Friday, November 27, 2015

Good news

Dear Rector,

This week the Czech Pension Service began to send me an old-age pension. So I won't do any busking at St James after all. Still, my attempt to do so remains deeply inscribed in my mind. For when I visited St James while the Sunday November 22nd Service was still on, I read the program for the Communion on the board. There was to be read the Epistle to the Hebrews. It conjured up great memories in my mind. In 1977 I read the Epistle with Jan Heller, Professor of the Old Testament studies at the Protestant Theological Faculty in Prague. It took a lot of courage to do so on his part, for I was one of the signatories of the Human Rights document Charter 77. To illustrate the atmosphere of those days; I walked along the Paris Street and saw a friend I hadn't seen for years; a teacher of logic at the Philosophy Faculty of Charles University. Delighted, I called his name 'Karle'! He furtively looked around, turned back, and ran away like a small frightened kid.

My reading the Epistle to the Hebrews with Jan Heller was a very important experience for me. Since then, I had only two comparable experiences. In 1983, in Oxford, I read Aristotle's Eudemian Ethics with the Master of Balliol, Dr Anthony Kenny, the whole of it, just the two of us, at Balliol College. And then, again in Oxford, I read Paul's Epistle to the Romans with Catherine Ross and a few of her friends. Catherine was a retired teacher from Somerville College, and a daughter of W. D. Ross, unquestionably the greatest English speaking Aristotelian scholar.

With best wishes,
Julius Tomin
PS If you have time, you can hear my readings from The New Testament in the Ancient Greek on my website

No comments:

Post a Comment