I’m a student of history, which means that I like poking around in dry textbooks, and a medievalist in training, which means I read about dry old men. I’m interested generally in intellectual history, the history of science, and the history of theology. I have a few convictions. I am an atheist, but I believe that religion has been a positive force in the world. I believe that reason and faith are reconcilable, and were successfully reconciled by religious thinkers through the medieval period. I believe, based on some cultural developments of the middle ages, that relations between Islam and the rest of the world can be repaired successfully. Finally, I believe that modern science has its roots in medieval philosophy.
I am a critic and lover of Greco-Roman culture, and have gotten irrationally fired up in debates on the subject on more than one occasion. I remember when I first finished the Bacchae I was furious, as I couldn’t accept that the revenge Dionysus took was morally right.
I also have an interest in the continued development of the Islamic world. When I was young I saw 9/11 on television, and it impacted massively how I see the world. It took me a long time to grasp what that day meant. I would like to think that in the years since I have come to approach the Middle East from a place of real empathy without sacrificing a more realistic analysis.
As of this time, I can read a little bit of Latin.
As I update this blog, I hope to show a continued progression in my understanding of the middle ages and the philosophers and theologians of the period, as well as each of my other interests.
A lot of what you’re going to see from me, however, will be reviews of media I’m interested in. Films, television shows, video games, comic books, and literature. That combination of academia with other interests will also mean that you’ll see the occasional quasi-critical essay.
In particular, I will write fairly often about violence and horror. I tend to vary wildly from high-class horror, all the way down to truly despicable low-brow gore. The reasons for this are more complex than I’m willing to discuss here. At any rate, I find a great deal of meaning in violence.
The question of what I have coming up remains. I’m currently running through Thomas Madden’s history of the crusades (the unillustrated one, not the illustrated one he’s an editor for), and might be continuing on to Jonathan Riley-Smith’s. I’ll be working on a review of the samurai flick Sword of Doom. I just burned through True Detective and a couple of seasons of Justified as well, and was pretty enthusiastic about those. Also, when I finish Phoenix Wright soon I might put up a review.