Some random thoughts::
Well, oh well, what's going on? Mostly working, reading and the occasional game of football on TV. So, uh, I'm reading Isaiah 40ff, verse by verse, which is very gratifying. I think it would've been really fun to attend a course in modern Hebrew. Perhaps next summer? Who knows. Anyway, my long-term goal for the next few years is getting a good grasp of both the OT and NT in resp. Hebrew and Greek, and also getting a good grasp of the history of - and the main debates in - philosophy. So, I'm well on my way towards that, though I really wonder what I'm gonna do with my life and what I'm really capable of. Kind of...unsettled, in many ways. So that's a really exciting situation to be in, getting new insight each and every day, changing and nuancing my view of life each and every day. I actually like that very much. Though I hope I'll be able to put it to good use, and (shudder) that I won't look back a few years from now and think: "Man, why did I choose that way? Why didn't I rather...? Why didn't I take the chance to...?" I sometimes feel it's kind of a race to be where I'm supposed to be before my 30-year-crisis kicks in. ... :) ... Yeah.
Aaaaaaaaanyway. Side by side with Socrates, Plato and Isaiah I also read Wolterstorffs "Justice: Rights and wrongs." ...which turned out to be a bit more challenging and interesting than I had thought. Well, no secret that I've been majorly influenced by catholic philosophy the last years, think Feser, George, Macintyre. Of course, these are "hot names" among Christians these days, so I guess it's wise to have a certain reflective distance towards them. Anyway, these writers emphasize the "teloi" - the goals and purposes - of human nature, which also influences their views on how contemporary society is to be arranged, and what "justice" actually amounts to. Sometimes, there's an implicit or explicit polemic against the idea of individual "rights", which by some is seen as a modern (nominalist) deviance from a pure realist/teleological understanding of reality. Some will link "rights-talk" with individualistic liberalism which has no room for a common good - or any objective good, for that matter (think Rawls).
So, well, of course "rights-language" is used in this way in modern secular societies; new "rights" are being invented by the day, it seems; right to marry for homosexuals, right not to be treated by a doctor who does not share common opinions on abortion, right not to be circumcised etc. Is the idea of "natural rights" still worth while - biblically, historically, intellectually, philosophically? Nicholas Wolterstorff emphatically thinks so! His book is influenced by his first-hand experience with apartheid in South-Afr, and the oppression of Palestinians in the Middle-East. So his book aims to "set the record straight", and show that the idea of natural, inherent rights - rights flowing from our worth, which is bestowed by our Creator - really is there "in nuce" in the Bible, and really is present also in the thinking of the Middle Ages. Actually, Wolterstorff is really explicit that one fundamental aim of his book is to (in an amicable way, of course) limit/challenge the influence of thinkers like Macintyre and Strauss in Christian circles! So that makes for an interesting book, I can tell you.
Anyway, looking forward to getting through it. Also because the Journal of Religious Ethics has made a "special issue" discussing Wolterstorff's book, with contributions from several heavyweights, not least Oliver O'Donovan, who challenges Wolterstorff rendering of the history of the idea of rights. An overview of the issue may be found here. The really informative and interesting introductory article may be found here. Well, I should mention that this debate - about the extent of, and the idea of, rights and justice - is really at the heart of our society's present, deepest problems, and also at the heart of its future. But I've personally got a lot of reading left to do.