The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode 41: Carpe Diem

General Introduction
– We’re all back!
– Farmer’s hobbit faux pas

Defining the Phenomenon
– Robin Williams and the English Romantics
– Personal fulfillment
– Raging against the machine with Glee
– How does one make life extraordinary, anyway?
– “Let your freak flag fly”: carpe diem gets crass

Hebrews and Greeks: A New Kind of Lazy Dichotomy
– Horace coins the terms
– How we all got Epicurus wrong
– Moderate partying, CHARLIE SHEEN
– Lack of ambition in Epicurean circles
– The Hebraic conflation
– Misreading Ecclesiastes
– The range of reactions in the canon

Is Christ a Hippie?
– We’re not supposed to worry about tomorrow, man
– The cultural difference
– A matter of faith
– Paul’s nod toward Epicurus

Let’s Talk Literature!
– Church of England priests get nasty
– Material reasons for carpe diem
– King Edwin regrets
– Drinking with Medieval Robin Williams
– Seizing the university life
– Privileged and petulant
– Libertarians and Stoics

Mad Dog Gilmour Breaks the Chain
– Why you can’t live every day like you’re dying
– Responsibility matters
– The lesson of J. Alfred Prufrock

The Takeaway
– Theological context is important
– Existentialism! Existentialism! Existentialism!


Bede. Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Trans. Leo Sherley-Price. New York: Penguin, 1991.

Epicurus. Letters, Principal Doctrines, and Vatican Sayings. Trans. Russel M. Geer. New York: Macmillan, 1964.

Herrick, Robert. The Poetical Works of Robert Herrick. Ed. F.W. Moorman. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell UP, 2009.

Horace. The Complete Odes and Epodes: With the Centennial Hymn. Trans. W.G. Shepherd. New York: Penguin, 1983.

Marvell, Andrew. The Complete Poems. Ed. Elizabeth Story Donno. New York: Penguin, 2005.

Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. Boston: Beacon, 2004.

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