Monday, March 29, 2010

An Interview with Iconographer and Adjunct DSPT Professor, Fr. Brendan McAnerney, OP

Fr. Brendan McAnerney will be offering two courses during DSPT Summer Session: Icon-Sacred Image and Introduction to Icon Painting.

DSPT: What do people want to know about icons?

Fr. Brendan: Most of the people to whom I speak are Roman Catholics. They come from a tradition that encounters icons with increasing frequency, but they don’t really know about the theology and the tradition of the holy icons. They want to know where holy icons come from and how the Eastern churches understand and appreciate them.

DSPT: Where do icons come from?

Fr. Brendan: Formal iconography, as we now think of it, had its real beginnings in the Eastern churches, certainly in Constantinople among other centers of Christianity. Holy iconography matured and was codified in a way that was never really explored by the Western churches. In the East, iconography grew up as a systemic part of the faith, and as it developed, was theologized through disputation and because it had to be defended against heretical attack in the 8th and 9th centuries, became an integral part of the faith of the East. The Eastern Church does not regard icons as merely decorative, or as a part of liturgical or personal spiritual life that may be or may not be incorporated. Icons are a necessary component in Eastern Christianity, like Sacred Scripture. Iconography is regarded as a sacred craft in the East, one that cannot be divorced from the spiritual and liturgical lives of Eastern Christians.

DSPT: What do icons mean?

Fr. Brendan: Iconography, through the guidance of the worshipping community, its theologians, and its councils, has, over the centuries, developed an alphabet - a grammar that is profound. It’s easily taught and easily read, but it speaks profoundly… on many levels.

Icons are understood to be the vicarious presence of the one depicted. An icon is a proxy, if you will, or a mimesis, of the individual. It is not just a picture of a holy individual (Christ, the Mother of God, any of the saints), but the vicarious presence of the one depicted, the transfigured, transformed human being who now enjoys the life of the Trinity. For the Eastern Christians to approach an icon, is not simply to approach a work of art about the saint or God himself, it is to approach that individual who is present through the similarity of image. This is why we treat icons with reverence… why we incense them, pray and sing before them, bow before them… because they don’t simply represent - in the Western sense- the individuals, they are the vicarious presence of those individuals.

DSPT: Are icons an Eastern or Western tradition?

Fr. Brendan: Holy icons are not just the patrimony of the Eastern churches, they belong to the Universal Church of Jesus Christ, of which the West is an integral part. Painted images have been used and venerated in the West since the beginnings of Christianity.

One can see the artistic bedrock of iconography in the Hellenistic tradition that permeated what would become the Christian East. One example is paintings that come from a location in Egypt now called Al-Fayoum, the Fayum portraits. They are Hellenistic portraits attached to Egyptian mummies. They were painted in a style brought to Egypt by Alexander the Great about 300 BC. That style, tradition, is certainly one of the ancestors of iconography.

Christians typically met and celebrated the Eucharist on the tombs of the martyrs. After the persecutions ended with the edict of Milan (313 AD) the tradition of celebrating the Eucharist on the tombs of the martyrs was carried into the liturgical traditions of both the Eastern and the Western churches by having a martyr-saint relic in an altar-stone. Contiguous with the tradition of holy relics in the East was the tradition of holy images, another way of maintaining a continuity between the worshiping community and the Communion of Saints in the Church Triumphant, an icon being the vicarious presence of the one depicted.

DSPT: What is the spiritual meaning behind the icons?

Fr. Brendan: Icons, by their presence in a space sanctify that space. This is why most Orthodox and Eastern Catholic homes, have a corner or dedicated place where family icons are hung. The principal or patronal icon may be hung in a corner so that it can look over the entire room. In Russian it is called the “red corner,” because the word for red in Russian is the same as the word for beautiful, so it’s the beautiful corner, the spiritual heart of the house. That doesn’t mean other icons aren’t present in other places - in the bedroom, in the kitchen where one may find an icon of St. Euphrosynos, patron saint of cooks, etc.

DSPT: I have heard people refer to “reverse perspective” describing icons. What does that mean?

Fr. Brendan: In the West we have all grown up with the influence of Italian Renaissance… and so looking at a painting or photograph we anticipate a perspective that has a vanishing point in the distance. We allow the painting to draw the viewer in… so we can imagine what it would be like to walk down that country road or what it would be like to sit next to the Virgin with her Divine Child as she sits on the bench in an Italian Renaissance painting. It is very different with an icon where the “orientation point,” rather than a “vanishing point,” is the viewer… creating what is called “reverse perspective.”

An icon functions as a point of contact between the material and glorified worlds… a permeable membrane where the material and spiritual meet and sometimes cross over. It attempts to show the viewer more than “natural time,” but “transfigured” space and time. In addition, the depicted individual - whether it is Christ God, the Mother of God or one of the saints - is not simply inviting one to come into that pictorial space, but is eagerly trying to come out of that space to meet the viewer. This represents God’s initiative in establishing a relationship with a person.

This is not a passive but an active posture by God or the saints, where the one depicted, through the use of “reverse perspective,” eagerly seeks to meet the viewer in the space between the icon and the individual. Some of the old icons, painted on wooden boards that retained natural growth rings, (instead of planed, flat boards that we have today) were curved outward, towards the viewer, convex never concave. The shape of the board and “reverse perspective,” and other parts of the iconographic grammar attempt to convey the eagerness of God and His saints to be in communion with the viewer.

DSPT: So a good icon actually interacts in a metaphysical way with the viewer?

Fr. Brendan: Any “good” icon moves a viewer towards prayer. If an icon doesn’t do that, and doesn’t do that with regularity, then it’s probably not a very good icon. This doesn’t mean that a good icon needs to be complicated or of high artistic quality. In the Eastern tradition there are many “wonder-working” icons, i.e. icons that have levitated, been the occasion for cures, have wept tears, run with perfumed oil, any number of other wonders. Many of them are not artistically beautiful icons. The lesson, I suppose, is that in His providence God often chooses the lowly as instruments or occasions of particular graces… an encouragement to us all.

DSPT: Why do some use the term, “icon writing”, instead of “icon painting”?

Fr. Brendan: The term “icon writing” begins with the Greek verb graphein, “to write.” Some iconographers see the term as a significant linguistic link to the writing of Sacred Scripture, understanding holy iconography as an extension of that “writing.” However, when we speak of the “graphic arts” today we mean drawing and painting, so some iconographers fine the term “to write an icon” needlessly esoteric. In addition, holy iconography is not limited to images constructed on surfaces with paint. Icons can be woven, stitched, carved, molded and cast, making the term “writing” unnecessarily restrictive.

DSPT: How did you become interested in icon writing?

Fr. Brendan: I don’t remember not being interested in icons. I painted my first icon for my grandmother when I was 12 years old—I’m sure it was “primitive.” Then I studied art, art history, and entered the Dominican Order. As a novice I was asked to paint an icon that in the west is called Our Lady of Perpetual Help, in the East the Theotokos of the Passion, for a Filipino community in Ketchikan, Alaska. When I was serving at the Newman Center in Eugene, Oregon we needed an image of Christ the King, so I painted what I thought was an icon. Finally, my sister battled cancer for a number of years, and I prayed to St. Peregrine, the Latin patron for people with cancer. Thanks to God, she was cured, and has been cancer-free for over 20 years now. When I was assigned to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Seattle, I wanted to do something to thank St. Peregrine, so we established a novena to him. For the novena I painted what I imagined was an icon of St. Peregrine. I really didn’t know what I was doing… so went looking for formal instruction. I was fortunate to find the Antiochian Orthodox in Ligonier, Pennsylvania who were willing to teach a Roman Catholic priest. Then I studied with Vladislav Andrejev, a Russian iconographer, and have since studied with other people in the Byzantine Greek tradition of Photis Kontoglou.

DSPT: Who can write icons?

Fr. Brendan: Anyone who is called to encounter the Incarnate God in a tradition that has a particular grammar and parameters… anyone who respects the venerable and holy tradition of iconography. It is not for the “artist” who wishes to express him or her “self,” but one who wishes to serve. No previous artistic experience is necessary. That statement often intimidates people, and I can understand why… but God is not interested in how beautiful a finished icon is. Rather, He is interested in the intention of the iconographer. If the intention is not “ego-centric” but “theo-centric” the resulting icon will be “beautiful.” That’s why I am a teacher, to guide people in their iconography. People often have more facility with painting than they think they do. But even if an individual has little graphic ability… if one prayerfully follows the instruction, all will be well. I have never had anyone in a class who did not produce a credible icon, and virtually everyone loves the icon he or she creates.

DSPT: Who have you taught?

Fr. Brendan: I have taught principally Roman Catholics, but I’ve also taught Protestants and others of “non-specific affiliation.” One of my biggest supporters has been Church of the Ascension, Episcopal in Knoxville, Tennessee. I’ve been going there to teach every year for over 10 or 12 years… I’ve lost count. On their own they formed the East Tennessee Iconographers Guild. They get together once a month to pray and paint together and encourage one another… an edifying group.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Text Seminar, April 8 at DSPT

The Northern California Chapter of the St. John's College Alumni Association has the pleasure and honor of inviting you to the following text seminar at the DSPT, thanks to its president and staff, on the evening of Thursday, April Eighth, 2010, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM: Two brief, closely linked texts by Jacob Klein (1899, Libau, Latvia [then Russia] - 1978, Annapolis, Maryland), the lecture text "Modern Rationalism" (9 pp.) delivered to a class on rationalism and capitalism in the US sometime in 1938-1940, and "Phenomenology and the History of Science" (19 pp.) first published as ch. III in Philosophical Essays in Memory of Edmund Husserl, ed. Marvin Faber (Harvard University Press, 1940). Both can be found in Jacob Klein: Lectures and essays, ed. Robert B. Williamson and Elliott Zuckerman (St. John's College Press, 1985), pp. 53-84. Seminar will be led by Reynaldo Miranda, President of the Northern California Chapter. RSVP to at your earliest convenience as participation is limited, and he will send you the two texts in PDF.

How might rationalism be distinctly modern, if there is such a thing: How can modern rationalism be different from ratio? What can some of the basic relations between science and philosophy be, by way of phenomenology? Why did Husserl think European science had reached a crisis long-latent in that science? How does Husserlian phenomenology and de-sedimentation of thought provide a unique way out of this impasse. Please join us in discussing these two important texts written 70 years ago on issues that still press upon us.

Jacob Klein, PhD 1922 by University of Berlin under Nicolai Hartmann; visiting lecturer in the history of mathematics, University of Prague, 1934-35; fellow of the Moses Mendelssohn Stiftung zur Fordering der Geisteswissenchaften, 1935-37; Tutor, St, John's College at Annapolis, 1938-1978, and Dean, St. John's College at Annapolis, 1949-58, considered the re-founder of the New Program at St. John's. His books include: A Commentary on Plato's Meno (University of North Carolina Press, 1965, and University of Chicago Press, 1989), perhaps the best commentary on that dialogue written in any language; Greek Mathematical Thought and the Origin of Algebra (MIT Press, 1968, kept in print by Dover), a translation by Eva T. H. Brann of his "Die griechische Logistik und die Entstehung der Algebra" published in two parts in the Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik, Astronomie und Physik in 1934 and '36 (the first part was his Habilitation thesis that would certainly have taken place at the University of Berlin in October 1932 had it not been for the political changes in Germany, a pioneering work in that field that is still required reading); Plato's Trilogy: Theaetetus, the Sophist, and the Statesman (University of Chicago Press, 1977); and, the above mentioned Jacob Klein: Lectures and essays. Other important contributions include: "The Idea of Liberal Education" in The Goals of Higher Education, ed. W. D. Weatherford, Jr. (Harvard University Press, 1960); "Aristotle, An Introduction" in Ancients and Moderns: Essays on the Tradition of Political Philosophy, in honor of Leo Strauss, ed. Joseph Cropsey (Basic Books, 1964), perhaps the finest general introduction to Aristotle available in English; "On Liberal Education" in The Bulletin of the Association of American Colleges, vol. 52, no. 2 (Washington, D.C., 1966), text of a lecture first delivered to a Colloquium held at St. Mary's College of California in Moraga; "A Note on Plato's Parmenides" in Orbis Scriptus, Dimitrij Tschizewskij zum 70. Geburstag (Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1966); and, many articles in journals such as Interpretation, Claremont Journal of Public Affairs, Cesare Barbieri Courier, Independent Journal of Philosophy, and The Saint John's Review. His younger colleagues, students, and grand students who have carried on his work include Eva T. H. Brann, Br. Sixtus Robert Smith FSC, the Rev. J. Winfree Smith, Simon Kaplan, Robert Sacks, Robert Goldwin, David R. Lachterman, Robert B. Williamson, Curtis Wilson, and Joshua Kates.

Jacob Klein, Jasha to his friends, was educated at gymnasia in Lipetsk, Brussels, and graduated from the Friedrichs Realgymnasium, Berlin in 1917. He studied mathematics, physics, and ancient philosophy in the universities of Berlin and Marburg/Lahn. He met Leo Strauss at Marburg in 1920 and the two became life-long, close friends. He and Strauss audited Martin Heidegger's lectures at Marburg from 1923. Klein never became a Heideggerian but credited Heidegger with showing him how to read Aristotle, confident of understanding Aristotle's intentions. His devoted his life's scholarship to the recovery of classical thought, to inquiring into how the classical mode of thought had been transformed into the modern mode--one of his themes was the sedimentation of thought. His teachers and colleagues in Germany had included Jaeger, Husserl, Scheler, Hartmann, Cassirer, Heidegger, Arendt, Stein, von Hildebrand, Gadamer, Schmidt, Lowith, Jonas, Marcusse, and Levinas.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dr. Cathleen Kaveny at DSPT

Dr. Cathleen Kaveny will present "Law, Morality and the Culture Wars" at DSPT, Monday, January 25 at 7:30 pm in Classroom 1 as part of the Commonweal Lecture Series.

“Many of the most contentious issues in our society - abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia-involve the relationship of law and morality. While we can't get rid of the controversy, we might be able to alleviate it by developing a more sophisticated understanding of how law operates.” Dr. Kaveny introduces the subject of her upcoming talk at DSPT and she continues, “St. Thomas and the common law help us move beyond the dominant - and too crude -image of law as society's moral police officer."

Dr. Kaveny serves as the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. As a columnist for Commonweal Magazine and a scholar, she explores the relationship between morality and law, reconciling and analyzing the role religion and ethics play in current events. She takes on controversial issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, confronting issues ranging from torture and medical conscience clauses to Catholic academic freedom and electoral politics. A decorated scholar, Dr. Kaveny has published over forty articles and essays, served as a clerk under the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr., and earned her undergraduate and multiple graduate degrees in philosophy, theology and law from Princeton and Yale, respectively.

Current Student Profile, Br. Justin Charles Gable, OP

I was born and raised in Orange County, California. God has blessed me with two loving, faith-filled parents and an older sister who continues to be my closest friend. My high school years found me seriously questioning my beliefs, but through the guidance of the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey, I became convinced of the powerful truth of the Faith and returned to the Catholic Church. I attended the University of San Francisco, first majoring in physics and then, after discovering the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, in philosophy. I continued my study of philosophy at Fordham University in New York City, earning a master’s degree and doctorate. I made my first profession of vows as a Dominican brother this past September.

I am currently working toward a concurrent Master’s Degree in Theology and Divinity at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, taking advantage of the School’s excellent academic and pastoral courses in preparation for ordination to the priesthood. I continue to be passionately interested in philosophy and the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. These interests are fostered at the Dominican School, whose faculty understands the importance of St. Thomas’ rich synthesis of faith and reason and actively fosters ongoing dialogue between the Faith of the Church and modern and contemporary thought. It is my privilege to be a student at the Dominican School, and I am proud to be part of its extraordinary mission of cultivating the great intellectual riches of our Catholic Faith for the transformation of the modern world. I hope to teach both philosophy and theology after ordination, perhaps at the Dominican School itself!

The relics of St. John Bosco traveling through California and making a stop at DSPT!

In the tradition of pilgrimage, the relics of St John Bosco are being carried into the towns and villages, neighborhoods and centers where the Gospel is announced among the young today. This pilgrim journey through 130 nations prepares for the 200th anniversary of the saint’s birth near Turin on 16 August 1815.

The pilgrim journey began last 31 January and in September 2010, Don Bosco’s relics will journey through several U.S. cities. The proposed itinerary for the journey through California follows.

· Saturday, 11 September 2010: arrival of the relics at SFO from Tijuana, with transport to Corpus Christi Parish (2 hour reception and veneration), continuing on to SS. Peter and Paul, North Beach (reception, veneration, groups)

· Sunday, 12 September 2010: SS Peter & Paul (veneration, parish celebrations, invitation to religious and parish priests of San Francisco; ecumenical celebration; participation of Archbishop George Niederauer; youth celebration; Chinese community; Italian community; Marian societies; cultural communities of North Beach).

· Monday, 13 September 2010: SS Peter & Paul school (morning); journey from San Francisco to East Bay – Richmond, departure SSPP at 2:00 pm; arrival Salesian High School Richmond, evening (receiving the relics)

· Tuesday, 14 September 2010: Salesian High School, Richmond: triduum celebration (early morning); journey to Berkeley (DSPT) arriving 11:30; journey to Watsonville (Our Lady Help of Christians Church), arriving 4:30 pm.

· Wednesday, 15 September 2010: St Francis School, Watsonville (mass and reception for students of St Francis, Salesian Sisters, friends of St Francis); departure (11:30) from Watsonville to Los Angeles (St Mary’s Parish, Boyle Heights).

· Thursday, 16 September 2010: St Mary’s Church: mass for students of Salesian High School and volunteers from Salesian Boys and Girls Club/Salesian Family Youth Center; journey from Los Angeles to Rosemead: receiving of relics and veneration at St Brigit’s Church (11:00 pm); receiving of relics and veneration at Don Bosco Tech (1:00 pm); receiving of relics and veneration at St Joseph Youth Renewal Center (4:00 pm) with religious services and socio-cultural celebrations by a succession of groups (Search Community; Cooperators; Don Bosco Tech alumni group…).

· Friday, 17 September 2010: journey from Rosemead to Bellflower. Receiving the relics and veneration at St John Bosco High School (9:30 am); receiving the relics at St Dominic Savio School (1:30 pm), and veneration in St Dominic Savio Parish Church. Evening and night vigil services.

· Saturday, 18 September 2010: St Dominic Savio, Bellflower: religious services and socio-cultural celebrations by a succession of groups: Religious Education, Damas Salesianas, Adma, Alum (Filipino Bosconians; Vietnamese Past Pupils; Ex-alumnas latinoamericanas; Ex-alumnos de Don Bosco; alum of St Dominic Savio), ADMA, Don Bosco Volunteers; Young Adult Volunteers; SYLCSalesian Youth Movement, parishioners, Cooperator Salesians, FMA, SDB.

· Sunday, 19 September 2010: transport by air to New Orleans.

Don Bosco’s relics arrive first in San Francisco – port of arrival of Don Bosco’s sons in the United Sates in 1897 – then gradually travel to Los Angeles. Local committees will coordinate celebrations.

Faculty News: Sr. Marianne Farina, CSC

Sr. Marianne Farina and three of her students were chosen as delegates from DSPT to attend The Council of the Parliament of World's Religions held in Melbourne, Australia from December 3 through December 9, 2009. Over 6,000 people gathered from 213 countries, representing 225 religions. Their travel and expenses were funded by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

The Parliament, established in 1893, was the first major gathering of leaders from Eastern and Western spiritual traditions and it gave birth to formal world-wide interreligious dialogue. The first Parliament of World's Religions met in Chicago. It was the largest conference of the World Columbian Exposition (an early version of the world's fair). In his opening address, Swami Vivekananda spoke eloquently about the need to promote religious understanding. His words also speak to today's reality:

"Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful Earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now."

Recognizing the need to create interreligious dialogue programs, various national and international meetings followed these initial efforts. Since its reconstitution, the Council has met every five years and has expanded by including more religious communities and countries from around the world.

The 1993 Parliament opened with a keynote address on the ecological crisis and the need to promote environment justice. In light of this call, Hans Kung introduced, Towards a Global Ethic, a document offering a comprehensive approach to justice and later ratified by both faith communities and theological centers. In 1999, the Parliament met in Cape Town, South Africa, focusing on ways religions could address the AIDS epidemic. In 2004, the Parliament met in Barcelona, and representatives addressed issues about religiously motivated violence, diminishing natural resources e.g., safe water, the fate of migrants/refugees worldwide, and the elimination of external debt in developing countries.

The theme of the 2009 Parliament was Making a World of Difference: Hearing Each Other, Healing the Earth emphasizing the need for religions, civic groups, scientific, economic, and political thinkers to form partnerships capable of addressing critical needs raised in this forum since 1893. The hosts for this fifth gathering were the Aboriginal leaders of the Wurundjeri tribe, original owners of the land on which Melbourne resides.

The 2009 Council focused on ways to transform thought and action so that faith communities can "make a difference in the world and make a world out of differences." The Council's activities were divided into seven major sub-themes, program clusters, and a daily routine investigating ways to address the needs of global communities. (See

The DSPT delegates prepared a question for the group regarding the virtues and skills needed for multi-faith ministry. They stated that multi-faith leadership requires the theological virtue of caritas, love of God and love of one another in God. Love of God calls us to greater solidarity with all people. We need to see another person or religion as a neighbor and partner. Connected to caritas and solidarity are virtues of sincerity, humility (which includes the ability to critique oneself), and reciprocity, which requires openness, forgiveness, and reconciliation within and among faith communities.

In addressing the skills needed for multi-faith education, the group spoke of the need for training in compassionate listening and the development of linguistic tools to "speak" a common language. They also noted the importance of developing a pastoral vision for multi-faith ministry that, informed by the historical, cultural realities of religious traditions, will dynamically engage faith communities. The specific content of the DSPT delegate’s response sparked a lively conversation, recognizing that developing virtues and skills for multi-faith leadership is critical because it calls for the formation of the character, i.e., concentrating on ways of friendship within and among faiths.

During the final plenary of the gathering, Sr. Marianne found herself reflecting on the entire week through the lens of the indigenous people, the first custodians of Earth. Their respect for creation and their openness to discover the truths Earth teaches are models for the type of holistic networking central to the Parliament's gathering. The indigenous communities teach us ways to protect the bond we share with all creation and to acknowledge and share the gift of Earth. Pope Benedict XVI's recent encyclical, Caritas in veritate, and his 2010 Peace message highlights this important aspect stating that “The way humanity treats the environment influences the way it treats itself, and vice versa” (CV #51).

As the theme of the 2009 Council of the Parliament of World's Religions illustrates, "Hearing Each Other and Healing Earth" are not two separate projects. In light of this truth, perhaps the next generation of religious leaders, will be versed in ways to "counsel" with all creation and all world religions. In closing, the Dali Lama, Spiritual Leader of Tibet, sent the Parliament's attendees forth to "Go, Go, and Do, Do" what all had learned.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Faculty News: Sr. Barbara Green, OP

On November 21-23, Sr. Barbara attended the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in New Orleans. The SBL is the largest and probably most representative association of academic biblical scholars in the world. Sr. Barbara was invited to offer a paper in a section called Writing/Reading Jeremiah, since she has been working on that prophet for about three years and presented two papers on the book of Jeremiah at last year's SBL meeting in Boston. Her paper "Sunk in the Mud: Literary Correlation and Collaboration between King and Prophet," focused on the material where the prophet interacts with the last king of Judah, Zedekiah (350 verses, with the main portion in 38:14-28). Sister’s thesis was that the apparent opponents—the prophet Jeremiah and the king Zedekiah—deeply resemble each other and are in fact comprehensively interlocked (each is, at a given moment, described as "sunk in the mud";) their common striving makes visible a project larger than either of them: the characterization of prophecy and the survival of God’s biblical people; the failure of Jeremiah’s speech offers insight into coercive language. The paper concluded with the implication that the interlocked characterization heightens the prophet’s inability to do his apparent job well; at a moment he might have spoken effectively his word—lacking empathy—seems to boomerang; maybe that’s the point for his re-readers, then and now.