Through artistry, toleration

first_imgHarvard literary scholar Stephen Greenblatt has proposed a sort of metaphor for how the world became modern. An ancient Roman poem, lost for 1,000 years, was recovered in 1417. Its presciently modern ideas — that the world is made of atoms, that there is no life after death, and that there is no purpose to creation beyond pleasure — dropped like an atomic bomb on the fixedly Christian culture of Western Europe.But this poem’s radical and transformative ideas survived what could have been a full-blown campaign against it, said Greenblatt in an Oct. 26 lecture. One reason is that it was art. A tract would have drawn the critical attention of the authorities, who during the Renaissance still hewed to Augustine’s notion that Christian beliefs were “unshakeable, unchangeable, coherent.”The ancient poem that contained such explosive ideas, and that packaged them so pleasingly, was “On the Nature of Things” (“De Rerum Natura”) by Roman poet and philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus, who died five decades before the start of the Christian era. Its intent was to counter the fear of death and the fear of the supernatural. Lucretius rendered into poetry the ideas of Epicurus, a Greek philosopher who had died some 200 years earlier. Both men embraced a core idea: that life was about the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.“The return of this poem is the Renaissance at its most radical,” said Greenblatt, who is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities and the author of “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern” (Norton, 2011). His crowded lecture, “Aesthetic Toleration: Lucretius and the Survival of Unacceptable Ideas,” was delivered at the Barker Center and was sponsored by the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard. (Respondents to the lecture were Ann Blair, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, and Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor.)Among the most stunning ideas Lucretius promoted in his poem was that the world is made of atoms, imperishable bits of matter he called “seeds.” All the rest was void — nothingness. Atoms never disappeared, but were material grist for the world’s ceaseless change, without any creator or design or afterlife.These ideas, “drawn from a defunct pagan past,” were intolerable in 15th-century Europe, said Greenblatt, so much so that for the next 200 years they had to survive every “formal and informal mechanism of aversion and repression” of the age.“A few wild exceptions” embraced this pagan past explicitly, said Greenblatt, including Dominican friar Giordano Bruno, whose “fatal public advocacy” of Lucretius came to an end in 1600. Branded a pantheist, he was imprisoned, tortured, and burned at the stake.But the poem itself, a repository of intolerable ideas, was allowed to circulate. How was this so?Greenblatt offered three explicit reasons:— Reading strategies. In the spirit of commonplace books, readers of that era focused on individual passages rather than larger (and disturbing) meanings. Readers preferred to see the poem as a primer on Latin and Greek grammar, philology, natural history, and Roman culture.— Scholarship. Official commentaries on the text were not intended to revive the radical ideas of Lucretius, but to put the language and imagery of a “dead work” in context, “a homeostatic survival,” said Greenblatt, “to make the corpse accessible.” He showed an image from a 1511 scholarly edition of the poem, in which single lines on each page lay “like a cadaver on a table,” surrounded by elaborate scholarly text. But the result was still preservation. “Scholarship,” he said, “is rarely credited properly in the history of toleration.”— Aesthetics. A 1563 annotated edition of the poem acknowledged that its precepts were alien to Christian belief, but “it is no less a poem.”“Certainly almost every one of the key principles was an offense to right-thinking Christians,” said Greenblatt. “But the poetry was compellingly, stunningly beautiful.”Its “immensely seductive form,” he said — the soul of tolerance — helped to make aesthetics the concept that bridged the gap between the Renaissance and the early modern age.Michel de Montaigne, the 16th-century French nobleman who invented the art of the essay, helped to maintain that aesthetic thread. His work includes almost 100 quotations from Lucretius. It was explicitly aesthetic appreciation of the old Roman, said Greenblatt, despite Montaigne’s own “genial willingness to submit to Christian orthodoxy.”In the end, Lucretius and the ideas he borrowed from Epicurus survived because of art. “That aesthetic dimension of the ancient work … was the key element in the survival and transmission of what was perceived … by virtually everyone in the world to be intolerable,” said Greenblatt. “The thought police were only rarely called in to investigate works of art.”One irony abides. Epicurus himself was known to say, “I spit on poetry,” yet his ideas only survive because of it. Lucretius saw his art as “honey smeared around the lip of a cup,” said Greenblatt, “that would enable readers to drink it down.”The Roman poet thought there was no creator or afterlife, but that “should not bring with it a cold emptiness,” said Greenblatt. “It shouldn’t be only the priests of the world, with their delusions, who could convey to you that feeling of the deepest wonder.”last_img read more

Walter Barnard Hill Award

first_imgFor the past 19 years, Julia Gaskin has worked to prove that conservation tillage and cover crops don’t have to be dirty words when it comes to conventional farming. Through her work with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and Georgia Organics, Gaskin has worked with farmers to incorporate methods associated with organic agriculture into traditional farming practices. This year, Gaskin, who serves as sustainable agriculture coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), received the Walter Barnard Hill Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service and Outreach on April 16 at the UGA Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach’s 27th annual Public Service and Outreach Meeting and Awards Luncheon.The annual award for public service and outreach work recognizes the contributions of UGA public service faculty to the “improvement of the quality of life in Georgia” and beyond.”Julia has been persistent in helping farmers and sustainable agriculture advocates understand that traditional and sustainable production systems aren’t mutually exclusive. Both aim to produce maximum food and fiber with minimal environmental impact,” said CAES Dean and Director Sam Pardue.”All farmers can benefit from the conservation practices that Julia teaches across the state, whether they run a 1,000-acre cotton farm or small organic vegetable operation. She focuses on practices that improve soil, reduce irrigation and reduce the need for additional fertilizer and those are good practices for Georgia’s ecosystem and for farmers’ businesses. That dogged pragmatism has made her an invaluable asset to Georgia’s agricultural community.” Gaskin has worked tirelessly to make conservation-farming practices more mainstream in traditional Georgia row-crop farming systems. In doing so, she’s earned a reputation as a pragmatic and service-oriented advocate for sustainable agriculture and farmers.She developed a Cover Crop Nitrogen Availability Calculator that allows farmers to incorporate cover crops with traditional fertilizer requirement calculations, simplifying the implementation of conservation-minded practices into traditional farming. “Building bridges is not always easy when people don’t see eye-to-eye, and it can be a lonely job,” wrote Alice Rolls, executive director of Georgia Organics, when Gaskin was awarded a CAES D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Extension in 2017. “But Julia did just that through focused perseverance and a genuine commitment to our soils and the livelihood of our farming community.” Gaskin has been awarded over $1.5 million in grant funds to support research and extension in sustainable agriculture. The Beginning Farmer Rancher Development grant, in partnership with Georgia Organics and Fort Valley State University, helps new farmers develop profitable and sustainable operations.Gaskin led the charge to equip county Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension agents across the state with the tools they need to help the growing number of organic and Certified Naturally Grown farmers working in Georgia. Through workshops, Extension bulletins, and the website, Gaskin raised the profile and strengthened UGA Extension’s Sustainable and Organic Production Team, which includes entomologists, plant pathologists, agronomists, animal scientists and plant breeders.last_img read more

Ahead: NAFCU eyes tax reform, FCC oversight hearings; NCUA Board to meet

first_imgNAFCU will monitor hearings in the House tomorrow on fundamental tax reform proposals and another on oversight of the Federal Communications Commission. The Senate begins a two-week recess today.The House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee will hold a hearing to review various tax reform proposals. This will be the first hearing in a series where members will share, discuss and promote their tax reform proposals. Committee member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., will testify during this hearing on his tax reform bill, which specifically exempts credit unions. The hearing is slated to begin at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, also tomorrow, will discuss the oversight of the Federal Communications Commission in a hearing set for 10:15 a.m. Eastern.In other hearings Tuesday:The House Financial Services Committee will hear testimony from Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on the state of the international financial system. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

The quality of the loan portfolio by tourism sector is the best among all activities

first_imgIn Croatia, the value of partially recoverable and fully non-performing loans increased significantly in banks’ portfolios during the crisis years.The largest part of partially collectible and completely non-performing loans was generated in the loan portfolio of economic entities, the Department of Macroeconomic Analysis of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce points out, adding that there is a noticeable difference in the quality of the loan portfolio of certain activities. real estate, have become more risky than others.The corporate clients of banks in the tourism industry are currently, according to the value of loans, the third most important clients of banks, after the processing industry and trade. Thus, the value of loans in this sector this year reached a record level of HRK 10,1 billion (as at 30 June 6), thus becoming the third largest customer of banks within the non-financial corporations sector, with a share of 2017%.At the same time, the quality of their loan portfolio much better than in the mentioned two sectors, moreover, it is the best among all activities. Higher quality clients from this industry can be related to the fact that companies in the tourism industry survived the crisis years much more painlessly than most industries, which allowed them to grow and better creditworthiness.Attachment: Credit quality in tourismlast_img read more

England players have created their own history: Southgate

first_imgMoscow, July 4: England coach Gareth Southgate said his men have created their own history and the team wanted to win more after their victory over Colombia in the World Cup.England won the World Cup round of 16 game at the Spartak Stadium beating Colombia 4-3 on penalties to reach the quarterfinals. The score was 1-1 after 90 minutes. It is the first time that England has won a penalty shootout in World Cup history.Southgate said at a post-match press conference on Tuesday that the victory was a really important moment, reports Xinhua news agency.“Not just winning the shootout but having to suffer at the end of the game in a stadium there were huge numbers of Colombian fans and we felt like an away fixture. Tonight, we showed we don’t have to conform to what’s gone before. We have created our own history, and I don’t want to go home yet,” he said.Southgate also hopes the result will give belief to “generations of (English) players that will follow”. The coach revealed that his team has prepared for a penalty shootout situation.“We’d talked about owning the process, and we got the rewards tonight. We looked at individual techniques and how we needed to be as a team. The goalkeepers have been very important in that as well,” the 47-year-old coach said.After defeating Colombia, England will face Sweden in the quarterfinals on July 7 in Samara and winners of that match will play either Russia or Croatia on July 11.Southgate said the match against Sweden will be difficult.“Sweden is another team we have a poor record against, who we’ve underestimated in the past. We know exactly how they play and it’s going to be a real tough test,” he said. (IANS)last_img read more

Replay fixed for North Tipp final

Following a thrilling draw last weekend Burgess and Nenagh Eire Og meet again in Nenagh at 1.15 with extra-time to be played if necessary.A Nenagh goal in the 4th minute of injury time levelled proceedings at McDonagh Park last Sunday.

Berekum Chelsea end Kotoko’s unbeaten run

first_imgBerekum Chelsea ended Asante Kotoko’s unbeaten run after defeating the league champions 2-0 in their week-12 Glo Premier League duel at the Golden City Park, Berekum.The victory which pushed the former champions to the apex of the league table was masterminded by former Kotoko striker, Eric Bekoe.The Porcupine Warriors hoped to return from Berekum with their 11-game unbeaten run intact, but the host had other ideas having profited from bad blood between Kotoko and Bekoe to sign the player earlier in the season.Bekoe, stroke first in the 22nd minute taking advantage of poor defending, with former Kotoko midfield dynamo, Jordan Opoku adding to the tally to put the hosts in cruise control.Kotoko returned from the break determined to overturn the scores, but Chelsea appeared resolute to send the former home empty handed.The defeat means Kotoko are five points behind Chelsea and fifth place on the log with three games to end the first round.last_img read more

Parma’s Europa League place handed to Torino

first_imgParma has lost its appeal against a decision not to grant it a UEFA license for next season and Torino will take its place in the Europa League.The Italian football federation denied Parma the license after a mistake saw the club underpay a tax bill by 300,000 euros ($408,000).On Thursday, Italy’s High Court rejected Parma’s appeal. The club is likely to take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.Pending the outcome of that appeal, Torino has been awarded Parma’s place in next season’s Europa League.Torino missed out on European football with virtually the last kick of the season, finishing a point and a place behind Parma in the Serie A standings.last_img read more

Gerald Ankrah storms Asempa FM studio to dispel rumors

first_imgHearts General Manager Gerald Ankrah uncharacteristically stormed the studios of Asempa FM on Wednesday morning.His agenda?To dispel rumors he had fuelled a rift between Hearts coach Kenichi Yatsuhashi and team manager Sabahn Quaye.On the daily Ultimate Sports Morning Show, pundits Aziz Haruna Futah (ex-management member), Kobby Jones and Thomas Moreaux took turns to lambast Hearts of Oak and, in particular, Gerald Ankrah for the poor state of affairs.Chief amongst the complains were the fact that Gerald had been rumored to have personally given head coach Kenichi Yatsuhasi a list of players to be transfer-listed including Emmanuel Hayford – who is one of team’s more enterprising names.Ankrah was also accused of turning team manager Sabahn Quaye against Yatsuhashi, causing a rift between the pair at Hearts’ training on Monday. The show was going on devoid of any drama when, unannounced and uninvited, Gerald Ankrah appeared in the studio to react to all allegations.The administrator was confident in answering all questions, but he did not escape without a few hairy moments as the panel grilled him.The General Manager categorically denied both rumors labelled against but did not hesitate to admit there were challenges within the club which in his view were normal in every human institution.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Southee’s swing: Tim Southee on par with Sachin Tendulkar’s number of sixes in test…

first_imgAdvertisement With a red cherry, swinging the ball in the air is the attribute that one would correlate Tim Southee with rather than a clean swing of a bat to dispatch the ball into the stands. But as per the stats, Southee is also pretty good at the latter skill.Advertisement Coming into bat at No.8 during the second innings of the first Test in Galle, Southee achieved a rare feat with the bat by equalling the tally of the number of sixes hit by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar in the longest format.Advertisement During the pacer’s short-lived innings of 14 off 19 deliveries, he hit a solitary six which was enough to get his tally to 69. He just needs one more to be level with Pakistan’s Younis Khan.Sachin Tendulkar reached 69 sixes in 329 innings while it only took 89 innings for the right-arm seamer. The current record for the maximum sixes in the longest format is held by Southee’s former teammate and captain Brendon McCullum, who has hit a staggering 107 sixes over the course of his career.Advertisement Read Also:Cherry loves Boult: Sri Lankan players puzzled after ball gets stuck into Trent Boult’s helmet\ Advertisementlast_img read more