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"Space exploration helps us grow as human beings.
We are driven to seek beyond…"

- Lindy Elkins-Tanton
Principal Investigator of the NASA mission to Psyche

The New Year is a time to celebrate our past while planning our future. It is a time to dream and imagine all that is possible for the coming days. Like those who marveled at the stars and planets before they could reach them, may we aim for what feels beyond us and trust we will arrive where we are meant to be—all in the right time.

May 2023 be filled with the good, bright, and beautiful.

Below, we offer all our Fall 2022 publications.
Plus, our Editors share some essays, poems, and podcasts that they enjoy.
Happy New Year's Reading!



"Long before there was even the idea of the technology that might let us do it, people have imagined space travel."

Read more from NASA's Lindy Elkins-Tanton: The NASA Psyche Project: A Story from The Intermission
"In his landmark study, Defending Muhammad in Modernity, SherAli Tareen proposes an innovative answer to the question that has puzzled scholars for decades."

"What is at stake? Tareen’s answer is this: a different vision of the world than what is offered by secular liberalism."

Read all our contributors and Tareen's response to scholars in "A Forum on SherAli Tareen's Defending Mohammad in Modernity"


"The historical claims for the purity of medieval Prussia aided the Nazi occupation, genocide, and ethnic cleansing in Polish and Baltic areas. The control of memory and its destruction, as well as conscious political framing, shaped an entire research tradition around the issue of Jewish absence in Prussia-Lithuania."

Read more from NC State University professor of history, Julie Mell, in Judaism and the Reshaping of Medieval Historiography


Photo by <a href="">Cristina Gottardi</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

"Livy matters because he tells a good story, and then shows us the holes in the narrative and invites us to make choices that matter to who you are and how you want to be, whether you’re a simple reader or the emperor of Rome."

Read more from UT Austin's Ayelet Haimson Lushkov in "Why Livy Matters"
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"Ami’s ancient Indian dance, with its origins in the Natya Shastra (circa 300 B.C.E.), is sculpture in motion. The stage becomes the temple, and the body becomes deity after deity, avatar after avatar."

Read more of Amit Majmudar's essay from his recent book, Black Avatar, in "Becoming The Idol: Classical Indian Dance"
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"I’m particularly keen to set science within a wider historical, cultural, and philosophical context: to show where ideas come from, how they evolve, and how the cultures in which they arise influence the forms they take."

Read more from writer, broadcaster, and 2022 recipient of the The Royal Society’s Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture award, Philip Ball, interviewed by Marginalia Review of Books' Editor-in-Chief, Samuel Loncar, in "Science as A Human Story: An Interview with Philip Ball"

Part of our Meanings of Science in The Modern World Project

"Our fixation on dates, hours, and seconds is a relatively recent development, and people living in earlier ages did not share it."

Read more from Professor of History and Principal Emeritus, Queen's University, Daniel Woolf, in "From Spoons to Garter Belts: Inscribing Time in Early Modern Britain"


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"As Latinx communities were increasingly being pushed out of their barrios by urban renewal, activists demanded that religious institutions take responsibility for ongoing colonial practices."

Read more from postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Mahindra Center for the Humanities, Barbara Sostaita, in "Latinx Activists:Politics, Theology, and Church Occupation"
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"Kafka’s inner movement—complex, secret, and hidden—finds its analogy in an external artwork. He tries to scratch that mystical itch by way of an imaginative story that would resemble the shape of what was hidden inside him...."

Read more from Samuel Lui in "Kafka's Lost Son"

"Trump’s language ... reveals a much more widespread American phenomenon: a tendency to raise the Constitution almost to the status of Scripture, to worship it as a document containing a revelation of the Word of God."

Read more from co-author of The Prophet of Harvard Law, Taylor Jipp, in "How the Constitution Became America's Bible"
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"Elkins-Tanton’s memoir joins a small group that is reconfiguring the way science is presented and framed: not as a triumphant march of discovery but as an intimate journey in which researchers navigate their own dilemmas, struggles and traumas at the same time as they try to expand our knowledge of the physical world."

Read more from writer, broadcaster, and Marginalia's Contributing Editor for Science, Philip Ball, in "From Siberia to NASA: Confronting Sexism in Science"



"To Vesey, Charleston was so thoroughly immersed in the sin of slaveholding that it, like the ancient city of Jericho and the nation of Egypt, was already living under 'divine condemnation.'"

Read more from Director for the Center of the Study of Slavery in Charleston, Bernard E. Powers Jr., in "Denmark Vesey: Conspiracy, Scripture, and Slave Rebellion"

"Scientists are increasingly ... being pushed into the limelight with a microphone put in front of them. That’s a situation which is dangerous for them and dangerous for the public."

Read more from Director Emerita of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Lorraine Daston, interviewed by Marginalia Review of Books' Editor-in-Chief, Samuel Loncar, in "Does Science Need History? A Conversation with Lorraine Daston"

Part of our Meanings of Science in the Modern World Project
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"In the years before World War II, constitutional, economic, and societal breakdown in the newly created Weimar Republic cascaded into the better-known and more often invoked evils of the Nazi regime."

Read more from Evan Kuehn in "Can Weimar Germany Help Us Now?"
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"The story is told in exacting and dramatic language, so that the reader wants to know what happens next. What we have here is 'a page turner.'"

Read more from Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Syracuse University, Frederick Beiser, in "Inheriting Autonomy: The German Romantics Reconsidered"

"Here are distinct signs that the poet John Keats’ Grecian Urn has found its voice again. This is a surprise."

Read more from physicist and Professor of Natural Philosophy (Emeritus) in the Department of Physics at the University of York, UK, Tom McLeish, in "Beauty and Truth Again? Lessons from Physics, Art, and Theology"

Part of our Meanings of Science in the Modern World Project


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"Inside, you could mostly find old siddurim, stray Haggadot, spare copies of the Hebrew Bible, and the occasional misplaced Christian missal."

Read more from Yeshua Tolle in "Hebrew Literature and The Fate of American Hebraism"
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"The answer any particular scholar might give. . .impacts how they approach the sources they study and the narratives they construct. We find different answers depending on where we look."

Read more from Associate Professor in the Theology Department at Fordham University, Sarit Kattan Gribetz, in "History's Imagined Past: How Scholars Invented Historical Time"
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"It is that friction of personal experience within a stratified religious tradition that ignites the fire of mysticism... Religious systems which reduce themselves to a single idea lack the framework within which the mystical impulse ignites."

Read more from Rabbi Pinchas Giller in "Mysticism and Kabbalah: A Controversy"
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"Thoreau models what I describe in the book as 'political asceticism,' which is to say, asceticism – like that of some famous saints and mystics – that is driven by a religious and political commitment to a just economy, including ecological flourishing for all beings."

Read all our contributors and Balthrop-Lewis' response in "A Forum on Alda Balthrop-Lewis' Thoreau's Religion"

Our Editors Are Reading, Watching, and Listening to...

To the New Year

"so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible"

Read W.S. Merwin's full poem here.
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Golden Sea | Makoto Fujimura

Join Marginalia Review of Books' Editor-in-Chief, Samuel Loncar, for his conversation with internationally recognized artist, Makoto Fujimura.

In this conversation, Fujimura shares his story and his wisdom explaining how art is a way of becoming human, how it can help us live with suffering, and even reveal the divine world in everyday life.
"The new ugliness is defined in part by an abandonment of function and form: buildings afraid to look like buildings, cars that look like renderings, restaurants that look like the apps that control them. New York City is a city increasingly in quotation marks...."

Read more from N+1 Editors, "Why is Everything So Ugly"

"You wake the dead to life,
you fountain of grace,
you fire in thickets of tangled thought.

“Today you arrived beaming with laughter—
that swinging key that unlocks prison doors..."

Join host of NPR's Poetry Unbound, Pádraig Ó Tuama, as he reads and reflects on the importance of Rumi as a Muslim poet and life-changing friendships.

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