Sunday, May 02, 2021

links for the weekend: The Tallis Scholars have recorded Josquin's masses (all of them); move among Christian charismatic prophets to reform movement after egregious failure in predicting Trump won 2020; and the case for a kindler, gentler Emperor Nero

It turns out Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars have finally recorded all of the masses of Josquin des Prez.


For as often as socially conservative Protestants in the United States bewail the epidemic of singleness it’s worth pointing out that the whiplash of economic disruptions can make it challenging for the kids to “adult” if the job market shifts and stable jobs are hard to come by.  So, once again, some authors at The Atlantic make a defense of the kids these days who are charged with being slow to grow up. 

Finding your first steady job in the midst of a pandemic can’t be easy for seasoned workers but I feel for the kids who are setting out to start careers now in the era of covid-19. 

Julia Duin has a feature at The Roys Report on a move to establish standards for prophetic statements in charismatic and Pentecostal scenes after the debacle of self-designated Christian prophets claiming that Trump would win the 2020 election.

 At GetReligion Richard Ostling revisits how the 2020 election in the United States revealed shifting electoral dispositions in white Catholic voters.


Was Emperor Nero really as legendarily bad as has been said about him?  The Guardian has a feature to the effect that that question is germane by way of a museum exhibit. 

The new, nicer Nero is not exactly "news" in that this was something that got some coverage last October. 

But what if Nero wasn’t such a monster? What if he didn’t invent the spectator sport of throwing Christians to the lions in the Colosseum? What if he wasn’t the tyrant who murdered upstanding Roman senators and debauched their wives? Indeed, what if the whole lurid rap sheet has been an elaborate set-up, with Nero as history’s patsy? After all, we have no eyewitness testimony from Nero’s reign. Any contemporaneous writings have been lost. The ancient Roman sources we do have date from considerably after Nero’s suicide in A.D. 68. The case against Nero, then, is largely hearsay, amplified and distorted over two millennia in history’s longest game of telephone. Besides, no one really wants to straighten out the record. Who wants another version of Nero? He’s the perfect evil tyrant just the way he is.

A few lonely voices have come to Nero’s defense. In 1562, the Milanese polymath Girolamo Cardano published a treatise, Neronis Encomium. He argued that Nero had been slandered by his principal accusers. But Cardano was having his own problems with the Inquisition at the time. Sticking up for a guy who, among other things, supposedly martyred the first Christians for fun was not likely to help his own cause. “You put your life at risk if you said something good about Nero,” says Angelo Paratico, a historian, who translated Cardano’s manifesto into English.


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