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Jules van Schaijik

Humbug

Dec. 20, 2010, at 8:55pm

In an as yet unpublished essay on William James (the centenary of whose death is this year), John Crosby reminds us of the fact that James “was a man with the mind of a scientist and the heart of a believer.” This gives him special relevance for today’s world in which the harmony between faith and science is once again challenged by the so called “new atheists”.

These new atheists are convinced that an objective and scientific approach to the world inevitably reveals all religion to be mere superstition. But Crosby points out that the very opposite was true for James:

…the empiricism of science is one main source of James’ openness to religion. He absorbed in his early

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Katie van Schaijik

The incipient personalism of romanticism?

Sep. 7, 2009, at 3:22pm

Arts and Letters Daily links today an interesting Newsweek article about Mary Shelly’s novel, Frankenstein. I read it years ago; Jules read it this summer. (Dr. Healy’s quotation of passages from Dracula in his talk on damnation had put him in the mood for catching up on those classics.) What strikes me in particular is the number of personalist thoughts and themes in the article as well as the book. Take just this passage:

The Romantics did not reject science, as Richard Holmes demonstrates in his remarkable new book, The Age of Wonder. (Holmes is also the author of a brilliant biography of Percy Shelley). They were ambivalent. Romantic artists and scientists shared a commitment

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