Tag: Religion

May 15 2017

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Reader, I devoured this book on my road trip to visit my in-laws over Mother’s Day weekend. It is, as the author admits, something of a ridiculous novel: a contemporary of Jane Eyre’s contemplates the similarities between their lives even as she herself, the titular Jane Steele, solves problems by means of murder, and finds …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/15/jane-steele-by-lyndsay-faye/

Feb 22 2017

An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L’Engle

An Acceptable Time strikes me as unusually autumnal for a young adult novel. Meg, the heroine of A Wrinkle in Time, has moved off-stage in this, the fifth novel of the Time quintet. Her daughter Polly shares the spotlight with her parents (Polly’s grandparents), Alex and Kate Murray, doctors of physics and chemistry, respectively. The …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/02/22/an-acceptable-time-by-madeleine-lengle/

May 05 2016

The Thirty Years War by C.V. Wedgwood

As their dates of publication recede into the past, books of history increasingly become artifacts of what they chronicle. They illuminate two periods: the one about which they are written, and the one in which they are written. With academic or more specialist works, this process is faster and more conscious; monographs are written in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/05/05/the-thirty-years-war-by-c-v-wedgwood/

Dec 15 2015

The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal by Hubert Wolf

I’ll admit, I picked up the book because “ooh, sexy nuns!” But The Nuns Of Sant’Ambrogio turned out to be so much more: an intelligent examination of the Catholic Church in a turbulent period of the 19th century, with this scandal serving to illuminate the theological and political divides that have shaped the institution (and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/12/15/the-nuns-of-santambrogio-the-true-story-of-a-convent-in-scandal-by-hubert-wolf/

Aug 23 2015

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

It is so very difficult for me to review Marilynne Robinson’s works, because I always feel like my own prose is inadequate to describing hers. I cried a lot reading Lila, because I understand what it feels like to fall in love with someone even when you don’t trust love or people or existence, when …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/08/23/lila-by-marilynne-robinson/

Jul 27 2015

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

I had so many problem with this book! And so many compliments for it, too! First, the good bits: G Willow Wilson’s politics are solid and smart and she clearly knows what she’s talking about regarding the Middle East and class and social distinctions. I also really liked her ventures into metaphysics, theology and, with …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/07/27/alif-the-unseen-by-g-willow-wilson/

Jul 24 2015

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology And My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill & Lisa Pulitzer

Having just finished a bunch of Orwell, this was both mind-boggling and horribly sympathetic. She describes growing up in a state of repression more suited to communism or a paranoid dictatorship a la North Korea than to any religion that purports to help people self-actualize. I applaud her for having the intelligence to see that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/07/24/beyond-belief/

May 09 2015

History is Weird

The second offspring of [Jewish] messianic hopes [in eighteenth century Poland] was Frankism—from the name of its founder, Jacob Frank (?–1791). Frank’s father had fled Poland to escape persecution as a follower of Sabbatai Zevi, and Jacob Frank himself traveled widely in Romania and Greece, where (in Salonika) he met those believers in Sabbatai who …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/05/09/history-is-weird/

Jan 04 2015

The Book of Strange New Things: A Novel by Michel Faber

I admit that I was prepared to not like this book. It concerns a Christian pastor being sent to the first inhabitable planet found by humankind so that he can minister to the alien species already living there, but I quickly discovered that that was an extremely simplistic view of the story. What I had …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/01/04/the-book-of-strange-new-things-a-novel-by-michel-faber/

Jan 01 2015

Theogony / Works and Days / Shield by Hesiod

Hesiod’s poems, along with Homer’s epics, can be considered the bible of the ancient Greeks, but Hesiod’s works are far more religious in nature than Homer’s, both in theology and in moral doctrine. Theogony describes the origin of the gods and the world. I am not sure if Hesiod is simply recounting basic accepted beliefs …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/01/01/theogony-works-and-days-shield-by-hesiod/