Professor lectures on Dante’s literary and theological influences

first_imgDr. Robin Kirkpatrick, poet, professor emeritus of Italian and English Literature at the University of Cambridge and scholar of Dante and the Renaissance, delivered the University’s annual Religion and Literature lecture, titled “The Pace of Praise: Might Theology Walk Together with Literature?”Dr. Kirkpatrick, whose 2006 translation of Dante’s epic poem “The Divine Comedy” has been described as “one of the most important contributions to Dante scholarship of recent times,” spoke about the relationship between religion and literature with a particular focus on “The Divine Comedy” and how literary works like it are connected to the art of praise.“One impulse, common to literary study and theology, is a desire to cultivate and promote the language of intelligent praise” Kirkpatrick said, “But it may also be said that the point of theology in one of its aspects is to prepare our language for its use in performance, prayer and literature, and focusing our thoughts on … praise.”Kirkpatrick said Chaucer’s “Troilus and Criseyde” and “Purgatorio” the second part of “The Divine Comedy” are works of literature that can be a approached as a form of theological discovery.“The late Middle Ages saw the invention, or re-invention, of literature as an independent field of human endeavor,” he said. “The texts in question call into play …  the stress between pain and praise that a Psalm might display, but equally, for scrupulous attention to language.”Kirkpatrick said the combination of Dante’s use of detailed theological augmentation and distinctly poetic language characterized the way praise is approached in literature, particularly the slow tempo at which it is delivered.“As capable as Dante is of the highest flights of imagination, grotesquery as well as ecstasy, the foundation of his art is an unremitting clarity of articulation,” he said. “As incarnate beings we speak at our best not in high-flown rhetoric, but along the pulse of silence.”Following the logic of Dante’s references to faith revealing itself in infidelity, authors who may be seen as “searching, violent or even blasphemous” can make a serious contribution to theological studies, and similarly, the use of surprising language in the Psalms can make a contribution to praise as a form of literature, Kirkpatrick said. He said the end of Psalm 137 is one such example.“Scripture is full of scandals, which may shock the poet out of cliche, or predictable sentiment,” Kirkpatrick said.Dr. Kirkpatrick is a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the departments of Religion and Literature at Notre Dame this semester.Tags: Dante, Pace of Praise, Psalmlast_img read more

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On the blogs: U.S. coal has not flourished as advertised under Trump

first_imgOn the blogs: U.S. coal has not flourished as advertised under Trump FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ThinkProgress.org:Newly released data shows the coal industry is doing worse today than it was when President Barack Obama was preparing to leave office in January 2017. Coal production is still on the decline. Coal-fired power plants are still closing. And Trump’s own Department of Energy doesn’t see these trends reversing anytime soon. In other words, Trump hasn’t reversed the downward financial trajectory of the industry that started years ago.New forecasts from the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) show coal production will decline by 1.1 percent in 2018 and drop by another 1.8 percent in 2019. Despite an increase in coal exports, according to the report, declining domestic consumption is making it unprofitable for coal producers to keep mining.By next year, exports won’t be picking up the slack like they did in 2017. The EIA, in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook released Tuesday, projects that both coal exports and domestic coal consumption will decrease in 2019.As a generation fuel, EIA forecasts that coal’s share of U.S. electricity generation will steadily decline from 30 percent in 2017 to 28 percent in 2018 and 27 percent in 2019. In 1997, the average share of electricity generated from coal had reached 52.8 percent.Natural gas has been the leading fuel used for electricity generation since 2015 when it surpassed coal in the generation mix. The shale gas boom started flooding the market with natural gas in the late 2000s, making it cheaper as a generation fuel source than coal.At the same time, renewables continued to boom. In 2017, wind supplied 6.3 percent of electricity generation and utility-scale solar made up 1.3 percent. Meanwhile, 2017 was the first time a reduction in U.S. power sector carbon emissions could be attributed more to renewable energy and energy conservation than the nation switching from coal to natural gas to generate electricity.Since 2010, at least 50,000 megawatts of coal-fired generating capacity have been retired. “Those millions of tons of lost coal production aren’t coming back. We see an additional 15,000 megawatts of coal-fired capacity closing this year, with more retirements on the horizon in coming years,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) wrote in a report released in March.Speaking at an American Coal Conference in New Mexico on Monday, Luke Popovich, former vice president of communications for the National Mining Association, said “the coal industry learned there is life after death” after Trump’s surprise election victory, according to Taylor Kuykendall, a coal reporter for S&P Global Market Intelligence.At other events, industry officials have applauded Trump’s announcement, made on June 1, that he had ordered the Department of Energy to look into a way to prop up coal and nuclear plants. Chris Hamilton, vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association, exuded optimism upon learning that Trump and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R), a coal industry magnate, were coming to the industry’s rescue.“Without question, this is the best news in my 40-year career in the coal industry,” Hamilton said at a coal industry meeting in West Virginia. “It’s bigger than big. Never before in the history of mining has our state and federal political leadership been able to achieve the benefits to coal that are embodied in the Trump-Justice plan.”But few people outside the coal and nuclear industries support the plan. And few experts believe that anything Trump might have up his sleeve will restore the coal industry back to its glory days.More: Coal industry on steady decline under Trump’s leadershiplast_img read more

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UN-BEE-LIEVABLE! SWARM SENDS SHOPPERS RUNNING FOR COVER

first_imgShoppers couldn’t BEE-lieve their eyes when a swarm of honey bees gathered outside a busy supermarket.An estimated 40,000 of the Black Irish honey bees decided to make their home outside Lafferty’s Supermarket in the village of Creeslough.The shop, which is normally buzzing, was left almost empty for more than four hours before help was called to get rid of the bees. Danny Martin Lafferty, owner of Lafferty’s Supermarket, said the bees definitely took the sting out of his afternoon trade!“I looked outside and I could see people waving their arms outside. It looked like it was snowing for a while.“Then I looked closer and I could see this cloud of bees. Needless to say a lot of people were afraid to come near the shop for the afternoon while they were here,” he said.Nobody knows why the bees chose the entrance above the supermarket to gather but amazingly not one person was stung. Danny called a local bee-keeper who arrived with the necessary equipment to get rid of the swarm.The man managed to sweep the Queen Bee into a holding box before transporting it away.The bee-keeper, who asked not to be named, said he gets dozens of calls from people asking him to remove wasps and other insects each summer.“I’m a bee-keeper and I would only remove honey bees. There must be up to 40 different types of bees and wasps.“If people come across wasps or other insects then they would be better calling a pest control company. “There is still a perception out that that bees sting but it rarely happens. Most bees are so full of honey that they wouldn’t have the energy to muster a sting,” he said.Meanwhile supermarket owner Danny Martin Lafferty said the only visible remains of the unBEElieavable drama were a few trampled creatures.“That’s bees and not customers,” laughed Danny Martin.UN-BEE-LIEVABLE! SWARM SENDS SHOPPERS RUNNING FOR COVER was last modified: July 14th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:beesCreesloughDanny MartinLafferty’s Supermarketswarmlast_img read more

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