About the Author: My name is Jonathan P. Allen, and I am a historian- among other things. At present I am living in St. Louis, Missouri. I am married to a wonderful young woman, whose blog you can read here. We have two cats, Benjamin and Flora. Benjamin enjoys sleeping on his back, while Flora likes to sleep curled up in a basket, or in a bookcase.
My area of research interest is, broadly, the medieval Islamic world, with a special interest in the history of Qur’an commentary (tafsir) and interpretation, classical Sufism, and Arabic/Syriac Christianity in the Islamic milieu. But I enjoy history across the board really, especially but by no means exclusively medieval. I’m a bit of an amateur botanist, though these days that mostly means going to the nearby botanical gardens and piddling in my own community garden plot. Truth be told, I’m pretty intellectually omnivorous, which is both a blessing and curse.
I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian; I grew up Southern Baptist and converted after a longish but not terribly exciting process. Politically I’m an anarcho-mutualist. I have a fondness for agrarianism and distributism as well; my politico-economic-cultural views are not too different from the blessed Dorothy Day. I also am a card-carrying Wob. I rather enjoy being hard to classify politically, in case you’re wondering.
This blog is about whatever interests me at the moment, which could be Bulgarian folk music or Beat poetry or medieval Christian exegesis or something. If you’re an enthusiast for Islamic and/or Eastern Christian history, you will probably find a few things of interest on a fairly regular basis. Sometime I blog politics and radicalism and theory and such.
Finally: in case you’re wondering about ’Thicket & Thorp’: it’s a line from Gerard Manely Hopkins. Thorp is an archaic word that means village or hamlet. Hence, ‘thicket and thorp’ connects ‘wild’ nature and human habitation, which, in reality, aren’t strict dichotomies, anymore than many supposed dualities really are. But mostly I came across them while thinking up a blog title and really liked the sound of the words.
A Word on Copyright Matters: If you like something you read here, feel free to copy and replicate it; credit would be nice of course, but I reserve no copyrights or any such thing. If there is a translation of a text you would like to copy or use, please do so; I would prefer if you contacted me first so I can look over the translation and make sure everything is correct.
Contact Information and Such: My old blog can be accessed here; and for those who use such things, my Facebook profile is here. If you want to add me as a friend send me a message letting me know you found me on this blog. I started a Twitter account once, but that quickly fell by the wayside. My e-mail is jonathan.jallen8460 at gmail.com if you’d like to contact me that way.
Wynne and me in the Great Smoky Mountains (that’s Mouse Creek Falls in the background, in case you’re wondering).