The Surprising Historical Significance of Fortune-Telling

The possible futures predicted by fortune-telling happen just often enough to tantalize, preying on our deepest aspirations of catching a “big break.” By Cody Delistraty / 10.26.2016 In 1786, 14-year-old Marie Anne Lenormand ran away from the convent school where she was raised. Lenormand set off to Paris on her own, where she learned the[…]

Why a 14th-Century Mystic Appeals to Today’s ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’ Americans?

Meister Eckhart was a 14th-century Dominican friar, who gave sermons on the direct experience of God. His words are finding resonance among today’s spiritual seekers. By Dr. Joel Harrington / 12.06.2018Centennial Professor of HistoryVanderbilt University The percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religious tradition continues to rise annually. Not all of them, however, are atheists or agnostics. Many[…]

Thomas Aquinas and the Shape of Law

Recovering a more capacious social topology from the Thomist theology that modern Western philosophy supplanted. Titled Declarations of Dependence: Money, Aesthetics, and the Politics of Care(University of Nebraska Press, July 2018) my recent book develops the insights of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) for critical theory and aesthetics. While the modern Liberal imagination treats money as a finite, private and[…]

The Genesis of Secular Politics in Medieval Philosophy: The King of Averroes and the Emperor of Dante

By Dr. Sabeen AhmedPhD Candidate, Department of PhilosophyVanderbilt University Poi ch’innalzai un poco piu’le ciglia,vidi ‘l maestro di color che sannoseder tra filosofica famigliaEuclide geometrae Tolomeo,Ipocrate, Avicenna e GalienoAverois, che ‘l gran comento feo. Dante Alighieri[1] Abstract In contemporary political discourse, the “clash of civilizations” rhetoric often undergirds philosophical analyses of “democracy” both at home[…]

The Domus Aurea: From the Ashes of Rome, Nero’s ‘Golden House’

The Domus Aurea (Golden House), located between the Esquiline and Palatine Hills, was one of Nero’s most extravagant projects. The Domus Aurea (Latin, “Golden House”) was a large landscaped portico villa built by the Emperor Nero in the heart of ancient Rome, after the great fire in 64 C.E. had cleared away the aristocratic dwellings on the[…]

Palaces in Ancient Egypt: Cities for Kings and Gods

Illustration of the ancient palace of Malkata The grandeur that early European explorers had come to expect in royal building programs seems to have been reserved for sacred space and funerary complexes. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction For early European explorers in Egypt, it was inconceivable that the massive monumental[…]