Summer Reading and Escapes: Dr. Samuel Kessler Posted on August 17th, 2020 by

We’ve left the second week of August and entered the third. And my, things on campus just keep on changing! But reading and learning stay the same, and trying to think deeply about remains ever challenging. That’s true regardless of if one sits in a college library or in one’s own living room.

Today it’s my turn to share a few things I’ve been reading and thinking about.

Related to the Study of Religion, I’m reading Benjamin Lau’s The Sages, David Bentley Hart’s new translation of the New Testament, and John Barton’s magisterial new A History of the Bible. I’ve also been listening to Rabbi Shai Held’s lectures on the Psalms.

Prompted by another podcast I was listening to (put out by Koren Publishers Jerusalem), a question posed by a friend, and my own course from this past spring, on evil, sin, and suffering, I recently re-read Rav Soloveitchik’s discussion of theodicy in his classic Kol Dodi Dofek.

But sometimes, one just needs a little bit of fun. My wife and I just finished the Netflix series Warrior Nun (based on a comic book), which from its title alone sounds utterly ridiculous. But no! It was great. It didn’t take itself too seriously, but it also truly respected religion and had a fun storyline and a delightful cast. Filmed in Spain, I believe, so it’s gorgeous.

Also, for the sheer amazement of human beings in action, occasionally I watch this page. It live-tracks changes to Wikipedia pages. It’s amazing. (Make sure to turn on some of the foreign languages at the bottom.)


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