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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | Triplet »

September 30, 2005



Nobody ever got rich writing for the academic market, I fear. In the 1970s I worked in an academic bookshop in England, and the day we received our first paperback priced at £200.00 sterling (about $280.00 in those days) we all went to the pub to celebrate.

About four years later, after I'd moved on, I went back to visit, and there it was still sitting on the same shelf like an old, reliable friend. Bless.

Tom Harrison

In your note about academic freedom, it seems to me that the articles you cite are only incompatible if we equate 'Christian' with 'conservative.'


Tom: actually, I'm not. Mansfield's essay proposes that intellectual diversity is a prerequisite for seeking truth; if we follow his position, a college that proposes a religious test for hiring and extends such tests into areas outside the theology department cannot be "seeking truth." The politics of the college in question don't matter. Obviously, confessional colleges that don't impose such tests (many Jesuit schools, Earlham College, etc.) are perfectly compatible with Mansfield's position.

The initial problem, to be honest, lies with Mansfield, not with the other two: he blithely proceeds as if confessional colleges don't exist, even though they actually pose serious problems for his argument. Big elephant in the room.

Trite R.

Jesus may very well have been tempted by Satin - I know I am. It's just so... glossy!


Safire, a year or two ago in the Times magazine, asked for readers'greatest linguistic annoyances. I sent in "begging the question" used meaning "raises the question" and felt very pedantic for wanting to maintain the traditional, logical, meaning of the phrase. I think he reported that my complaint was the most frequently lodged of all that he received.

F.John Perry

Judging by the usage of the term "begging the question" in recent years, even by professional writers, I would say that its traditional meaning is doomed -- just as doomed as the proper usage of the word "problematic".

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