Music this week is “Isn’t That What Friends Are For?” from Bruce Cockburn’s 1999 album Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu.

General Introduction
– What’s on the blog?
All hail Craig Farmer (no relation)
– Old Man Gilmour tells us all to get off his lawn

Friendship in the Ancient World
– Aristotle’s friendship between equals
– Can friendship exist without sexual contact?
– Cicero’s common pursuit of good things

David and Jonathan
– David Grubbs’ personal connection
– Why were David and Jonathan friends at all?
– The “homosexual” reading of David and Jonathan
– (Please pardon our oscillating fan during this segment)
– Exploding the dichotomy of sexual identification
– In which we cast David and Jonathan in a Judd Apatow movie

Christ and His Friends
– Nathan gets technical
– Jesus shakes things up
– A new kind of philia and agape

The Friendship of the Inklings
– Michial admits that he ripped this episode off
– Who were the Inklings?
– The friendship of common interests
– When friendship gets brutal

Michial Extemporizes About Existentialism
– Seeking a jingle for this segment
– The glory of the isolated individual
– Why is hell other people?
– How religion solves the problem
– Buber’s I and Thou, and Marcel’s testimony
– Let’s get linguistic

Literary Friendships
– Jeremy Irons speaks some sense!
– Achilles and Patroclus
– Watson makes Holmes more human
– Tolkien’s interracial friendships
– American literature and friendship
– Ishmael drops Queequeg
– Huck and Jim vs. Marlowe and Lennox

Ephemeral Friendships
– Grubbs invokes Old English (as usual)
– Do you have real friends in high school?
– The we and the that
– (Sorry—I can’t make this edit sound natural. Blame Skype!)

Friends and the Internet
– Michial’s 221 Facebook friends
– No offense if you like The Matrix
– Mutual pursuit of intellectual excellence
– The illusion of mutuality
– Getting rid of Aristotle
– David endorses South Park blanketedly

A Specifically Christian Friendship
– Let’s talk ecclesiology
– Radical inclusivity
– “In Christ There Is No East or West”
– “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
– “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood”


Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Trans. W.D. Ross. The Complete Works of Aristotle. Ed. Jonathan Barnes. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1984. 1729-1867.

Buber, Martin. I and Thou. Trans. Walter Kaufmann. New York: Touchstone, 1970.

Chandler, Raymond. The Long Goodbye. New York: Vintage, 1988.

Cicero. Laelius, on Friendship and the Dream of Scipio. Trans. J.G.F. Powell. Oxford: Aris and Phillips, 1991.

Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Complete Sherlock Holmes. Seattle: CreateSpace, 2010.

Homer. The Iliad. Trans. E.V. Rieu. New York: Penguin, 2003.

Lewis, C.S. The Four Loves. New York: Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt, 1991.

Marcel, Gabriel. The Philosophy of Existentialism. Trans. Manya Harari. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel, 1956.

Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick. New York: Norton, 2001.

Plato. Phaedrus. Trans. Alexander Nehamas and Paul Woodruff. Complete Works. Ed. John M. Cooper. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1997. 506-536.

Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness. Trans. Hazel Barnes. New York: Washington Square, 1956.

—. No Exit. Trans. Stuart Gilbert. No Exit and Three Other Plays. New York: Vintage, 1989. 1-46.

Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice. London: Arden Shakespeare, 2011.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings. New York: Harper Collins, 2002.

Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Norton, 1998.

3 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode 26: Friendship”
  1. Self-correction: my friend Jonathan is, in fact, 5 months younger than me. Like King Arthur, I routinely confuse the numbers 3 and 5.

  2. I wish I’d gotten farther in Cicero before the podcast. I was reading it on my iPod (how hipster is that?) in the waiting room for Micah’s x-ray this afternoon, and Cicero’s Laelius actually cites Achilles and Patroclos as the highest paradigm of friendship. I could have tied that together nicely.

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