Brother Cadfael: An Appreciation | CrimeReads

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Sample covers of three of the books in the series of medieval mysteries, The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, by Ellis Peters.

Any writer who can make a living by her pen can be proud of her work, but it wasn’t until 1977, when A Morbid Taste for Bones introduced Cadfael, that Pargeter made her bid for literary immortality.

Source: Brother Cadfael: An Appreciation | CrimeReads

The Anglophilic Anglican has alluded to this excellent series of historical mysteries – “The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael,” by Ellis Peters (nom de plume of medieval scholar, author, and Shrewsbury, England, resident Edith Pargeter) – but I have not addressed them directly. Let me make up for that omission, now!

For those who may not be aware, the Cadfael Chronicles are a long-running series of medieval mysteries comprising 21 volumes – 20 novels and a short-story collection – written between 1977 and 1994, and set in 12th-century England: specifically, in the years 1137–1145, in and around the town (city) of Shrewsbury, near the Welsh border, and its Benedictine monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul.

The protagonist, the eponymous Brother Cadfael of the aforementioned monastery, is both monk and herbalist, as well as a sot of medieval private investigator; a veteran Crusader and one-time sailor who – having seen much of the known world, in his first half-century or so – has chosen this quiet (?) harbor to live out the remainder of his earthy life.

Let’s let Levi Stahl tell it: Continue reading “Brother Cadfael: An Appreciation | CrimeReads”

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Sky Views: Tanker crisis requires decisive action on Iran or UK will be seen as soft target | World News | Sky News

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Pictured is the HMS Montrose, a Type 23 (Duke class) frigate of the Royal Navy which successfully fended off an Iranian attempt to board a tanker a week ago, but was too far away to intervene in time, this time (the tanker ignored radio instructions from the Montrose, which did not help). Montrose is the only warship Britain currently has in the Gulf, to cover the 90-mile Strait of Homuz.

Source: Sky Views: Tanker crisis requires decisive action on Iran or UK will be seen as soft target | World News | Sky News

An increasingly belligerent Iran has now seized a British tanker, and the UK and its Royal Navy seems, to all appearances, to be almost helpless to respond, or at least to respond promptly, sufficiently, and effectively.

“Another factor looming large over all response options must be the reality that the Royal Navy no longer has sufficient warships to dedicate to escorting maritime traffic through the Gulf and at the same time maintain its other commitments around the world.

“I know such an operation would be done as part of an alliance but it is troubling that a maritime nation like the UK, which is also a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, is no longer able to offer even the semblance of a sovereign capability to protect its interests at sea.”

Indeed! The author of this piece continues, Continue reading “Sky Views: Tanker crisis requires decisive action on Iran or UK will be seen as soft target | World News | Sky News”

Three books added to my reading list

 

 

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It is only occasionally that The Anglophilic Anglican writes book reviews, and to post on books I have not yet read is unprecedented. But these are three that not only pique my interest, but which I feel may turn out to be important reads. If I am right, I shall review them after I’ve read them! But for now, I’m simply sharing my interest, with the thought that they may prove of interest to my readers, too. As usual, the italicized, indented sections of text are quotes, in this case from the relevant Amazon listings:

Andrew Willard Jones: Before Church and State: A Study of Social Order in the Sacramental Kingdom of St. Louis IX (2017).

Before Church and State: A Study of Social Order in the Sacramental Kingdom of St. Louis IX by Andrew Willard Jones explores in great detail the “problem of Church and State” in thirteenth-century France. It argues that while the spiritual and temporal powers existed, they were not parallel structures attempting to govern the same social space in a contest over sovereignty. Rather, the spiritual and the temporal powers were wrapped up together in a differentiated and sacramental world, and both included the other as aspects of their very identity. The realm was governed not by proto-absolutist institutions, but rather by networks of friends that cut across lay/clerical lines. Ultimately, the king’s “fullness of power” and the papacy’s “fullness of power” came together to govern a single social order.

Before Church and State reconstructs this social order through a detailed examination of the documentary evidence, arguing that the order was fundamentally sacramental and that it was ultimately congruent with contemporary incarnational and trinitarian theologies and the notions of proper order that they supported. Because of this, modern categories of secular politics cannot be made to capture its essence but rather paint always a distorted portrait in modernity’s image.

In both my B.A. studies – in which I pursued a self-designed major in medieval studies, including history, literature, and philosophy – and my Masters work in early and medieval Christianity, one thing that was a given was the perennial tension, sometimes struggle, and sometimes conflict, between Church and State. It wasn’t something that was defended; it didn’t need to be. It was simply a foundational, underlying assumption.

But even then, I caught glimpses hinting that there might be more to the story; Continue reading “Three books added to my reading list”

BBC News – The Mary Rose: A Tudor ship’s secrets revealed

More than 30 years after it was raised from the seabed – and almost 500 years since it sank – the secrets of Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose, are being revealed to the public – along with the faces of its crew.

Source: BBC News – The Mary Rose: A Tudor ship’s secrets revealed

The Anglophilic Anglican has not been posting much that is either Anglophilic or Anglican, of late! I shall try to correct that imbalance: one should not stick one’s head in the ground, especially at a time of crisis for the Western world; but on the other hand, man cannot live by politics alone, either – at least not without going stark raving crazy!

At any rate, I would love to visit the Mary Rose Museum – dedicated to King Henry VIII’s flagship, sunk in 1545 and raised in 1982 – in Portsmouth, England, one day:

“Every artefact on show here is an original piece found with the wreck. Some of the cannons were still sticking out of the gunports when it was discovered in 1971.

“The Mary Rose was raised from the seabed of the Solent in 1982, and has been on display before, but it is only now that insights into life on board are being shown to the public.

“Forensic scientists, more used to working with murder victims, have recreated the faces of seven of the about 500 men who died when the ship sank in 1545.

“The new Mary Rose Museum has been dedicated to them, and it is through them the story of the ship is now being told.”

As I say, I would love to visit, some day! I do hope I get back to England, before I die…

Pendant of H.M.S. Tiger
Tudor naval streamer or pendant – “The Tudor naval streamer was a long, tapering flag, flown from the top of the forecastle, between 20 yards or longer in lenght, and up to 8 yards wide.” (https://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/gb~tudor.html#dragon)

Continue reading “BBC News – The Mary Rose: A Tudor ship’s secrets revealed”

Trump Builds Wall Made of Mexico: Ends U.S. Asylum for Pass-Through Migrants | YouTube

So, basically, President Trump – famous for saying he would “build a wall and make Mexico pay for it” – has done himself one better: he’s built, as the title of this video puts it, a “wall made of Mexico”!

Source: Trump Builds Wall Made of Mexico: Ends U.S. Asylum for Pass-Through Migrants | YouTube

Some of us have said for some time that people who pass through one safe country (such as Mexico) on their way to another one they like better (such as the United States) have ceased to be refugees, in need of asylum; they have become migrants, in search of a better deal (or, as this video aptly puts it, they are engaged in “real estate shopping”). And if they seek ingress by violent means, as some have, they are no longer migrants, but invaders!

Migrants may, arguably, have a right to migrate; but certainly the lands they migrate into have a right to decide whether or not they want them there, and to deny them entry (or kick them back out again) if they do not.

Some Left-wing talking heads have commented on the irony of Americans complaining about unwanted immigrants after what we did to the Native Americans, and they’re not wrong about that; but they are missing (or intentionally ignoring) the point: what happened to the Native Americans is a textbook example – and a cautionary tale – of what happens if unwanted immigrants are not denied entry or kicked back out!

As A.G. Barr has pointed out, a large number of people are attempting to use our asylum system – intended to benefit a relatively small number of people who are genuinely oppressed and in fear for their lives due to their racial, ethnic, religious, or political identity – as a back-door to economic immigration: a work-around to the ordinary process of legal immigration. That needs to stop, and Barr’s action is an important step to seeing that it does stop.

In any case, a good, interesting, and informative video!

 

Does Diversity Really Unite Us? Citizenship and Immigration | Imprimis

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Historically, constitutional government has been found only in the nation-state, where the people share a common good and are dedicated to the same principles and purposes.

Source: Does Diversity Really Unite Us? Citizenship and Immigration – Imprimis

What we are up against, continued – in the words of Dr. Edward J. Erler (whose bio lends him considerable credibility on this issue):

“In the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump appealed to the importance of citizens and borders. In other words, Trump took his stand on behalf of the nation-state and citizenship against the idea of a homogeneous world-state populated by ‘universal persons.’ In appealing directly to the people, Trump succeeded in defeating both political parties, the media, political professionals, pollsters, academics, and the bureaucratic class. All these groups formed part of the bi-partisan cartel that had represented the entrenched interests of the Washington establishment for many years. Although defeated in the election, the cartel has not given up. It is fighting a desperate battle to maintain its power.

“Historically, constitutional government has been found only in the nation-state, where the people share a common good and are dedicated to the same principles and purposes. The homogeneous world-state—the European Union on a global scale—will not be a constitutional democracy; it will be the administration of ‘universal personhood’ without the inconvenience of having to rely on the consent of the governed. It will be government by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats, much like the burgeoning administrative state that is today expanding its reach and magnifying its power in the United States. ‘Universal persons’ will not be citizens; they will be clients or subjects. Rights will be superfluous because the collective welfare of the community—determined by the bureaucrats—will have superseded the rights of individuals…

“In support of all this, we are asked to believe something incredible: that the American character is defined only by its unlimited acceptance of diversity. A defined American character—devotion to republican principles, republican virtue, the habits and manners of free citizens, self-reliance—would in that case be impermissibly exclusive, and thus impermissibly American. The homogeneous world-state recognizes only openness, devotion to diversity, and acceptance as virtues. It must therefore condemn exclusivity as its greatest vice. It is the nation-state that insists on exclusive citizenship and immigration policies that impose various kinds of restrictions.”

It will be no mystery to any reader of this blog upon which side of this divide I have pitched my tent! Furthermore, Dr. Erler asks, Continue reading “Does Diversity Really Unite Us? Citizenship and Immigration | Imprimis”

US Supreme Court on Immigration (1892)

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“It is an accepted maxim of international law, that every sovereign nation has the power, as inherent in sovereignty, and essential to its self-preservation, to forbid the entrance of foreigners within its dominions, or to admit them only in such cases and upon such conditions as it may see fit to prescribe.”

– Supreme Court of the United States, Nishimura Ekiu v. United States (1892).

This decision has never been revoked or overturned.