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Athens, Arden, Jerusalem


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Professor or Friend? On the Intention and Manner of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, by Leon R. Kass Chapter 2: Schiller's "Wily Odysseus"-A Poetic Hint-, by Gisela Berns Chapter 3: Recognizing Odysseus: The Role of Signs in Odyssey 19-23, by Margaret Kirby Chapter 4: Logos and Voice in Sophocles' Ajax, by Arlene Saxonhouse Chapter 5: Civic Friendship in the Philoctetes, by Paul Ludwig Chapter 6. Defeat into Victory: The Strategy of Odysseus in Sophocles' Ajax and Philoctetes, by Adam Schulman Chapter 7: Pindar's Wisdom: Terror at the Edge, Victory Joy at the Center, by William Mullen Chapter 8. Lady Macbeth: The Tyrant's Wife, by Eva Brann Chapter 9. Guarding the Salt-Water Girdle: Lovers and Kings in Cymbeline, by Kate Havard Chapter 10: Falstaff Riseth Up, by Louis Petrich Chapter 11. What Makes a Kingdom? Plants, Poetry, and Politics in Richard II, by Paul Wilford Chapter 12: Reason in Madness, or Madness in Reason? On the Political Interstices of King Lear, by Jeff Smith Chapter 13: Antony and Cleopatra: Antony's Return to Egypt, by Pamela Kraus Chapter 14. Philosophy (and Athens) in Decay: Timon of Athens, by Jan H. Blits Chapter 15: Woman and Nature: The Female Drama in the Book of Genesis, by Ronna Burger Chapter 16. The Life and Death of Aaron the Priest, by Robert Sacks Chapter 17. Beyond Sighing and Swooning: Love in the Book of Ruth, by Alan Rubenstein Chapter 18: Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Hebraic Strain of American Thought, by Wilfred McClay

About the Author

Paul T. Wilford is assistant professor of political science at Boston College. Kate Havard is a writer, research analyst, and theater critic in Washington, D.C.


The best readers are a curious breed-at once remarkably open, almost naive in their willingness to take the ordinary, the surface, seriously, and yet remarkably sophisticated in their deep respect for and attention to the difficulty and detail of what they seek to understand. Athens, Arden, Jerusalem honors Mera Flaumenhaft, a paradigmatically good reader, with nineteen essays by others, friends who are good readers in their own rights. The book is a feast of interpretations-of the poetry of Greek antiquity, of the Bible, and especially of Shakespeare as encompassing both Athens and Jerusalem. Like the work of Mera Flaumenhaft herself, these essays are uniformly insightful, intelligent, and, above all, elegantly written. -- Michael Davis, Sarah Lawrence College
Readers interested in the moral and political problems dramatized in literary works will find much to ponder in this collection of essays. Written in honor of Mera Flaumenhaft, the essays cluster around the three foci of her work: Greek tragedy, Shakespeare, and the Hebrew Bible. Authored mostly, but not primarily by her colleagues and students at St. John's College, the essays are all elegantly written for generally educated readers, and are as pleasant to read as they are enlightening. -- Catherine Zuckert, University of Notre Dame
For those who know her, Mera Flaumenhaft has been a true friend, because she has been a true friend of liberal education. Now, even those who don't know her can have some sense of what liberal education is all about, thanks to this extremely rich and rewarding collection of essays. Wilford and Havard have collected essays that use Mera's own interests in Greek philosophers and poets, in Shakespeare, and in the Hebrew Bible and the Biblical tradition as an occasion to think again about the deepest questions of politics, philosophy, and divinity. And what a job they have done! The essays collected here will be of interest far beyond the particular occasion of their composition and will be sought after by readers from many different approaches and with many different interests. By thinking again about the moral and intellectual sources that have nourished a beloved teacher and friend, the authors of the essays in this book help keep the tradition of liberal education alive, even while looking ahead to its unknowable future. -- Thomas W. Merrill, American University

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