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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal/Theological Notebook: Stern Future Authoritative Father; Cahill & Evans on Things Medieval 
11th-Dec-2007 10:35 am
Michelangelo's Tomb 2006
After getting Angie's card the other day, as I mentioned below, I coincidentally happened to hear Friday from another LOMC alum. Peter Booth, seen here in our famed pic as "Stern Future Authoritative Historians," announced to me on Friday that he and Lia had succeeded in September in adding to their family.

It being some time since we talked, you will not know of Mini-Me. He was born on 17 September so is still a Wee Man, but both Lia and I are besotted with him. Official name is Panayiotis Neil Lewis Norleigh Booth – a mouthful, but it gets everyone’s family in. Meaning of ‘Panayiotis’ = male version of ‘Panaghia’, the Greek name for the Virgin Mary which roughly translates as ‘saint of all saints’.

I checked out your new website – have you put on weight? You’re looking well in the pictures. I hope your health is holding up and it’s not a trick of the light. Where do you find the time to write so much stuff? It takes me forever to get anything down in words. Anyway, I hope you’re well and still enjoying Wisconsin. Let me know what you’re up to!

Best wishes,

Peter Booth
This is, of course, the best of all possible news. Peter works now in some kind of international trade tax something, all beyond my understanding, as England is glutted with medieval historians. (His Ph.D. is in late medieval history, particularly around the War of the Roses and such.) He now, whatever he said in the note, gets more writing and publishing done now that he's officially working elsewhere and history can be his "hobby." I imagine this will take a hit under the weight of diapers and such, but that's all to the good. Lia is a human rights lawyer from Athens, and was finishing up a doctorate in human rights law, but that too, I imagine, might be on the backburner for a time.

Anyway, I'm a bit jazzed on the good news, and looking forward to a long phone conversation sometime soon. Eek. Which reminds me of other calls I need to make. My first class took their Final Exam at the evil hour of 8am yesterday, which left me in a zombie-like state. I'm devouring general works on medieval history at the moment, half with an eye toward next semester's class. I've been reading the Thomas Cahill volume from his Hinges of History series (I'm curious to see if these would be useful for students or in my class structure) with some interest, Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe, curious to see how he's presenting the period to our society which still is stuck in the anti-medieval perspectives of Victorian historians. I've grit my teeth a few times at generalizations he could and ought to have easily overthrown, but there's enough other pluses that I'm still favourable at this point.... I'll follow that up with a new survey put out by one of our greatest: Gillian Evans' The Church in the Early Middle Ages, on whom I think I"m developing a scholar-crush. She totally rules. Her Academics and the Real World is incredibly engaging and is as clear and reasoned an assessment on the impact of the universities being brought under the umbrella of business as I've seen.
11th-Dec-2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
I've been a fan of Cahill, although Desire of the Everlasting Hills is the only one of his books I've read straight through. But, despite a somewhat reductionist point of view (and, really, I didn't know that, then), that book was one reason I pursued my MTS.

Congratulations to your friends. I have to wonder...are they calling their son by a nickname? Pan, perhaps?
12th-Dec-2007 12:52 am (UTC)
I was wondering that last, too!

I read through the Paul chapter of The Desire of the Everlasting Hills before jumping ship to the Medieval book. I didn't expect to see a great deal that was new to me in Desire, content-wise, and that was pretty much an accurate assumption after this much schooling, but his presentation and choice of emphases were interesting. For example, with Paul, his continual emphasis on Paul's insight being the identification of the church with Christ – even in the Damascus Road experience – really caught my eye (as intended). So I guess it's its pedagogical approaches that are really striking me to this point. I look forward to jumping back to that and seeing what's in the rest, particularly how he's going to present John.
12th-Dec-2007 12:18 am (UTC)
Are you guys wearing 'jorts'?
12th-Dec-2007 12:55 am (UTC)
I think Peter is; me, I'm wearing those short shorts/nylon running shorts, which I wore past their days of style, up until doing my Master's at Notre Dame, when I was asked by the women of the graduate programs to not do so, as very little was apparently left to their imagination....
12th-Dec-2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
12th-Dec-2007 08:43 pm (UTC) - With all due sensitivity, not
You guys are two freeky geeks and should burn all copies, even electronic, of this. And it seems by your friends naming conventions that he has already doctrinated his poor son into worse name bashing that freeky geeks.

Wack, totally wierd. OMG, how f=ing wierd.

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