Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs teaches online classes at He is the author of How To Be UnluckySomething They Will Not Forget, and Blasphemers. His wife is generous and his children are funny.

Joshua Gibbs Feb 21, 2014

A questionnaire given to students after finishing The Discarded Image, yet before beginning a conversation about the book.

On a scale of 1 to 6, where…

1 means “Strongly Disagree”

2 means “Disagree”

3 means “Kind of disagree,”

4 means “Kind of agree”

5 means “Agree”

6 means “Strongly agree”

…please respond to the following statements.

1.___The Medievals were more superstitious than contemporary Americans.

2.___The Medievals were less moral than contemporary Americans.

Joshua Gibbs Feb 19, 2014

This week, a host of classes at Trinitas will celebrate Zeus's Family Reunion, an annual feast day wherein students dress up as gods and goddesses and give presentations on Greek mythology. I was asked to deliver a brief apologia at the beginning of the feast to describe why Christians study the gods and goddesses. 

Joshua Gibbs Feb 18, 2014

"...a god of purity and brightness and the clarity of perfect form, the most radiant and visible of all that is divine, but also a god always more distant, more hidden, whose arrows fly from farther and ever farther away; the shining one, the lord of poetry and song and prophecy, but also the god of wrathful countenance, who slays with the gentle bolt or instantanteous death; the lord of cleansing sunlight and of the clear, sweet water of living springs, the purifier and the healer, but also the death-dealing god of plague and spiritual contagion; wise, invincible, the god of consummate hum

Joshua Gibbs Feb 13, 2014

Liberalism and conservatism, explained in two fables I wrote for Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Edmund Burke

A Fable by Jean-Jacques Rousseau:

Joshua Gibbs Feb 12, 2014

Count me as one of those amused by the self-congratulation inherent in just about every American news story about how primitive Sochi is. In the weeks leading up to the 2014 Olympics, my favorite media outrage was the one about stray dogs being rounded up and put down before Olympic visitors arrived in town. Never mind the 8000 strays euthanized in New York City every year, or the 3 million strays put down yearly in the US, what happened to the Sochi strays seemed little worse than murder by Daily Mail standards.

Joshua Gibbs Feb 9, 2014

Several months ago, Babette’s Feast received a Criterion release accompanied by a fat little book of essays about the film, as well as the Isak Denisen short story upon which the film was based. In the last several years, I have seen the film five times and loved it so much I named a daughter after the heroine, although, until several weeks ago, I had not ventured through the text.

The film is unfailingly fair to the story, but until you’ve read the story, the film is merely a gorgeous hibernating animal. You read the story, though, and the bear will dance.

Joshua Gibbs Feb 7, 2014

A final exam I recently gave on The Consolation of Philosophy.

Write a conversation between yourself and Lady Philosophy. Lady Philosophy wants you to be happy, although you have recently gotten away with something sinful and you think you might feel better once you have confessed it to the person you sinned against. You have your reasons for not confessing it.

Joshua Gibbs Feb 4, 2014
The first two chapters of Shelley's Frankenstein describe the lives of three young children in Geneva:
"I [the narrator Victor] was...deeply smitten with the thirst for knowledge."
Joshua Gibbs Feb 3, 2014

Christ has often been seen as Prophet, Priest, and King, and following an Augustinian theory of learning, He has often been viewed as the Teacher as well. We have not often imagined Christ as the Student, though. Should we?

Joshua Gibbs Jan 24, 2014

I. On Sunday afternoon, I drink a French press and put on Bill Evans or Django Reinhardt while meandering through the forest-clearing, four pound Sunday edition of the New York Times. On the sofa, my wife and I read the paper while our children take a nap, which is an hour if we’re lucky. So far as rest goes, there are few things I value more. When everything about the afternoon falls perfectly into place, I suppose I might submit the moment to the power of an eternal present and simply exist forever inside of it.