The current ecological crisis is a matter of urgent global concern, with solutions being sought on many fronts. In this book, Seyyed Hossein Nasr argues that the devastation of our world has been exacerbated, if not actually caused, by the reductionist view of nature that has been advanced by modern secular science. What is needed, he believes, is the recovery of the truth to which the great, enduring religions all attest; namely that nature is sacred. Nasr traces the (...) historical process through which Western civilization moved away from the idea of nature as sacred and embraced a world view which sees humans as alienated from nature and nature itself as a machine to be dominated and manipulated by humans. His goal is to negate the totalitarian claims of modern science and to re-open the way to the religious view of the order of nature, developed over centuries in the cosmologies and sacred sciences of the great traditions. Each tradition, Nasr shows, has a wealth of knowledge and experience concerning the order of nature. The resuscitation of this knowledge, he argues, would allow religions all over the globe to enrich each other and cooperate to heal the wounds inflicted upon the Earth. (shrink)
For many of us, the great scientific discoveries of the modern age--the Big Bang, evolution, quantum physics, relativity--point to an existence that is bleak, devoid of meaning, pointless. But in The Sacred Depths of Nature, eminent biologist Ursula Goodenough shows us that the scientific world view need not be a source of despair. Indeed, it can be a wellspring of solace and hope. This eloquent volume reconciles the modern scientific understanding of reality with our timeless spiritual yearnings for reverence (...) and continuity. Looking at topics such as evolution, emotions, sexuality, and death, Goodenough writes with rich, uncluttered detail about the workings of nature in general and of living creatures in particular. Her luminous clarity makes it possible for even non-scientists to appreciate that the origins of life and the universe are no less meaningful because of our increasingly scientific understanding of them. At the end of each chapter, Goodenough's spiritual reflections respond to the complexity of nature with vibrant emotional intensity and a sense of reverent wonder. A beautifully written celebration of molecular biology with meditations on the spiritual and religious meaning that can be found at the heart of science, this volume makes an important contribution to the ongoing dialog between science and religion. This book will engage anyone who was ever mesmerized--or terrified--by the mysteries of existence. (shrink)
We hope—even as we doubt—that the environmental crisis can be controlled. Public awareness of our species’ self-destructiveness as material beings in a material world is growing—but so is the destructiveness. The practical interventions needed for saving and restoring the earth will require a collective shift of such magnitude as to take on a spiritual and religious intensity.This transformation has in part already begun. Traditions of ecological theology and ecologically aware religious practice have been preparing the way for decades. (...) Yet these traditions still remain marginal to society, academy, and church. With a fresh, transdisciplinary approach, Ecospirit probes the possibility of a green shift radical enough to permeate the ancient roots of our sensibility and the social sources of our practice. From new language for imagining the earth as a living ground to current constructions of nature in theology, science, and philosophy; from environmentalism’s questioning of postmodern thought to a garden of green doctrines, rituals, and liturgies for contemporary religion, these original essays explore and expand our sense of how to proceed in the face of an ecological crisis that demands new thinking and acting. In the midst of planetary crisis, they activateimagination, humor, ritual, and hope. (shrink)
The concern of this work is with developing an alternative to standard categories in theology and philosophy, especially in terms of how they deal with nature. Avoiding the polemics of much contemporary reflection on nature, it shows how we are connected to nature through the unconscious and its unique way of reading and processing signs. Spinoza's key distinction between natura naturans and natura naturata serves as the governing framework for the treatise. Suggestions are made for a post-Christian (...) way of understanding religion. Robert S. Corrington's work represents the first sustained attempt to bring together the fields of semiotics, depth-psychology, pragmaticism, and a post-Monotheistic theology of nature. Its focus is on how signification functions in human and non-human orders of infinite nature. Our connection with the infinite is described in detail, especially as it relates to the use of sign systems. (shrink)
ln a number of recent essays, Hendrik Hart has elaborated an account of the nature and function of religious belief that, he believes, is post-modern in inspiration and anti-foundationalist in character. ln this paper, I reconstruct what I take to be Hart’s central claims. While Hart does remind us of some important aspects of the nature of religious belief---aspects often overlooked by many critics---l suggest that there are several problems in the account he provides, (...) that there are tensions between his view of religious belief and his claims about how it can function, and that it is not clear that he ultimately avoids adopting a variant of the foundationalism he explicitly rejects. (shrink)
Where are we? -- How did we get here? -- The millennial vision -- Where do we go? -- Psychic energy -- The North American continent -- Governance -- The university -- The corporation -- Religion -- The historical mission of our time.
Comparative religious ethics is a complicated scholarly endeavor, striving to harmonize intellectual goals that are frequently conceived as quite different, or even intrinsically opposed. Against commonly voiced suspicions of comparative work, this essay argues that descriptive, comparative, and normative interests may support rather than conflict with each other, depending on the comparison in question, and how it is pursued. On the basis of a brief comparison of the early Christian Augustine of Hippo and the early Confucians Mencius and Xunzi (...) on the topic of "human nature," this paper advocates a particular account of comparative religious ethics, and argues for the complexity of the idea of "human nature." Different elements of this family of concerns are central to religious ethics generally, and to theories and practices of moral development and personal formation specifically. (shrink)
Introduction -- Part I. The way of the world I: truth -- Introductory -- Truth in the state of nature -- Socialized truth -- Experts and authorities -- Part II. The way of the world II: ethics -- Introductory -- Application -- Motivation -- Transformation -- Teleology -- Part III. Beyond the way of the world: worth -- Dissolving the question -- Dismissing the question -- Worth as attached to specific activities -- Worth as attached to general features of (...) life -- Kantian accounts of worth -- Secular versus religious visions of worth -- Part IV. Divine teaching -- Models of faith: trust, orientation, receptivity -- Revelation -- Aspects of revelation I: moral teaching -- Aspects of revelation II: beauty -- Aspects of revelation III: a path -- Receiving revelation -- Multiple revelations -- Part V. Divine teaching and the way of the world -- Truth again -- Morality again -- Politics -- Epilogue -- Appendix I: Proofs of God -- Appendix II: Maimonides on the evidence for revelation -- Appendix III : Kant on art and natural beauty. (shrink)
After completing his monumental work, The Principles of Psychology, William James turned his attention to serious consideration of such important religious and philosophical questions as the nature and existence of God, immortality of the soul, and free will and determinism. His interest in these questions found expression in various works, including The Varieties of Religious Experience, his classic study of spirituality. Based on the prestigious Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion he gave at the University of Edinburgh in (...) 1901 and 1902, the book--studded with richly concrete examples--documents and discusses various religious states of consciousness and covers such topics as the meaning of the term "divine," the reality of the unseen, the religion of healthy-mindedness, the sick soul, the divided self and the process of its unification, conversion, saintliness, and mysticism. One of the author's most popular works, The Varieties of Religious Experience remains one of the great books on the subject, especially noteworthy for the evidence it gives for religious experience as a unique phenomenon. This Dover edition will be the least expensive one in print. Unabridged republication of the second edition of The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, originally published by Longmans, Green and Co., New York, 1902. Index. (shrink)
This paper criticizes De George's portrayal of theological ethics and its purported inability to make a distinctive contribution to business ethics with the following theses. (1) De George's understanding of the nature of theological ethics is faulty. Consequently his typology of the field is not an adequate description of the range of prevailing approaches. (2) A constructive proposal for religious ethics is offered which takes as its starting points (a) an aspect of human experience (self-transcendence) and (b) the (...) human capacity to reason in order to claim (via Kant, Rahner, Gamwell, and others) that practical reason is religious in nature. As such, a distinctive contribution of religious ethics is its capacity to evaluate business activity in terms of its consistency with our most fundamental, all-inclusive human loyalities and affirmations about the nature of reality itself. (shrink)
The various schools of the Indian classical philosophy have discussed the issue how we understand the meaning from an utterance. In the present paper, I analyse the ancient controversy on this issue between two schools, Naiyāyikas and Vaiśeṣikas, and attempt to show that it has two aspects of religious and epistemological natures. Vaiśeṣikas, on the ground that the process of the verbal understanding is identical with that of the inference, claim that the verbal understanding is merely a type (...) of the inference. Naiyāyikas oppose this and assert that the former is distinct from the latter. I summarise Vaiśeṣikas’ argument into two points: (1) the similarity of the objects of the cognition and (2) that of the relations between the object and what denotes it. Naiyāyikas rejects both thesimilarities. The above discussion, which may stimulate our epistemological interest, has a close connection with the issue of scriptures. The utterance as a source of knowledge seems to have stood, in the early period, only for the scriptures, as pointed out by Hiryanna. Taking this into consideration, Vaiśeṣikas’ thesis can be understood to imply that they deny the intrinsic authority of scriptures and reduce it to the rational faculty of human beings. Naiyāyikas also deny itsintrinsic authority, but their view on the cognitive process of the verbal understanding is different from that of Vaiśeṣikas. The reason of this divergence may lie in how they treat the reliability of the speaker in respect to the cognitive process. (shrink)
Part I: The birth of religious naturalism -- Philosophical religious naturalism -- Theological religious naturalism -- Analyzing the issues -- Interlude religious naturalism in literature -- Part II: The rebirth of religious naturalism -- Sources of religious insight -- Current issues in religious naturalism -- Other current religious naturalists -- Conclusion: Living religiously as a naturalist.
If something like Reformed Epistemology is correct, an agent is innocent in regarding certain ways of forming beliefs to be reliable until those ways have been proven guilty. An important species of argument purporting to show guilt (1) identifies the ways of forming beliefs at the core of our cognitive activity, (2) isolates the features of our core practices which account for their reliability, and (3) determines whether or not peripheral practices which ought to have those features enjoy at least (...) their functional equivalents. An example. Sense perception is at the heart of our cognitive activity; a feature of sense-perception which provides us with confidence in its reliability is that we can subject sense-perceptual beliefs to intersubjective criticism - others can check our beliefs. Beliefs about God formed on the basis of religious experience cannot be so checked and therefore lack positive epistemic status.An important response to such criticism consists of arguing that the difference between two ways of forming beliefs is just what we should expect given some relevant difference between the subject matters of those two ways of forming beliefs. This species of response employs what I call ‘the Ontological Principle,’ viz., that the nature or characteristics of an object constrain the way an agent ought to form beliefs about that object.In this paper, I attempt to provide a rationale for the Ontological Principle. I argue as follows. Any epistemic norm which requires of an agent that she enter into causal relations with an object which she cannot in the ‘nature’ of the case enter lacks epistemic merit - it violates the ought implies can dictum. Because the epistemic norms properly governing the cognitive activity of a given agent are constrained by the causal relations possible between an agent and an object of belief, and because the causal relations possible between an object of belief and an agent are determined in part by the characteristics of the object of belief, the epistemic norms properly governing the cognitive activity of a given agent are determined in part by the characteristics of the object of belief. That is, the Ontological Principle is true. (shrink)
This review essay summarizes major themes in Ursula Goodenough’s The Sacred Depths of Nature and in several of her recent shorter publications. I describe her religious naturalism and her effort to craft a global ethic grounded in her penetrating account of nature. I suggest several parallels between Goodenough’s “deep” account of nature and Michael Polanyi’s ideas.
Can one call nature 'evil'? Or is life a matter of eating and being eaten, where value judgments should not be applied? Is nature beautiful? Or is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Scientists often pretend that their disciplines only describe and analyze natural processes in factual terms, without making evaluative statements regarding reality. However, scientists may also be driven by the beauty of that which they study. Or they may be appalled by suffering they encounter, and (...) look for technical or medical means 'to improve nature'. Outside of the scientific community, value judgments are even more common. Humans evaluate nature and natural processes in moral, aesthetic and religious terms as cruel, beautiful, hopeful or meaningless. Is nature ultimately good, with all suffering and evil justified in the context of the larger evolutionary process? Or is nature to be improved, via culture or technology, as it is considered less adequate than it could be? In this book, some major scientists, theologians, and philosophers discuss these issues. As a study on the relations between religion and science, this is unique in emphasizing the evaluation of nature, rather than treating religion and science as competing or complementary casual explanations. (shrink)
The culmination of William James' interest in the psychology of religion, The Varieties of Religious Experience approached the study of religious phenomena in a new way -- through pragmatism and experimental psychology. The most important effect of the publication of the Varieties was to shift the emphasis in this field of study from the dogmas and external forms of religion to the unique mental states associated with it. Explaining the book's intentions in a letter to a friend, James (...) stated: "The problem I have set myself is a hard one: first, to defend...'experience' against 'philosophy' as being the real backbone of the world's religious life...and second, to make the hearer or reader believe what I myself invincibly do believe, that, although all the special manifestations of religion may have been absurd (I mean its creeds and theories), yet the life of it as a whole is mankind's most important function." Drawing evidence from his own experience and from such diverse thinkers as Voltaire, Whitman, Emerson, Luther, Tolstoy, John Bunyan, and Jonathan Edwards, The Varieties of Religious Experience remains one of the most influential books ever written on the psychology of religion. (shrink)
I don't know of any other book like it."--Wayne Proudfoot, Columbia University "This is a terrific book. -/- The essence of religion was once widely thought to be a unique form of experience that could not be explained in neurological, psychological, or sociological terms. In recent decades scholars have questioned the privileging of the idea of religious experience in the study of religion, an approach that effectively isolated the study of religion from the social and natural sciences. Religious (...) Experience Reconsidered lays out a framework for research into religious phenomena that reclaims experience as a central concept while bridging the divide between religious studies and the sciences.Ann Taves shifts the focus from "religious experience," conceived as a fixed and stable thing, to an examination of the processes by which people attribute meaning to their experiences. She proposes a new approach that unites the study of religion with fields as diverse as neuroscience, anthropology, sociology, and psychology to better understand how these processes are incorporated into the broader cultural formations we think of as religious or spiritual. Taves addresses a series of key questions: how can we set up studies without obscuring contestations over meaning and value? What is the relationship between experience and consciousness? How can research into consciousness help us access and interpret the experiences of others? Why do people individually or collectively explain their experiences in religious terms? How can we set up studies that allow us to compare experiences across times and cultures?Religious Experience Reconsidered demonstrates how methods from the sciences can be combined with those from the humanities to advance a naturalistic understanding of the experiences that people deem religious. (shrink)
The phenomenon of aspect recognition is at the core of Wittgenstein's later views on logic and language; it is also central to his reflections on religious language and experience. In both contexts, the uptake and use of pictures is the critical element in concept formation and in understanding. Clarity and confusion in religious thought lie in a domain defined by the structure, aesthetics, and functions of the pictures religious people use, and by the relations among them. The (...) argument is conveyed through analyses of experiences of characters in _The Wind in the Willows and Homer's _Odyssey. (shrink)
Two claims common in wittgenstein exegesis are addressed, With special reference to a well-known discussion by Peter Winch. First: the claim that one person's language must be intelligible to another is ambiguous; one interpretation is intuitively plausible; strong, Less plausible versions are ascribed to Wittgenstein. Inattention to the ambiguity noted could facilitate their acceptance. Second: the claim that the necessity for standards of correctness in the use of language has as a direct consequence the need for social standards is false (...) and probably misrepresents Wittgenstein. (shrink)
For centuries, religion and philosophy have been the primary basis for efforts to guide humans to be more ethical. However, training in ethics and religion and imparting positive values and morality tests such as those emanating from the categorical imperative and the Golden Rule have not been enough to protect humankind from its bad behaviors. To improve ethics education educators must better understand aspects of human nature such as those that lead to “self-deception” and “personal bias.” Through rationalizations, (...) faulty reasoning and hidden bias, individuals trick themselves into believing there is little wrong with their own unethical behavior. The application of science to human nature offers the possibility of improving ethics education through better self-knowledge. The author recommends a new paradigm for ethics education in contemporary modern society. This includes the creation of a new field called “applied evolutionary neuro-ethics” which integrates science and social sciences to improve ethics education. The paradigm can merge traditional thinking about ethics from religious and philosophical perspectives with new ideas from applied evolutionary neuro-ethics. (shrink)
A Amazônia constituiu-se, ao longo de sua formação histórica e sociocultural, em importante território de crenças em saberes de cura que expressam interculturalidades entre humanos e sobrenaturais. Nas fronteiras que separam e interligam o período colonial e os tempos contemporâneos, fios de memórias escritas e orais trazem à tona experiências em que religiosidades nativas, coloniais e diaspóricas se conformam em profunda bricolagem com a natureza, erigindo um panteão de divindades afroindígenas na região. Neste artigo, sob a orientação teórica dos Estudos (...) Culturais, do Pensamento Pós-Colonial e da Antropologia das Religiões, exploramos diálogos realizados com memórias de um pai de santo, um curandeiro, uma irmã consagrada e uma “pajé”, além de percepções de um sacerdote católico e escritos de uma outra pajé. A análise dessas fontes evidencia que crenças em saberes de cura, aspectos constituintes das cosmologias afroindígenas, traduzem modos específicos com os quais populações amazônicas, com destaque para a Amazônia Marajoara, lidam com encantados, espíritos, santos, orixás em seu fazer religioso. Por esse ângulo, a cultura é apreendida como território de experiências intersticiais e a natureza se refaz como paisagem cultural, pois sofre intervenções e interfere na configuração do sistema religioso local. Palavras-chave : Saberes de Cura. Natureza. Afroindígena. Interculturalidade. Amazônia Marajoara.The Amazon has been constituted, throughout its historical and socio-cultural formation, in an important area of beliefs towards healing knowledges that express interculturalism between the humans and the supernatural. Within the borders that separate and connect the colonial and contemporary times, written and oral memories bring up experiences where the native, colonial and diasporic religiosity configure themselves into a deep tinkering with nature and erect a pantheon of Afroindigenous deities in the region. In this article, under the theoretical guidance of Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Thought and Anthropology of Religions, we explore dialogues conducted with memories of a saint father, a medicine man, a Catholic nun and a “Pajé” (a female shaman or witch-doctor), besides the perceptions of a Catholic priest and writings of another female Shaman. The analysis of these sources shows that beliefs in healing knowledges, constituent aspects of Afro-indigenous cosmologies, translate specific modes with which Amazonian populations, especially the Marajoara Amazon ones, deal with enchanted beings, spirits, saints, African orishas in their religious practices. From this perspective, culture is perceived as a territory of interstitial experiences and nature is remade as a cultural landscape, once it suffers interventions and also interferes within the local religious system configuration. Keywords : Healing Knowledges. Nature. Afroindigenous. Interculturalism. Marajoara Amazon. (shrink)
This book introduces Islam as the religion of inclusive monotheism, supporting a holistic approach toward the entire creation, including man and humanity, and taking into consideration directly all his physical, rational, emotion, and spiritual needs.
Originally published: c2000. With new pref. An award-winning biologist argues that the intersection of scientific creativity and religious insight is a prerequisite for the emergence of a more humane medical science.
Introduction: Evolution and mind -- The evolution of morality -- Setting the task -- The moral brain -- The first layer : kin selection -- The second layer : reciprocal altruism -- A third layer : indirect reciprocity -- A fourth layer : cultural group selection -- A fifth layer : the moral emotions -- Conclusion: From moral grammar to moral systems -- The evolution of moral religions -- Setting the task -- The evolution of the religious mind -- (...) Conceptualizing the almighty -- The moral function of gods -- Evolutionary religious ethics : Judaism -- Setting the task -- Constructing Yahweh -- TheTen Commandments : an evolutionary interpretation -- Conclusion: The evolved law -- Evolutionary religious ethics : Christianity -- Setting the task -- Constructing the Christ -- Setting the boundaries : Christian and/or Jew? -- The third race : Christians as in-group -- Putting on Christ : Christianity's signals of commitment -- Loving your neighbor and turning the other cheek -- Religion, violence, and the evolved mind -- Setting the task -- Devoted to destruction : sanctified violence and Judaism -- The blood of the Lamb -- A case study in the evolved psychology of religious violence : 9/11/01 -- Religion evolving -- Setting the task -- Varieties of religious expressions -- If there were no God -- Religion, ethics, and violence : an assessment -- Responding to religion, ethics, and violence : some proposals. (shrink)
In this book Mark Wynn argues that the landscape of philosophical theology looks rather different from the perspective of a re-conceived theory of emotion. In matters of religion, we do not need to opt for objective content over emotional form or vice versa. On the contrary, these strategies are mistaken at root, since form and content are not properly separable here - because 'inwardness' may contribute to 'thought-content', or because (to use the vocabulary of the book) emotional feelings can themselves (...) constitute thoughts; or because, to put the point a further way, in religious contexts, perception and conception are often infused by feeling. Wynn uses this perspective to forge a distinctive approach to a range of established topics in philosophy of religion, notably: religious experience; the problem of evil; the relationship of religion and ethics, and religion and art; and in general, the connection of 'feeling' to doctrine and tradition. (shrink)
In recent years feminist scholarship has increasingly focused on the importance of the body and its representations in virtually every social, cultural, and intellectual context. Many have argued that because women are more closely identified with their bodies, they have access to privileged and different kinds of knowledge than men. In this landmark new book, Paula Cooey offers a different perspective on the significance of the body in the context of religious life and practice. Building on the pathbreaking work (...) of Elaine Scarry in The Body in Pain, Cooey looks at a wide range of evidence, from the Argentine prison narrative of Alicia Partnoy, to the novels of Toni Morrison and the paintings of Frida Kahlo. Drawing on current social theory and critique, cognitive psychology, contemporary fiction and art, and women's accounts of religious experience, Cooey relates the reality of sentience to the social construction of reality. Beginning with an examination of the female body as a metaphor for alternative knowledge, she considers the significance of physical pain and pleasure to the religious imagination, and the relations between sentience, sensuality, and female subjectivity. Cooey succeeds in bringing forward a sophisticated new understanding of the religious importance of the body, at the same time laying the foundations of a feminist theory of religion. (shrink)
This book provides philosophical grounds for an emerging area of scholarship: the study of religion and dance. In the first part, LaMothe investigates why scholars in religious studies have tended to overlook dance, or rhythmic bodily movement, in favor of textual expressions of religious life. In close readings of Descartes, Kant, Schleiermacher, Hegel, and Kierkegaard, LaMothe traces this attitude to formative moments of the field in which philosophers relied upon the practice of writing to mediate between the study (...) of “religion,” on the one hand, and “theology,” on the other.In the second part, LaMothe revives the work of theologian, phenomenologist, and historian of religion Gerardus van der Leeuw for help in interpreting how dancing can serve as a medium of religious experience and expression. In so doing, LaMothe opens new perspectives on the role of bodily being in religious life, and on the place of theology in the study of religion. (shrink)
Introduction: Laughter as an expression of human nature in the Middle Ages and the early modern period: literary, historical, theological, philosophical, and psychological reflections -- Judith Hagen. Laughter in Procopius's wars -- Livnat Holtzman. "Does God really laugh?": appropriate and inappropriate descriptions of God in Islamic traditionalist theology -- Daniel F. Pigg. Laughter in Beowulf: ambiguity, ambivalence, and group identity formation -- Mark Burde. The parodia sacra problem and medieval comic studies -- Olga V. Trokhimenko. Women's laughter and gender (...) politics in medieval conduct discourse -- Madelon Köhler-Busch. Pushing decorum: uneasy laughter in Heinrich von Dem Türlîn's Diu crône -- Connie L. Scarborough. Laughter and the comic in a religious text -- John Sewell. The son rebelled and so the father made man alone: ridicule and boundary maintenance in The Nizzahon vetus -- Birgit Wiedl. Laughing at the beast: the judensau: anti-Jewish propaganda and humor from the Middle Ages to the early modern period -- Fabian Alfie. Yes . . . but was it funny? Cecco Angiolieri, Rustico Filippi and Giovanni Boccaccio -- Nicolino Applauso. Curses and laughter in medieval Italian comic poetry -- Feargal Béarra. Tromdhámh guaire: a context for laughter and audience in early modern Ireland -- Jean E. Jost. Humorous transgression in the non-conformist fabliaux: a Bakhtinian analysis of three comic tales -- Gretchen Mieszkowski. Chaucerian comedy: Troilus and Criseyde -- Sarah Gordon. Laughing and eating in the fabliaux -- Christine Bousquet-Labouérie. Laughter and medieval stalls -- Scott L. Taylor. Esoteric humor and the incommensurability of laughter -- Jean N. Goodrich. The function of laughter in The second shepherds' play -- Albrecht Classen. Laughing in late-medieval verse and prose narratives -- Rosa Alvarez perez. The workings of desire: Panurge and the dogs -- Elizabeth Chesney Zegura. Laughing out loud in the Heptaméron: a reassessment of Marguerite de Navarre's ambivalent humor -- Lia B. Ross. You had to be there: the elusive humor of the Sottie -- Kyle Diroberto. Sacred parody in Robert Greene's Groatsworth of wit -- Martha Moffitt Peacock. The comedy of the shrew: theorizing humor in early modern Netherlandish art -- Jessica Tvordi. The comic personas of Milton's Prolusion VI: negotiating masculine identity through self-directed humor -- John Alexander. Ridentum dicere verum (using laughter to speak the truth): laughter and the language of the early modern clown "pickelhering" in German literature of the late seventeenth century (1675-1700) -- Thomas Willard. Andreae's ludibrium: Menippean satire in The chymische hochzeit -- Diane Rudall. The comic power of illusion-allusion -- Allison P. Coudert. Laughing at credulity and superstition in the long eighteenth century. (shrink)
Jamake Highwater is a master storyteller and one of our most visionary writers, hailed as "an eloquent bard, whose words are fire and glory" (Studs Terkel) and "a writer of exceptional vision and power" (Ana"is Nin). Author of more than thirty volumes of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, Highwater--considered by many to be the intellectual heir of Joseph Campbell--has long been intrigued by how our mythological legacies have served as a foundation of modern civilization. Now, in The Mythology of Transgression, he (...) uses his remarkable narrative powers to offer a personal and extraordinarily far-ranging examination of how people who stand outside of society--by dint of their sexual orientation, physical appearance, ideas, artistic inclinations, or ethnic heritage--often achieve lasting, even profound influence upon the culture at large. Drawing from a stunningly rich variety of sources ranging from the arts and literature to biology, physics, psychology, and anthropology, Highwater looks at his own outsider status--as a gay man, an artist, and an orphaned Native American--in an attempt to explore how mythologies from ancient times to the present have shaped the ways we think about social "abnormality" and alienation. Throughout, he points to a paradox at the center of Western values--the competing notions that the outsider is at once sinful and wise, that in everyday life the transgressor is ostracized, while in our most durable folklore and religious legends, heroes must break the rules to achieve greatness. Focusing in particular on homosexuality as a modern metaphor of transgression, Highwater brilliantly mixes personal anecdotes with wide ranging research, leading us on a tour through the history of social conformity and rejection, citing examples that span from Judeo-Christian-Islamic doctrines of good and evil, to the Navajo Nation's ambivalence toward the nature of sexuality, to Carson McCullers's treatment of physical deformity in the novella Member of the Wedding, to Descartes's theories of dualism. He also pays special attention to the debates currently raging in science regarding the biology of homosexuality and provides an engaging discussion of why we are motivated to seek a genetic basis of sexual orientation in the first place. Jamake Highwater has long been celebrated as a writer uniquely suited to give voice to the social outsider. Often provocative, always fascinating, The Mythology of Transgression is a tour de force of eloquent scholarship, a book that will prompt discussion and debate on the subject for years to come. (shrink)
There is now a considerable body of published work on the epistemology of modern chemistry, especially with regard to the nature of quantum chemistry. In addition, the question of the metaphysical underpinnings of chemistry has received a good deal of attention. The present article concentrates on metaphysical considerations including the question of whether elements and groups of elements are natural kinds. It is also argued that an appeal to the metaphysical nature of elements can help clarify the re-emerging (...) controversies among chemists regarding the placement of the elements hydrogen and helium in the periodic system and the question of whether there exists a best form of the periodic table. (shrink)
The importance of history for religious ethics lies in the fact that, in religious communities existing over time, values are encountered in history, given forms dependent on the historical experience of the believing community, and recalled by the individual moral agent through memory in the context of participation in that community. This paper has to do with the nature of that memory and its implications for moral identity. Specifically, I utilize the concept of "significant history," derived from (...) Gordon Kaufman's notion of the "living past," arguing that moral identity is defined by memory of such history, present to the self in two aspects, individual and communal. The historical task of the religious ethicist, on this view, is to render faithfully both his own significant history and that of his community of faith. With the problem thus defined, I analyze several attempts to solve it, attempting to show how a religious ethical tradition ought to be treated as normative for contemporary analysis and decision-making. (shrink)
Common sense realism, by E. G. Bewkes.--Theology and religious experience, by Vergilius Ferm.--A reasoned faith, by G. F. Thomas.--Can religion become empirical? By J. S. Bixler.--Value theory and theology, by H. R. Niebuhr.--The truth in myths, by Reinhold Niebuhr.--Is subjectivism in value theory compatible with realism and meliorism? By Cornelius Krusé.--The semi-detached knower: a note on radical empiricism, by R. L. Calhoun.--The new scientific and metaphysical basis for epistemological theory, by F. S. C. Northrop.--A psychological approach to reality, by (...) Hugh Hartshorne.--A definition of religious liberalism, by D. S. Robinson. (shrink)
Common sense realism, by E. G. Bewkes.--Theology and religious experience, by V. Ferm.--A reasoned faith, by G. F. Thomas.--Can religion become empirical? By J. S. Bixler.--Value theory and theology, by H. R. Niebuhr.--The truth in myths, by R. Niebuhr.--Is subjectivism in value theory compatible with realism and meliorism? By C. Krusé.--The semi-detached knower: a note on radical empiricism, by R. L. Calhoun.--The new scientific and metaphysical basis for epistemological theory, by F. S. C. Northrop.--A psychological approach to reality, by (...) H. Hartshorne.--A definition of religious liberalism, by D. S. Robinson. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction William A. Galston and Peter H. Hoffenberg; 2. Global poverty and uneven development Sakiko Fukuda-Parr; 3. The karma of poverty: a Buddhist perspective David R. Loy; 4. Poverty and morality in Christianity Kent A. Van Til; 5. Classical liberalism, poverty, and morality Tom G. Palmer; 6. Confucian perspectives on poverty and morality Peter Nosco; 7. Poverty and morality: a feminist perspective Nancy J. Hirschmann; 8. Hinduism and poverty Arvind Sharma; 9. The problem of poverty (...) in Islamic ethics Sohail H. Hashmi; 10. Jewish perspectives on poverty Noam Zohar; 11. Liberal egalitarianism and poverty Darrel Moellendorf; 12. Marxism and poverty Andrew Levine; 13. Poverty and natural law Stephen J. Pope; 14. Afterword Michael Walzer. (shrink)