Friday, June 16, 2006

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From today's BMCR missive (2006.06.22), a review of G. E. R. Lloyd's book The Delusions of Invulnerability: Wisdom and Morality in Ancient Greece, as reviewed by James Jope, independent scholar, and H. Lyman Miller, Hoover Institute:
In spite of Lloyd's keen understanding of ancient Greek psychology, and the comparison -- telling not only for Greece but also for the West -- with China, the argument of this chapter seems weakened by the digression on Mediaeval Christianity. Few educated readers will disagree with Lloyd's criticism of American hegemonism, but it is oversimplified, precisely because Lloyd contrasts America with Christianity, after discussing the latter only as a mediaeval phenomenon. (Even such a recent doctrine as the nineteenth-century dogma of papal infallibility -- which undoubtedly merits discussion among delusions of invulnerability -- seems to be classed as mediaeval.) Unfortunately, the Republicans' reliance on wealth and power is driven not only by uncritical consumerism but by the serious political ideology of American Christian Fundamentalism, the importance of which Lloyd and many Europeans have not yet apprehended.

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