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This wide ranging and challenging book explores the relationship between subjectivity and mortality as it is understood by a number of twentieth-century French philosophers including Sartre, Lacan, Levinas and Derrida. Making intricate and sometimes unexpected connections, Christina Howells draws together the work of prominent thinkers from the fields of phenomenology and existentialism, religious thought, psychoanalysis, and deconstruction, focussing in particular on the relations between body and soul, love and death, desire and passion. From Aristotle through to contemporary analytic philosophy and neuroscience the relationship between mind and body (psyche and soma, consciousness and brain) has been persistently recalcitrant to analysis, and emotion (or passion) is the locus where the explanatory gap is most keenly identified. This problematic forms the broad backdrop to the work's primary focus on contemporary French philosophy and its attempts to understand the intimate relationship between subjectivity and mortality, in the light not only of the 'death' of the classical subject but also of the very real frailty of the subject as it lives on, finite, desiring, embodied, open to alterity and always incomplete. Ultimately Howells identifies this vulnerability and finitude as the paradoxical strength of the mortal subject and as what permits its transcendence. Subtle, beautifully written, and cogently argued, this book will be invaluable for students and scholars interested in contemporary theories of subjectivity, as well as for readers intrigued by the perennial connections between love and death.
Martin Luther King Jr. has charisma--as does Adolf Hitler. So do Brad Pitt, Mother Teresa, and many a high school teacher. Charisma marks, or masks, power; it legitimates but also attracts suspicion. Sociologists often view charisma as an irrational, unstable source of authority, superseded by the rational, bureaucratic legitimacy of modernity. Yet charisma endures in the modern world; perhaps it is reinvigorated in the postmodern, as the notoriety of celebrities, politicians, and New Age gurus attests. Is charisma a tool of oppression, or can it help the fight against oppression? Can reexamining the concept of charisma teach us anything useful about contemporary movements for social justice? In Defense of Charisma develops an account of moral charisma that weaves insights from politics, ethics, and religion together with reflections on contemporary culture. Vincent W. Lloyd distinguishes between authoritarian charisma, which furthers the interests of the powerful, naturalizing racism, patriarchy, and elitism, and democratic charisma, which prompts observers to ask new questions and discover new possibilities. At its best, charisma can challenge the way we see ourselves and our world, priming us to struggle for justice. Exploring the biblical Moses alongside Charlton Heston's performance in The Ten Commandments, the image of Martin Luther King Jr., together with tweets from the Black Lives Matter movement, and the novels of Harper Lee and Sherman Alexie juxtaposed with the writings of Emmanuel Levinas, In Defense of Charisma challenges readers to turn away from the blinding charisma of celebrities toward the humbler moral charisma of the neighbor, colleague, or relative.
This book provides a focus for future discussion in one of the most important debates within historical theology within the protestant tradition - the debate about the definition of a category of analysis that operates over five centuries of religious faith and practice and in a globalising religion. In March 2009, TIME magazine listed `the new Calvinism' as being among the `ten ideas shaping the world.' In response to this revitalisation of reformation thought, R. Scott Clark and D. G. Hart have proposed a definition of `Reformed' that excludes many of the theologians who have done most to promote this driver of global religious change. In this book, the Clark-Hart proposal becomes the focus of a debate. Matthew Bingham, Chris Caughey, and Crawford Gribben suggest a broader and (they argue) more historically responsible definition for `Reformed,' as Hart and Scott respond to their arguments.
'It is written ...,' says the believer in a sacred text, and proceeds to justify all manner of terrifying things. Or so runs a popular caricature of religious faith today. Religions that center around a revelation-around a 'good book,' like the Torah or Gospels or Quran, which is seen as God's word-are widely regarded as irrational and dangerous: as based on outdated science and conducive to illiberal, inhumane moral attitudes. The Good and the Good Book defends revealed religion and shows how it can be reconciled with science and liberal morality. Samuel Fleischacker invites us to see revealed texts as aiming to teach neither scientific nor moral doctrines but a vision of what life is about overall. Purely naturalistic ways of thinking, he argues, cannot make much sense of our overall or ultimate good; revealed texts, by contrast, do precisely that. But these texts also need to be interpreted so as to accord with our independent understanding of morality. A delicate balance is required for this process of interpretation-between respecting the uncanny obscurity of our sacred texts and rendering them morally familiar. The book concludes with an account of how believers in one religion can respect believers in other religions, and secular people.
The Living Goddesses crowns a lifetime of innovative, influential work by one of the twentieth-century's most remarkable scholars. Marija Gimbutas wrote and taught with rare clarity in her original--and originally shocking--interpretation of prehistoric European civilization. Gimbutas flew in the face of contemporary archaeology when she reconstructed goddess-centered cultures that predated historic patriarchal cultures by many thousands of years. This volume, which was close to completion at the time of her death, contains the distillation of her studies, combined with new discoveries, insights, and analysis. Editor Miriam Robbins Dexter has added introductory and concluding remarks, summaries, and annotations. The first part of the book is an accessible, beautifully illustrated summation of all Gimbutas's earlier work on "Old European" religion, together with her ideas on the roles of males and females in ancient matrilineal cultures. The second part of the book brings her knowledge to bear on what we know of the goddesses today--those who, in many places and in many forms, live on.
'beauty has purport and significance only for human beings, for beings at once animal and rational' In the Critique of Judgement (1790) Kant offers a penetrating analysis of our experience of the beautiful and the sublime, discussing the objectivity of taste, aesthetic disinterestedness, the relation of art and nature, the role of imagination, genius and originality, the limits of representation and the connection between morality and the aesthetic. He also investigates the validity of our judgements concerning the apparent purposiveness of nature with respect to the highest interests of reason and enlightenment. The work profoundly influenced the artists and writers of the classical and romantic period and the philosophy of Hegel and Schelling. It has remained a central point of reference from Schopenhauer and Nietzsche through to phenomenology, hermeneutics, the Frankfurt School, analytical aesthetics and contemporary critical theory. J. C. Meredith's classic translation has been revised in accordance with standard modern renderings and provided with a bilingual glossary. This edition also includes the important 'First Introduction' that Kant originally composed for the work. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
The experience of the impossible churns up in our epoch whenever a collective dream turns to trauma: politically, sexually, economically, and with a certain ultimacy, ecologically. Out of an ancient theological lineage, the figure of the cloud comes to convey possibility in the face of the impossible. An old mystical nonknowing of God now hosts a current knowledge of uncertainty, of indeterminate and interdependent outcomes, possibly catastrophic. Yet the connectivity and collectivity of social movements, of the fragile, unlikely webs of an alternative notion of existence, keep materializing--a haunting hope, densely entangled, suggesting a more convivial, relational world. Catherine Keller brings process, feminist, and ecopolitical theologies into transdisciplinary conversation with continental philosophy, the quantum entanglements of a "participatory universe," and the writings of Nicholas of Cusa, Walt Whitman, A. N. Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze, and Judith Butler, to develop a "theopoetics of nonseparable difference." Global movements, personal embroilments, religious diversity, the inextricable relations of humans and nonhumans--these phenomena, in their unsettling togetherness, are exceeding our capacity to know and manage. By staging a series of encounters between the nonseparable and the nonknowable, Keller shows what can be born from our cloudiest entanglement.
Any list of emotions characterizing true Christian spirituality must include joy. In his two volumes, Luke summons his audience to joy-filled living in personal and community life. This study supplements a dearth of biblical and theological attention to the topic of joy. Luke's paired volumes show people encountering the numinous (supernatural) world through a plethora of charismatic experiences with the divine. These experiences include angelic visitations, visions, healings, and baptism in the Spirit. Within the broad canon of Scripture, Luke draws his readers into the affective experiences of others.
This volume, first published in English in 1987 makes available an important part of Weil's early writings. Although primarily known as a religious thinker, she devoted enormous energy in her formative years to her work as a political activist and as a philosopher/teacher. This book reveals these other sides of Weil and demonstrates the lines of continuity underlying her whole thought. Written between 1929 and 1941 the book covers a crucial and transitional period in Weil's life. Taken together they represent invaluable primary source material on the evolution of Weil's life and on her chosen method of abstracting elements from her personal experience and transmuting that experience into considered thought. Even when highly theoretical, her writing was always concerned with the application of her intelligence to concrete problems of human existence.
This study is a new look at the question of how God can act upon the world, and whether the world can affect God, examining contemporary work on the metaphysics of causation and laws of nature, and current work in the theory of knowledge and mysticism. It has been traditional to address such questions by appealing to God's omnipotence and omniscience, but this book claims that this is useless unless it can be shown how these two powers "work." Instead of treating the familiar problems associated with omnipotence and omniscience, this book asks directly whether, and how, causal interactions between God and His world could occur: both between God and the physical world (miracles) and between God and other minds (mystical experience), as well as between the world and God (divine perception). Fales examines current thinking (which is diverse) about the very nature of causation, laws of nature, and agency.
This book examines the political and moral challenges that face the vast majority of human beings who consider themselves to be members of various nations. It explores nationality through the difficulties and conflicts that have arisen throughout history, and discusses nations and nationalism from social, philosophical, and anthropological perspectives. In this fascinating Very Short Introduction, Steven Grosby looks at the nation in history, the territorial element in nationality, and the complex ways nationality has co-existed with religion, and shows how closely linked the concept of nationalism is with being human. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
How did ancient Buddhists read and interpret the Buddha's words? In Voice of the Buddha, Maria Heim reads the early Buddhist scriptures with Buddhaghosa, the principal commentator, editor, and translator of the Theravada intellectual tradition. Buddhaghosa considers the Buddha to be omniscient and his words "oceanic." Every word, passage, bookindeed, the corpus as a wholeis taken to be "endless and immeasurable." Commentarial practice thus requires disciplined methods of expansion, drawing out the endless possibilities for meaning and application. Heim considers Buddhagohsa's theories of scripture and follows his practices of exegesis to yield fresh insight into all three collections of the early Pali texts: Vinaya, the Suttas, and the Abhidhamma.
A Companion to the Anthropology of Religion presents a collection of original, ethnographically-informed essays that explore the variety of beliefs, practices, and religious experiences in the contemporary world and asks how to think about religion as a subject of anthropological inquiry. * Presents a collection of original, ethnographically-informed essays exploring the wide variety of beliefs, practices, and religious experiences in the contemporary world * Explores a broad range of topics including the perspectivism debate, the rise of religious nationalism, reflections on religion and new media, religion and politics, and ideas of self and gender in relation to religious belief * Includes examples drawn from different religious traditions and from several regions of the world * Features newly-commissioned articles reflecting the most up-to-date research and critical thinking in the field, written by an international team of leading scholars * Adds immeasurably to our understanding of the complex relationships between religion, culture, society, and the individual in today s world
How do specific secular and religious ideologies-such as nationalism, neoliberalism, atheism, Pentecostalism, Tablighi Islam, and shamanism-gain popularity and when do they lose traction? To answer these questions, Mathijs Pelkmans critically examines the trajectories of a range of ideologies as they move into the post-Soviet frontier in Central Asia. Ethnographically rooted in the everyday life of a former mining town in southern Kyrgyzstan, Fragile Conviction shows how residents have dealt with the existential and epistemic crises that arose after the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Residents became enchanted by the truths of Muslim and Christian missionaries, embraced the teachings of neoliberal and nationalist ideologues, and were riveted by the visions of shamanic healers. But no matter how much enthusiasm and hope these ideas first engendered, the commitment to any of them rarely lasted very long.Pelkmans finds that there is an inverse relationship between the tenacity and the effervescence of collective ideas, between their strength to persist and their ability to trigger committed action. Introducing the concept of pulsation, he argues in Fragile Conviction that ideational power must be understood in relation to three aspects: the voicing of the idea, its tension with everyday reality, and its reverberation within groups of listeners. The conclusion that the power of conviction is rooted in the instability of sociocultural contexts is a message that has relevance far beyond urban Central Asia.
An Insurrectionist Manifesto contains four insurrectionary gospels based on Martin Heidegger's philosophical model of the fourfold: earth and sky, gods and mortals. Challenging religious dogma and dominant philosophical theories, they offer a cooperative, world-affirming political theology that promotes new life through not resurrection but insurrection. The insurrection in these gospels unfolds as a series of miraculous yet worldly practices of vital affirmation. Since these routines do not rely on fantasies of escape, they engender intimate transformations of the self along the very coordinates from which they emerge. Enacting a comparative and contagious postsecular sensibility, these gospels draw on the work of Slavoj Zizek, Giorgio Agamben, Catherine Malabou, Francois Laruelle, Peter Sloterdijk, and Gilles Deleuze yet rejuvenate scholarship in continental philosophy, critical race theory, the new materialisms, speculative realism, and nonphilosophy. They think beyond the sovereign force of the one to initiate a radical politics "after" God.
'The Grand Design', by eminent scientist Stephen Hawking, is the latest blockbusting contribution to the so-called New Atheist debate, and claims that the laws of physics themselves brought the Universe into being, rather than God. In this swift and forthright reply, John Lennox, Oxford mathematician and author of 'God's Undertaker', exposes the flaws in Hawking's logic. In lively, layman's terms, Lennox guides us through the key points in Hawking's arguments - with clear explanations of the latest scientific and philosophical methods and theories - and demonstrates that far from disproving a Creator God, they make his existence seem all the more probable.
"This outstanding book . . . is a genuinely pivotal contribution to the lively current debate over divine foreknowledge and human freedom. . . . Hasker's book has three commendable features worthy of immediate note. First, it contains a carefully crafted overview of the recent literature on foreknowledge and freedom and so can serve as an excellent introduction to that literature. Second, it is tightly reasoned and brimming with brisk arguments, many of them highly original. Third, it correctly situates the philosophical dispute over foreknowledge and freedom within its proper theological context and in so doing highlights the intimate connection between the doctrines of divine omniscience and divine providence." Faith and Philosophy" God, Time, and Knowledge] is an elegantly written, forcefully argued challenge to traditional views, and a major contribution to the discussion of divine foreknowledge." Philosophical Review"This is a very competent, thorough analysis of the conflict between free will and divine foreknowledge (or, on some acounts, timeless divine knowledge of our future). It is exceptionally clear." Theological Book Review"
New observations on the persistence of God in modern times and why "authentic" atheism is so very hard to come by How to live in a supposedly faithless world threatened by religious fundamentalism? Terry Eagleton, formidable thinker and renowned cultural critic, investigates in this thought-provoking book the contradictions, difficulties, and significance of the modern search for a replacement for God. Engaging with a phenomenally wide range of ideas, issues, and thinkers from the Enlightenment to today, Eagleton discusses the state of religion before and after 9/11, the ironies surrounding Western capitalism's part in spawning not only secularism but also fundamentalism, and the unsatisfactory surrogates for the Almighty invented in the post-Enlightenment era. The author reflects on the unique capacities of religion, the possibilities of culture and art as modern paths to salvation, the so-called war on terror's impact on atheism, and a host of other topics of concern to those who envision a future in which just and compassionate communities thrive. Lucid, stylish, and entertaining in his usual manner, Eagleton presents a brilliant survey of modern thought that also serves as a timely, urgently needed intervention into our perilous political present.
In volume 2 of this monumental work, Mircea Eliade continues his
magisterial progress through the history of religious ideas. The
religions of ancient China, Brahmanism and Hinduism, Buddha and his
contemporaries, Roman religion, Celtic and German religions,
Judaism, the Hellenistic period, the Iranian syntheses, and the
birth of Christianity--all are encompassed in this volume.
The Philosophy of Death Reader presents a collection of classic readings from across the centuries and the continents. Organised around central metaphysical questions from whether soul is immortal to what can experience death, it brings together pivotal readings from ancient, modern and contemporary philosophers. The twenty-four readings require no background in philosophy. Featuring writings from Vedanta, the ancient Greeks, the Buddhist tradition, Christian eschatology, and recent analytic philosophy, they flow thematically and cover: - Key metaphysical topics including immortality, rebirth and the after - Scientific perspectives on biology and the brain - Axiological questions surrounding old age, the soul and how to live with mortality Accompanied throughout by editor's notes, introductory material, and discussion questions, this cross-cultural reader draws themes together, encourages further study and introduces a broad range of philosophical thinking about death.
'The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a line Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.' In the 'rubaiyat' (short epigrammatic poems) of the medieval Persian poet, mathematician, and philosopher Omar Khayyam, Edward FitzGerald saw an unflinching challenge to the illusions and consolations of mankind in every age. His version of Omar is neither a translation nor an independent poem; sceptical of divine providence and insistent on the pleasure of the passing moment, its 'Orientalism' offers FitzGerald a powerful and distinctive voice, in whose accents a whole Victorian generation comes to life. Although the poem's vision is bleak, it is conveyed in some of the most beautiful and haunting images in English poetry - and some of the sharpest- edged. The poem sold no copies at all on its first appearance in 1859, yet when it was 'discovered' two years later its first admirers included Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Swinburne, and Ruskin. Daniel Karlin's richly annotated edition does justice to the scope and complexity of FitzGerald's lyrical meditation on 'human death and fate'. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Exposing the religious roots of our ostensibly godless age, Michael Allen Gillespie reveals in this landmark study that modernity is much less secular than conventional wisdom suggests. Taking as his starting point the collapse of the medieval world, Gillespie argues that from the very beginning moderns sought not to eliminate religion but to support a new view of religion and its place in human life. He goes on to explore the ideas of such figures as William of Ockham, Petrarch, Erasmus, Luther, Descartes, and Hobbes, showing that modernity is best understood as a series of attempts to formulate a new and coherent metaphysics or theology.
"Bringing the history of political thought up to date and situating it against the backdrop of contemporary events, Gillespie's analyses provide us a way to begin to have conversations with the Islamic world about what is perhaps the central question within each of the three monotheistic religions: if God is omnipotent, then what is the place of human freedom?"--Joshua Mitchell, Georgetown University
The Hiddenness of God addresses the problem of divine hiddenness which concerns the ambiguity of evidence for God's existence, the elusiveness of God's comforting presence, the palpable and devastating experience of divine absence and abandonment, and more; phenomena which are hard to reconcile with the idea, central to the Jewish and Christian scriptures, that there exists a God who is deeply and lovingly concerned with the lives of humans. Michael C. Rea argues that divine hiddenness is not a problem to be explained away but rather a consequence of the nature of God himself. He shows that it rests on unwarranted assumptions and expectations about God's love for human beings. Rea explains how scripture and tradition bear testimony not only to God's love, but to God's transcendence. He shows that God's transcendence should be understood as implying that all of God's intrinsic attributes-divine love included-elude our grasp in significant ways.
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