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Robyn Ashworth-Steen

Perfection of the Intellect Maimonides classified evil into three categories. Part of Maimonides’ reasoning for categorizing evil in this way was to contend that, compared to the fullness of being, evil is very limited. He was scathing in his attack on those

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Jacob Breslow, Jonathan A. Allan, Gregory Wolfman, and Clifton Evers

: 10.1057/s41305-017-0092-5 . Andrew Reilly and Ben Barry, eds. Crossing Gender Boundaries: Fashion to Create, Disrupt and Transcend (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2020), 225 pp. ISBN: 9781789381146. Hardback, $106.50. In their opening essay

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Sons of 'the modern Athens'

The Classical Union of Athletic and Intellectual Masculinities in Charles Reade's Hard Cash

Marc Milton Ducusin

Charles Reade's sensation novel Hard Cash (1863) ostensibly divides the qualities of athletic and intellectual prowess between its two main male characters, the Oxford rower Edward Dodd and the more academically inclined Alfred Hardie. Their contrasted pairing iterates the sensation genre's trope of doubled identities, while Reade's depiction of their respective aptitudes draws heavily on Classical ideals of male beauty and philosophical learning. Complicating the dichotomy, Alfred increasingly comes to embody the need for cohesion of body and intellect, thus illustrating Reade's vision of Oxford as a 'modern Athens' that 'cultivates muscle as well as mind.'

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Alex Posecznick

Most academics that I know take it for granted that higher education in capitalist countries has become deeply corporatised over the last thirty years. But as an undergraduate student in the 1990s, dreaming of joining the ranks of the professoriate, the institutional and structural changes that were transforming the university were largely hidden from my view. Looking back, I had no idea how such trends might be impacting the men and women who excited my intellect and set me on an academic path. I did not even think to ask.

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David J. Goldberg

The Liberal movement that John Rayner joined in the mid-1950s and speedily came to dominate was small, inward-looking, aimlessly treading water and intellectually undistinguished. But my conviction is that whether in its sister movement in the U.S.A., the two million strong Union of American Hebrew Congregations or in the glory days of nineteenth- century German Reform Judaism, John's powerful intellect, wide Jewish knowledge, conviction of principle, clarity of thought and concision of expression would have brought him to the forefront. When the history of Progressive Judaism comes to be written in a hundred years time, his name will be mentioned in the same breath as luminaries like Abraham Geiger, Kaufmann Kohler, Isaac Mayer Wise, Leo Baeck and Solomon Freehof. He was one of the great ones for his and future generations.

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John Lucas

Anthologies of contemporary poetry may not tell you everything you need to know about the state of the art, but they are bound to tell you something. That is their purpose. I bought my first such anthology in 1956. It was called New Lines and its editor, Robert Conquest, argued in his brief introduction that the work of the nine poets he had chosen for inclusion could be seen to restore ‘a sound and fruitful attitude to poetry, of the principle that poetry is written by and for the whole man, intellect, emotions, senses and all.’And all what, we might wonder? We might also cavil at the phrase ‘the whole man’, especially as one of the contributors to the anthology was Elizabeth Jennings. Still, I do not want to score easy points against New Lines. I remain immensely grateful to Conquest for introducing me to work by poets I was ready to admire; and I was also excited by Conquest’s determination to press the case for a particular kind of poetry, which entailed arguing that some poets were better than others. Conquest championed his poets on the grounds that their work exhibited a ‘refusal to abandon a rational structure and comprehensible language, even when the verse is most highly charged with sensuous or emotional intent.’

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Poetics and Ethics

The Saying and the Said in the Linguistically Innovative Poetry of Tom Raworth

Robert Sheppard

In 1989 Tom Raworth commented on the focus of his poetry: ‘At the back there is always the hope that there are other people … other minds, who will recognise something that they thought was to one side or not real. I hope that my poems will show them that it is real, that it does exist.’ This article will tease out the implications of this attitude, in terms of Raworth’s poems, but also in terms of a wider poetics of an alternative British poetry. Raworth was part of the growth of an experimental British poetry during the 1960s, and he joins company with Roy Fisher, Lee Harwood, Bob Cobbing and JH Prynne as an important figure in what Eric Mottram called The British Poetry Revival. Raworth’s early poems followed the dictum of Charles Olson’s projectivism that ‘ONE PERCEPTION MUST IMMEDIATELY AND DIRECTLY LEAD TO A FURTHER PERCEPTION’, without reflection, qualification or discrimination, although Raworth’s effects were often comic and surreal. The presentation of sharp detail and rapid re-location of point of view created indeterminate lyrics and fictions. Throughout the decade improvisatory intuition was pitched against a supposedly reductive intellection.

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Rereading Hannah Arendt's 'What Is Freedom?'

Freedom as a Phenomenon of Political Virtuosity

Ilya Winham

In 'What Is Freedom?', Arendt speaks of freedom as a 'phenomenon of virtuosity', claiming that this phenomenon is the original, hitherto undertheorised experience of freedom in ancient Greece and Rome, and that the idea of freedom began to appear in connection with the will in our philosophical tradition only after freedom as a phenomenon of virtuosity had in practice disappeared in the late Roman Empire - but not from all human activities in which it continued to exist in a hidden form, as the power or 'gift' of humans to begin a new line of action. My interpretation of Arendt's conception of freedom begins from and elaborates on these claims, and shows that she should be taken seriously as a critic of the late antique notion that freedom consists in the decisions we make with our will. I also show that in rejecting accounts of freedom that reduce it to a matter of the will or the intellect, Arendt relies on the notion of an inspiring 'principle' of action that functions in a manner analogous to Hegel's understanding of (moral) action as taking place against a background of unwritten rules (sittlichkeit) and as deriving its 'validity' and 'absolute' character from a spirit, or principle, immanent within it.

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John Rayner as Preacher

The Sermon in Response to Historical Events

Marc Saperstein

John Rayner certainly believed that delivering regularly a carefully prepared sermon was an integral and important component of the rabbi's role. The evidence is in his more than 1,000 sermon texts that serve as an important historical source for Liberal Judaism in the U.K. Rayner helped future scholars by preparing a detailed listing of all his sermons, from 21 June 1953 ('Ordination') to number 1,137, on 5 October 2003 (Kol Nidre: 'The People's Self-Righteousness'), including topical indices at the end. After describing more fully this unique resource, I will focus on some of his topical sermons, especially those not published in A Jewish Understanding of the World. These include thoughtful and courageous analyses of moral issues raised by the British role in the 1956 Suez campaign, near the beginning of his career, and in the Falklands War of spring 1982, and many powerful sermons on Israel in times of crisis. The texts reveal a Jewish leader with prophetic courage — though expressed always with love for the Jewish tradition, the Jewish people and the universalist dimension of Jewish values — combined with profound knowledge and penetrating intellect, expressed with clarity and directness that speaks both to the mind and to the heart.

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high level of professionalism, Alejandro was a man of sound reason, strong conviction, and an eternal smile. The international scientific community will miss his intellect, and his counsel and good humor will be greatly missed by those of us who were