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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

5 Responses

  1. Jacob Johnson says:

    It’s interesting that it is a noted practice for wives and mothers to exclaim somebody’s full name when taken aback by something. My mother says I would have been given the name Howard after her brother and grandfather if not for fear of me being mocked as a hotel chain. I wouldn’t have minded that name really, little did she know there isn’t any possible combination of phonemes which may allay schoolboy name-mocking.

  2. Robert Reavis says:

    Maybe the best so far and I have enjoyed all of them. Keep up the good work gentlemen—-it’s imperative !!

  3. Vince Cornell says:

    Dr. Fleming: “Now let us turn to something really exciting, which is Greek Grammar.”
    Rex: “Oh. Hooray.”
    Legitimate laugh out loud moment for me.
    Regarding “Holiness” – my moral theology professor from way back explained it this way (I’m paraphrasing to his great disadvantage). He said Protestants struggle with understanding holiness because they think of it only in terms of being pure. Holiness has two distinct meanings – one is that of being pure in a moral sense and without blemish, but the other is to be “set aside” for divine use. Which is why Catholics can talk about things such as a holy chalice, which has been blessed and dedicated solely for use as part of the sacrifice of the Mass. A chalice can’t be more or less pure in a moral sense – but it can be set aside for use only to worship and honor God. Likewise for the Holy Father as a title for the Pope – which is why scoundrels such as Alexander VI and perhaps other better known occupants of Peter’s chair can be terrible human beings but still be called “Holy Father.” It’s not a statement on their moral purity but in that they occupy the office set aside explicitly to serve and honor God.

  4. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Mr Cornell makes a valuable point that supports the argument I was outlining. If we begin with the root meanings of hagios/sanctus/holy, we can see that sanctity or holiness, while for Christians they include obedience to the moral law, that is not the original or primary sense. There is a published discussion involving Walter Burkert and Rene Girard and another between Alai de Benoit and Thomas Molnar, both of which take us farther and deeper than the usual theological use of the words as a technical term. We are dealing with man’s sense of awe in the face of the divine, something even Niezsche perhaps grasped better than the sound theologians who have composed catechisms.

    Imagine as a parallel that Wetness were a theological term used to express our duty to be fluid in approaching certain matters that were difficult to comprehend. It would then be not only useful but vitally important,after understanding wha we mean by a Tory Wet to remind ourselves that wetness is primarily an attribute of water and go from there.

  5. Sam Dickson says:

    What does it mean in the 23rd Psalm (23rd in the Western Bible but not among the Eastern Orthodox) when it says:

    “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE?”

    I have mentally crunched this many times.