The Gifford Lectures: A Review of Dyson Freeman’s ‘Infinite In All Directions’



All rights to the following review, shown here in part and in full via link, are held by Templeton Press.

Science writing of nearly every shade is axiomatically time-sensitive; a lecture on the origins of life from a perspective in the natural sciences, from an theorectical physicist such as Freeman Dyson, therefore emerges as ‘dated’ fairly quickly. Thankfully, Dyson takes his title Infinite In All Directions—quoting Emil Wiechert—very much to heart, with the common thread of the book emerging not in its sequential facts, but instead in its consistent and multicontextual bid for diversity, the “chief source of beauty and value, in the natural universe around is, in the governance of human societies, and in the depths of our individual souls” (xiii).

With the most recent 2004 edition offering the author’s own perspective on what has and has not proven obsolete since the original 1988 publication, Dyson is clear as to the thematic thrust of his work, admitting that he has no desire to “revise” the piece to update the science; in functional terms, though, the necessary updates would do nothing to add or detract from the great value of Dyson’s work where it stands to be gleaned from the the philosophical insights he never shirks, and arguably circles back to as a rule.


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Some Blood-Soaked Point: A Review of ‘Tarantino and Theology’

When dealing with a creator as distinctive in style, content, attitude, and execution as Quentin Tarantino, the reactions to both the man and his works (to say nothing of their implications) is usually much like Tarantino’s approach itself: loud, colorful, passionate, divisive, and maybe just a little bit out of left field, for better, and also sometimes for worse. Be it one of these things, all of these things, some of these things, or none of them, Tarantino and Theology brings to the table an anthology of essays leading us up through Tarantino’s second-most-recent feature-length release—Django Unchained—and released in advance of his first-most-recent film, The Hateful Eight.


At large, the collection boasts a vast breadth of focus and style: perhaps in itself reminiscent of the iconic Kill Bill: Vol. 1 scene with the Crazy 88s—a veritable fountain of unending lifeblood spouting from a singular source only to soak from various angles, leaving singular splatter-patterns that still share the same crimson hue (or, in the case of the scene’s monochrome: deeply saturated grey).


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What Ships Are Built For: A Review of Callid Keefe-Perry’s ‘Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer’

I was fortunate enough to receive a free copy of Callid Keefe-Perry’s Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer for review purposes from Wipf & Stock, as a part of the Theopoetics Book Blog Tour (where you’ll find a number of lovely and insightful reviews of the book, as well as thoughtful commentary/conversation about theopoetics underway).

Image courtesy of Wipf and Stock.

Image courtesy of Wipf and Stock.

At the risk of over-extending the imagery of the book title itself, I found myself pulled by the currents of two streams in considering the book as a whole: the first being what the book does; the second being what it doesn’t do (which perhaps implies an indictment of the work itself, but is not that in the slightest), and what that means.

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