfgang and the Devil"

I have been putting off mentioning this for fear of outrunning the big Other and getting burned, but T&T Clark has offered me a book contract for a revised version of my dissertation, under the title Politics of Redemption: The Social Logic of Salvation.

I am breaking my silence because my editor has asked me about a potential cover image, and I need help. Everyone agrees that something featuring the devil is absolutely essential, and I’m thinking there must be some medieval painting that would capture the spirit of my project in some oblique way. Anthony suggested the image above, which he got from this post, but I think it might be a little “much.”

I’m not sure I necessarily want something with the cross on it, though I’m not 100% sold on its absence — perhaps something like a “temptation in the desert” scene? Or maybe — and this is actually a good idea that I just suddenly thought of — something that juxtaposes the temptation of Adam and Eve with the temptation of Christ? Basically, anything that could include Adam, Christ, and the Devil would be totally perfect.


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