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Embattled America: The Rise of Anti-Politics and America's Obsession with Religion

A democracy, if we can keep it

At this fearful time in American democracy, the best way to starve anti-democratic forces of their energy is to change the subject away from conservative religion and demand investment in civic education, democratic localism, and human rights.

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The Private Life of William Shakespeare

Religion: was Shakespeare raised Catholic?

In this OUPblog post, Lena Cowen Orlin, author of the “detailed and dazzling” ‘The Private Life of William Shakespeare’ asks, was Shakespeare raised Catholic, and what role did his father, John, play.

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Perspectival Realism

Public trust in model-based science: moving beyond the “view from nowhere”

Never more than during the COVID-19 pandemic, the public has been reminded of the importance of science and the need to trust scientific advice and model-based public health policy. The delicate triangulation among scientific experts, policymakers, and the public, which is so central to fight misinformation and mistrust, has shone a light on a well-entrenched “view from nowhere” that science is often identified with. Why trust experts and their model-based policy anyway?

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From Servant to Savant

Classical music, privilege, and ghosts of the French Revolution

The word privilege is a lightning rod in United States culture. For some, it indexes systemic inequities shaped by race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality, while for others, it represents a “woke” vocabulary used to enforce political correctness. Perhaps unsurprisingly, accusations of privilege have reached the classical music world.

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The Old Hundredth Psalm Tune

Recalling hymn tunes by Ralph Vaughan Williams

Hymn tunes of Ralph Vaughan Williams find consensus: undisputed quality. The foremost English composer of his generation is credited with composing, adapting, or arranging more than 80 tunes set to important hymns of our faith.

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Moby Dick Oxford World's Classics

Moby-Dick is the answer. What is the question?

In December 2021, I was a contestant on the popular American quiz show Jeopardy! Every Jeopardy! game has a brief segment in which contestants share anecdotes about themselves, and I used my time to proselytize reading Moby-Dick. I talked about my work on the new Oxford World’s Classics edition of the novel, and emphasized that Melville’s novel is unexpectedly weird, moving, and hilarious despite its monumental reputation.

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Salvation on earth: “saviour” gods in Ancient Greece

Salvation on earth: “saviour” gods in Ancient Greece

What did it mean to be “saved” in antiquity? In a polytheistic system where multiple gods and goddesses reigned, which ones did the ancient Greeks turn to as their “saviour” and how could the gods be persuaded to “save”? Theodora Jim investigates how the Greeks imagine, solicit, and experience divine saving as they confronted the unknown and unknowable, and how their hopes of “salvation” differ from that in Christianity.

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Grove Music

Eurovision 2022 in tempore belli: voices of the people, protest, and peace

Months before the Grand Finale of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 14, 2022 in Turin, Italy, Ukraine was able to claim both moral and musical victory with its entry, the Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania” (Stephanie). Together with the official videos of all other national entries, “Stefania” began circulating globally on multiple internet platforms in the early weeks of 2022, even as the threat of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine intensified and then reached the full force of invasion on 24 February.

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