Author Archives: AKMA

The Flesh Is Weak

This evening, Margaret and I were dining on a sumptuous feast of leftovers, including some fried aubergine with garlic — friend aubergine and garlic that had made the most of its time in the refrigerator. And it had gathered its … Continue reading

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Adding Words

You have graciously borne with me in considering communication by wordless inference, in both non-intentional (“natural”) and intentional (“conscious animal life”) circumstances. I used inverted commas in my parenthetical characterisations because I’d like to allow for non-intentional inference in circumstances … Continue reading

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Not That ‘Happy’

Well-intentioned vicar Dick Keith of St Eormengyth’s Church in the Isle of Thanet generated concern and dismay at the Easter service this morning. The priest — perhaps inspired by the BBC television series ‘Rev’, and apparently hoping to piggy-back on … Continue reading

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Busy Holy Saturday

I know, I missed Maundy Thursday, and now I’m taking this feeble way out of posting today as well. I spent all day today working on a sermon, all the time that I wasn’t praying or rehearsing. But at least … Continue reading

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Without Words

“Inference” is a tricky category. We can think of plenty of instances for which we can specify precise criteria for successful inference, but these are swamped by the plenitude of situations in which successful inference from circumstances can be judged … Continue reading

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No Licence No Cross

So this is the story: St Stephen’s House had been planning, for months, to enact an open-air Passion Play in our East Oxford neighbourhood. We’d been planning, rehearsing, arranging, for months (led by my dear friend and colleague Fr Damian, … Continue reading

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Jeely Piece O’ My Heart

Now, this is the pivotal dimension of my first premise: all interpretive activity involves inference as its key element. Whether I’m interpreting cloud formations, or the quality of light in my bedroom, or gestures, or spoken words (the interpretation of … Continue reading

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Justifying Means

I’d like to pause here for a moment to distinguish several usages of the verb “mean.” In the first, we say “I mean” in the sense of “I intend”; in a second, we say “That [word] means” in a lexical/semantic … Continue reading

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Ref Log

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Forward Into The Past

I might be photographing my Sheaffer pens today if I weren’t trying to imagine a short sermon for Monday. As I am in fact trying to dream up a Monday sermon, I will note in passing that some dear friends … Continue reading

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I Didn’t Know You Cared

Let’s start with waking up in the morning. My bedroom is lighter than it was several hours ago, perhaps even admitting a beam of light or two. I infer that it’s time to get out of bed, or at least … Continue reading

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On Interpretation

A great many hermeneutical conundrums fall away if one gives up the initial premise that words and language constitute the paradigmatic instance of meaning, expression, and communication. If one begins by recognising that words/language are the least typical instance of … Continue reading

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