Word of the Week

I have just completed reading volume 1.1 of Karl Barth’s ‘Church Dogmatics’.There are a few things from the latter parts of the book that I am keen to share. So once I pinpoint a focus statement from my notes, I’ll post a reflection on it in the days to come.

In addition, I have started reading my fourth Jean Bethke Elshtain book, called ‘Democracy on Trial’. Using a pic from one of the sunsets here in Australia last week, and a quote from the Elshtain’s forward, I produced some word art (or meme) yesterday. Scroll down from here if you missed it.

I suspect that reading Elshtain’s thoughts on this topic, like her other work, will raise questions for me. Yet, at the same time better frame the issues I was introduced to in her book ‘Sovereignty’ and the YouTube lecture from recent years on the topic. It is important to point out that Jean Elshtain is a feminist, with balance, who allows room for the voices of theological input. For anyone interested the 1 hour long lecture can be viewed here at this link. (not a waste of your time).

When reading through some of the book last night I came across the word ‘perfervid’ – If you’re wondering what it means, don’t worry. At the time I had no idea what it meant either.

According to Merriam-Webster it means : ‘marked by overwrought or exaggerated emotion: excessively fervent.

Synonyms include ardent, blazing, hot-blooded, religious (curiously), impassioned.

Antonyms include: detached, dry, impersonal, objective.

In context, Elshtain uses this word to qualify what she calls the ‘ideology of victimisation’. Worth noting is her attempt to map out what she sees as developments in politics and society. Her aim here is at the ones which present themselves as dangers to democracy and civil society. One way in which Elshtain achieves this is by exposing double standards. A preeminent example of this is found on page 16:

‘We witness the morally exhausted Left embracing the logic of the market by endorsing the translation of wants into rights…on the other hand the political Right love the untrammelled (regulation, restrictions) – (or less trammelled the better) operations of the market in economic life, but call for a state-enforced restoration of traditional morality’ [1].

Finally, I think (emphasise think) that I have finished my blog renovation. Any feedback, including suggestions on improving the new look would be appreciated.


Elshtain, J.B 1995 Democracy on Trial BasicBooks, Perseus Book Group [1]

Merriam-Webster online

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