This book explores the contribution to recent developments in post-secularism, philosophical realism and utopianism made by key thinkers in the Hegelian tradition. It challenges dominant assumptions about what the relationship between religion and our so-called "secular age" should be that have sought to reduce or even eliminate religiosity from the public sphere. It draws upon utopian thinkers within the Hegelian tradition whose work has challenged this narrow secularism. In particular it explores the importance of philosophical transcendence to Hegelian and post-Hegelian religious, social and political theorising. This includes philosophers whose thinking is sympathetic or at least compatible with transcendence (such as Hegel, Taylor, Bhaskar and Bloch) but also those who have a reputation for rejecting transcendence and instead embracing immanence and even atheism (Feuerbach, Marx and Engels). By drawing on the utopian content of these thinkers it seeks to shed new light on the importance religious ideas have played in a range of philosophical positions within the broadly Hegelian tradition from theism, idealism, materialism and atheism to new ideas, especially new research on Hegel's so-called "panentheism". The book will be of interest to those working in the areas of post-secularism and utopian studies. It should also be of interest to academics and students of the recent turn within Critical Realism to "meta-reality" and its implications for Hegelianism and Marxism.
In this radical book, Roy Bhaskar expands his philosophy of critical realism with an audacious re-synthesis of many aspects of Western and Eastern thought. Arguing that the existence of God provides the fundamental structure of the world, he renders plausible ideas of reincarnation, karma and moksha or liberation. Originally published in the year of the millennium, From East to West continues to be a groundbreaking and fundamental work within the critical realist tradition. Stimulating debate in ontology, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy and the philosophy of religion, this book has been influential as a major new development in critical realism. This second edition contains a new introduction from Mervyn Hartwig, who is the founding editor of the Journal of Critical Realism and editor and principal author of the Dictionary of Critical Realism.
With the spread of mobile augmented reality, it has become very difficult to consider digital space and physical space independently. In this book, the authors identify and discuss the state 'Second Offline' which refers to a real-world environment whose elements are augmented by virtual information and one in which individuals are constantly referring to the online world. ‘Second Offline’ is observed across a wide range of social contexts and the relationship between superimposed digital online information and physical offline information is increasingly important. This book analyses the cooperative relationship between online and offline and also examines situations where there may be a conflict between these realities. Furthermore, the authors discuss the possibility that in addition to influencing the physical space, the digital world actually causes some of the physical world to be lost. Offering a discussion of the implications of a post-mobile society in which second offline is widespread, this edited collection will be of interest to students, scholars and practitioners working in sociology, mobile media and cultural studies more generally.
The Bible as Revelation in the Tradition of the Humanities
Author: William Franke
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Category: Literary Criticism
With the tools of far-reaching revolutions in literary theory and informed by the poetic sense of truth, William Franke offers a critical appreciation and philosophical reflection on a way of reading the Bible as theological revelation. Franke explores some of the principal literary genres of the Bible—Myth, Epic History, Prophecy, Apocalyptic, Writings, and Gospel—as building upon one another in composing a compactly unified edifice of writing that discloses prophetic and apocalyptic truth in a sense that is intelligible to the secular mind as well as to religious spirits. From Genesis to Gospel this revealed truth of the Bible is discovered as a universal heritage of humankind. Poetic literature becomes the light of revelation for a theology that is discerned as already inherent in humanity’s tradition. The divine speaks directly to the human heart by means of infinitely open poetic powers of expression in words exceeding and released from the control of finite, human faculties and the authority of human institutions. The main title of your book, A Theology of Literature, is rather expansive in scope - it's the title of a manifesto - while the subtitle, The Bible as Revelation in the Tradition of the Humanities, narrows the focus to a particular text. This title seems to adumbrate your conception of the relationship between literature and the Bible. What is that relationship? Picking up on your suggestions, I would say that the book is a manifesto for literature as a revelation of the highest sort of truth of which the human heart and intellect are capable, and at the same time a manifesto for theology as the source and core of traditions of human knowledge. The Bible is taken as an outstanding example of both types of discourse, literature and theology, in some of their most marvelous and miraculous revelatory capacities. In the introduction to your book, you ask, "What is a theological reading of the Bible, and what is a literary reading?" This question suggests different methods, different purposes, different outcomes. But you put forward another way of thinking about the relationship between the theological and the literary. What is that way? The usual idea of the "Bible as literature" is that one can read the Bible just as good literature without presupposing any kind of religious belief. This makes it palatable to many who would otherwise not be interested. My approach, likewise, is to read the Bible for all that it is worth as literature, but I find precisely there the Bible's most challenging and authentic theology. Understanding literature in its furthest purport requires a kind of belief in language and the word. It entails a hopeful, loving, and faithful sort of understanding of what is said, and that already constitutes the rudiments of a theology. This is to take the Bible as an especially revealing example of a humanities text. The greatest of these texts generally contain an at least implicitly theological (or sometimes a/theological) dimension to the extent that they envision the final purpose of life and the meaning of the world as a whole. Whether or not they speak of "God," such texts are in a theological register wherever the unity and origin of existence are in question. Personalizing this origin as "God" is one interpretation that remains inevitable and imaginatively compelling for us, since we are persons. You are not reading the Bible as literature in the same way that many others have been doing over the last several decades (even though Robert Alter, one of the foremost practitioners of that art, appears frequently in the pages of your book). Which aspects of the "Bible as literature" approach are, in your view, problematic, at least for your project, and which do you find of continuing value? The tendency to reduce the Bible to mere literature is the approach that I wish to eschew. I emphasize that the Bible is truly revelatory as literature. This enables us to understand theological revelation, too, in a non-dogmatic sense, as having a much more general human validity. Appreciating the literary qualities and excellence of the Bible remains as crucial to my project as to the traditional approach. However, I stress that these literary features are not merely aesthetic effects or ornaments. They can be revelatory of the real. The ultimately real and true, which exceeds objectification and its inevitable oppositions, cannot be apprehended except through the imagination. When you speak of the Bible as revelation, what do you mean? I mean especially that it enables uncanny insight into the nature of reality as a whole and in its deepest core. Revelation conveys an infinite intelligence of life and of everything that concerns us as humans. I recognize knowledge as "revealed" to the extent that it rises beyond ordinary limits to a degree of knowing that somehow fathoms the whole or total or infinite. This means for many that revelation comes from God. But even before presupposing that we know anything about God, we can simply let revelation emerge from this extraordinary capacity of the mind to transcend itself toward what it cannot comprehend. In certain encounters with others, we can experience an infinite depth of love and life that boggles the mind and exceeds comprehension. It can transform our lives. Theological revelation is a compelling interpretation, handed down over generations in the human community, of this register of experience. You seem to make a distinction between revelation and theological revelation. What is that distinction, and what import does it have for your argument? No, I would rather emphasize the continuity between theological revelation and revelation in a more general, phenomenological sense of things simply coming to be known or openly "disclosed." This is important for keeping theology connected with the rest of human knowledge, although human knowledge itself, all along, has also harbored something that transcends it and all its finite means. I say "all along" because this problematic of the self-transcendence of knowledge towards an extra-worldly Other can be traced to the Axial Age in the middle of the first millennium BCE. Of course, a relationship with the Other who reveals himself or herself or itself as God belongs to the full sense of theological revelation as understood in biblical tradition. I consider this as a degree of revelation of our relationship with others envisaged in its absoluteness. What do you mean when you talk about the "poetic potential" of language? Does all language have such potential, even what we might not typically think of as poetic - or even literary? Language has infinite potential for meaning, and poetic language shows and exploits this potential most intensively. Language can be thought of as beginning with one word like "OM" that means everything all at once. By a process of disambiguation, more limited and specific meanings are differentiated from each other and assigned to different words. However, poetic language reverses this process and allows us to hear the multiple meanings buried in our metaphors and to divine the original unity of meaning in language behind the rationally differentiated senses of words in the language that we pragmatically employ, yet with loss of its potential wholeness of meaning. Your book is concerned with the Bible as a humanities text. What is a humanities text and what does a humanities text do? Might we think of any text as having the potential to be a humanities text, as long as it is read "humanistically"? Yes. Being a humanities text is a matter of how a text is read. But certain texts lend themselves more than others to touching on matters of deep and perennial human concern: life and death and love and war, greed and heroism, suffering and hope for liberation, redemption, etc. You state that, prior to modernity, texts, including the Bible, "exercise[d] sovereign authority in determining [their] own meaning and in interrogating the reader and potentially challenging the reader's insight and very integrity." In secular modernity, by contrast, "texts taken as specimens for analysis are dissected according to the will and criteria of a knowing subject considered to be wholly external to them." What implications have modern, secular readings of the Bible, and of literature more generally, had for human knowledge and, indeed, for human existence; and how does our present time - what you call "the 'post-secular' turn of postmodern culture" - change how we relate to the Bible and literature? The modern, secular era is the era of the individual knowing subject. The self-conscious human subject becomes the ground and foundation of all knowing, emblematically with Descartes's "I think therefore I am" as the inaugural proposition of modern philosophy. Hegel construed the history of philosophy this way. Texts become artifacts created by finite human subjects. Prior to this modern era and its constitutive Narcissism, the creation of the text was a much more open affair. It was not under the control of a unitary finite subject, the author. Human authors could be channels for revelations from beyond their own ken. Readers could explore texts for revelations from a higher authority than just the author's own intention. Augustine's reading the Bible as meaning infinitely more than its presumable human authors, starting with Moses, were able to comprehend is a good example (Confessions, Book X-XIII). You quote John 1:14 ("The Word became flesh and dwelt among us") and claim that this statement "announces a general interpretive principle: the meaning of tradition is experienced only in its application to life in the present." Could you unpack that a bit? Meaning in literature and life is much more than just an intellectual sense or dictionary definition. How words mean for us is rooted in our way of existing in the world. They have to take on our own flesh and dwell in and with us in order to realize their full potential to signify. This fact is conveyed poetically by the doctrine of the Incarnation that is clairvoyantly and beautifully expressed in the Gospel of John. A Theology of Literature largely consists of explorations of the revelatory aspects of varying literary genres in the Bible. You look at mythology, epic, history, prophecy, apocalyptic, literature, poetry, and gospel. In the conclusion of your book, you suggest that "[a]ll of these genres, in some manner, are summed up and recapitulated in the Gospel." This is convenient, since we can't discuss each of these genres in depth. How, in brief, does the Gospel provide such a summation and recapitulation? The gospel is a prophetic word in which the archetypal myth of Genesis and the epic history of Exodus and the words of the prophets are fulfilled by the apocalyptic event of Christ as Savior. It contains the life history of the Redeemer and includes many of his own sayings uttered with all their poetry ("Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin," etc.). It brings all these various forms and genres of revelation to a culmination in a word that exceeds all genres, not least history, in order to recast the mold of meaning and the very meaning of "truth." Its truth is made in being enacted and incorporated by those who believe in it and live it. In the terms of I John 1: 6, these are those who would "do the truth." Your book is able to cover significant portions of the Bible despite its brevity, but of course it can't cover everything. The legal materials are one type of literature that doesn't get extended treatment, so I'm curious how you might understand them as revelatory texts within the tradition of the humanities. The legal materials fundamentally express a relationship with God. They enable Israel to live in fellowship with the Lord and as sanctified by his love. "O Lord how I love thy law!" (Psalm 119: 97) exclaims the psalmist. The legal prescriptions in the Bible reveal God and the way to God in very particular circumstances and social conditions. But the relationship with God that they model is potentially valid in all times and places for those who wish to embrace the law as a gift for living in intimacy with the Almighty. What dangers might accompany the recovery of texts as authoritative sources of truth in our post-secular, postmodern age? How might those dangers, should they exist, be avoided or met? The authority of texts read in the perspective of a theology of literature never exempts the readers from responsibility for the implications and consequences that they draw from the text. The authoritativeness of the infinite potential for meaning that is inherent in these texts is in a dimension of depth that underlies all meanings and all being and all creatures. It does not valorize some over others. These determinations are always made by human beings, and they alone bear the responsibility for their choices and acts. The power and authority of the text resides in its infinite potential before the emergence of any divisive distinctions and oppositions. This type of authority of the text does not absolve humans of responsibility. It rather reveals their infinite responsibility for whatever authority they claim or evoke. They give this authority a determinate shape and particular application that is all their own. They are answerable for whether or not their interpretation respects and protects all creatures and creation. Questions by Chris Benda, Divinity Librarian, Vanderbilt University
When their plane crashes in the jungles of South America, the explorers find a hidden civilization that it more advance than their own. The look for the male leaders of the society and discover a utopian all-woman civilization. Herland is a novel by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, the feminist author perhaps best known for her short story, The Yellow Wallpaper. In Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gillman is able to explore her ideas about gender, motherhood, community and sexuality in a science-fiction story that transcended the boundaries of late 19th century society. This Xist Classics edition has been professionally formatted for e-readers with a linked table of contents. This eBook also contains a bonus book club leadership guide and discussion questions. We hope you’ll share this book with your friends, neighbors and colleagues and can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it. Xist Publishing is a digital-first publisher. Xist Publishing creates books for the touchscreen generation and is dedicated to helping everyone develop a lifetime love of reading, no matter what form it takes
Religion is an undiscovered country for much of the secular academy, which remains deeply ambivalent about it as an object of study. On the one hand, secular scholars agree that it is time to take religion seriously. On the other, these same scholars persist in assuming that religion rests not on belief but on power and ideology. According to Vincent Pecora, the idea of the secular itself is the source of much of the contradiction and confusion in contemporary thought about religion. Pecora aims here to work through the paradoxes of secularization, which emerges in this book as an intractable problem for cultural criticism in the nation-states of the post-Enlightenment West. Secularization and Cultural Criticism examines the responses of a wide range of thinkers—Edward Said, Talal Asad, Jürgen Habermas, Walter Benjamin, Emile Durkheim, Carl Schmitt, Matthew Arnold, and Virginia Woolf, among others—to illustrate exactly why the problem of secularization in the study of society and culture should matter once again. Exploring the endemic difficulty posed by religion for the modern academy, Pecora makes sense of the value and potential impasses of secular cultural criticism in a global age.
Beyond dominant tendencies to contrast utopia and ideology, the book reconceptualizes utopia and approaches it along with the notion of dystopia. The interplay of utopia and dystopia is examined, some major anti-utopian arguments are refuted and a new utopianism emerges, one that radicalizes critique and makes engagement with present global realities more pressing. Educated fear, i.e., a critical awareness of dystopian realities, and educated hope, i.e., a critical awareness of the possibility of human perfectibility cohabit a theoretical space that breaks with utopianist modern theoretical underpinnings and becomes historically and spatially more inclusive, while retaining the motivational and justificatory force of ethical imagery. If education is not just an institution of unreflective socialization, if it is about futurity, it has to renegotiate utopian thought. As the interest in utopia is being renewed both in general philosophy and philosophy of education and as dystopia is still neglected, a book that re-defines utopianism and explores for the first time the role of dystopia in radicalizing educational demands for systemic change is indispensable for Utopian Studies, Philosophy and Philosophy of Education academics and students alike. The title of the book is first transliterated into Utopia, a typeface in which Brazilian artists Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain replace capital letters with the iconic buildings of Brazils foremost modernist architect, Oscar Niemeyer, whilst lower-case letters are equated with urban interferences such as fences, skateboarders, CCTV cameras, electricity cables, in short, all those elements that escaped the utopian dream of the architect. To me, it bears associations of the philosophical notion of counterfactuality and of Adornos notion of mimesis. The title is then transliterated into Helvetica Concentrated (a digital typeface that concentrates the surface of Helvetica characters in dots which has been created by Detanico and Lain in collaboration with Jiri Skala). The term Helvetica bears the associations of a modernist utopia of success, performativity, prosperity, predictability, rational planning and uniformity."
Ernst Bloch was one of the most significant twentieth-century German thinkers, yet he remains overshadowed by his Frankfurt School contemporaries. Known for his engagement with utopianism and religious thought, Bloch also wrote incisively about ontological questions. In his short masterpiece Avicenna and the Aristotelian Left, Bloch gives a striking account of materialism that traces emancipatory elements of modern thought to medieval Islamic philosophers’ encounter with Aristotle. Bloch argues that the great medieval Islamic philosopher Avicenna (Ibn Sina) planted the seeds of a radical materialism still relevant for critical theory today. He contrasts Avicenna’s and Aquinas’s interpretations of Aristotle on form and matter to argue that Avicenna’s reading democratizes power and undermines clerical and political authority. Bloch explores Avicenna’s world and metaphysics in detail, showing how even his most recondite theoretical concerns prove capable of pointing toward radical social transformation. He blazes an original path through the history of ideas, including Averroes (Ibn Rushd), Spinoza, and Marx as well as lesser-known figures. Here translated into English for the first time, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Left is at once a succinct summation of Bloch’s own idiosyncratic materialism, a provocative reconstruction of the Western philosophical tradition in light of its exchanges with Islamic thought, and a vital resource for contemporary debates about materialism in critical theory.
The author, one of the leading revisionist thinkers of the Muslim world, examines such matters as the inevitability of change in religion, the necessity of freedom of belief, and the compatibility of Islam with democracy.
What is utopia if not a perfect impossible world? Anahid Nersessian reveals the basic misunderstanding of that ideal. Applying the lessons of art to the rigors of life on an imperiled planet, she enlists the Romantics to redefine utopia as an investment in limitation—not a perfect world but one where we get less than we hoped but more than we had.
Roy Bhaskar,Sean Esbjörn-Hargens,Nicholas Hedlund,Mervyn Hartwig
Author: Roy Bhaskar,Sean Esbjörn-Hargens,Nicholas Hedlund,Mervyn Hartwig
Category: Social Science
Metatheory for the 21st Century is one of the many exciting results of over four years of in-depth engagement between two communities of scholar-practitioners: critical realism and integral theory.?Building on its origins at a symposium in Luxembourg in 2010, this book examines the points of connection and divergence between critical realism and integral theory, arguably two of the most comprehensive and sophisticated contemporary metatheories. The Luxembourg symposium and the four more that followed explored the possibilities for their cross-pollination, culminating in five positions on their potential for integration, and began the process of fashioning a whole new evolutionary trajectory for both integral theory and critical realism. The contributors to this book bring together critical realism and integral theory in order to explore the potential of this collaboration for the advancement of both. Highlighting the ways in which these metatheories can transform scholarship and address the most pressing global issues of the 21st?century, this book will be of interest to students, scholars and practitioners in the areas of metatheory, philosophy, social theory, critical realism, integral theory and current affairs more generally.
In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.
The place of religion in society has changed profoundly in the last few centuries, particularly in the West. In what will be a defining book for our time, Taylor takes up the question of what these changes mean, and what, precisely, happens when a society becomes one in which faith is only one human possibility among others.
J. M. Bernstein,Claudia Brodsky,Anthony J. Cascardi,Ales Erjavec,Thierry de Duve,Fred Rush
Author: J. M. Bernstein,Claudia Brodsky,Anthony J. Cascardi,Ales Erjavec,Thierry de Duve,Fred Rush
Publisher: Berkeley Forum in the Humaniti
Theodor Adorno's Aesthetic Theory (1970) offers one of the most powerful and comprehensive critiques of art and of the discipline of aesthetics ever written. The work offers a deeply critical engagement with the history and philosophy of aesthetics and with the traditions of European art through the middle of the 20th century. It is coupled with ambitious claims about what aesthetic theory ought to be. But the cultural horizon of Adorno's Aesthetic Theory was the world of high modernism, and much has happened since then both in theory and in practice. Adorno's powerful vision of aesthetics calls for reconsideration in this light. Must his work be defended, updated, resisted, or simply left behind? This volume gathers new essays by leading philosophers, critics, and theorists writing in the wake of Adorno in order to address these questions. They hold in common a deep respect for the power of Adorno's aesthetic critique and a concern for the future of aesthetic theory in response to recent developments in aesthetics and its contexts.
Fifty years after his death, Walter Benjamin remains one of the great cultural critics of this century. Despite his renown, however, Benjamin's philosophical ideas remain elusive--often considered a disaggregated set of thoughts not meant to cohere. This book provides a more systematic perspective on Benjamin, laying claim to his status as a philosopher and situating his work in the context of its time. Exploring Benjamin's theory of language, spoken and nonspoken, Rainer Rochlitz shows how Benjamin reconceptualized traditional ideas of language, art, and history. Offering an expansive assessment of a unique twentieth-century thinker, this volume provides an indispensable guide for readers of Benjamin's recently released collected works.
"This system of thought is followed by a narrative novella designed to render plausible the ideas of reincarnation, karma and moksha or liberation and to support an ethic of engaged but unattached activity in the world, ultimately oriented to universal self-realisation in the becoming of what From East to West argues we already essentially (but only partially, i.e. not only) are, namely free or enlightened. To realise this, Bhaskar argues, we have to shed both the illusion that we are not essentially free and Godlike, and the constraining determinations (constituting an objective world of illusion, duality and alienation) which that illusion grounds." "A radical resynthesis of aspects of Western and Eastern thought, this book is also a major new development in critical realism. From East to West is bound to stimulate debate in ontology, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy and the philosophy of (comparative) religion."--BOOK JACKET.
The late anthropologist Valerio Valeri is best known for the high quality of his writings on specific societies of Polynesia and eastern Indonesia, but "Classic concepts in anthropology" makes available a different side of Valeri's inimitable genius, a series of dazzlingly erudite, comparative essays on core topics in the history of anthropological theory, originally published in Italian or French. This new volume brings together Valeri's masterful discussions of anthropological thought about ritual, fetishism, cosmogonic myth, belief, caste, kingship, mourning, play, feasting, ceremony, and cultural relativism. "Classic concepts in anthropology" is an essential resource for students and researchers throughout the social sciences and humanities.