In Aquinas's account of the beatific vision, human beings are joined to God in a never-ending act of contemplation of the divine essence: a state which utterly fulfills the human drive for knowledge and satisfies every desire of the human heart. In this paper, I argue that this state represents less a fulfillment of human nature, however, than a transcendence of that nature. Furthermore, what’s transcended is not incidental on a metaphysical, epistemological, or moral level.
This book's thirty essays explore philosophically the nature and morality of sexual perversion, cybersex, masturbation, homosexuality, contraception, same-sex marriage, promiscuity, pedophilia, date rape, sexual objectification, teacher-student relationships, pornography, and prostitution. Authors include Martha Nussbaum, Thomas Nagel, Alan Goldman, John Finnis, Sallie Tisdale, Robin West, Alan Wertheimer, John Corvino, Cheshire Calhoun, Jerome Neu, and Alan Soble, among others. A valuable resource for sex researchers as well as undergraduate courses in the philosophy of sex.
This article explores the writings and thought on the Decalogue of the eminent nineteenth-century English poet, Christina Rossetti, especially in her volume, “Letter and Spirit. Notes on the Commandments”. It offers a corrective to several imbalances in the existing literature. First, scholars who admire Rossetti as a literary figure often neglect and even misunderstand or distort her Christian thought. Second, the study of the history of biblical interpretation has generally excluded women's voices. Third, a preoccupation with the rise of (...) biblical criticism has led scholars to ignore the continuation of devotional and ecclesial readings of Scripture in the nineteenth century and beyond. Rossetti's biblical interpretation is richly attentive to the women of the Bible and to the interests of women readers. It also reflects her Anglo-Catholic identity. Christina Rossetti offers a heightened treatment of the Decalogue which invites readers to realize that the implications of each of the Ten Commandments go wider and deeper than they have hitherto assumed, thereby awakening a greater sense of their own sinfulness. (shrink)
Closely based on the dramatist’s personal experience, Christina Reid’s The Belle of the Belfast City offers a commentary on the life of the Protestant working class in the capital of Northern Ireland in the 1980s from a woman’s perspective. It shows the way eroticism is successfully used by the female characters as a source of emancipation as well as a means not only to secure their strong position in the private domain of the household, but also to challenge the (...) patriarchal structures that prevail in the Irish public sphere. The analysis of the play proposed in this essay focuses on the contrast between the presentation of its male and female characters. I will demonstrate that, while the former group desperately cling to the idea of preserving the social status quo, the latter display a more progressive outlook on the social and sexual politics of the country. In particular, I will investigate how the tensions between the representatives of the two sexes reveal themselves in the corporal sphere. I will argue that, as opposed to the erotically-inhibited and physically-inarticulate male characters, the female dramatis personae take advantage of being more connected to their bodies and use their physicality in an erotic fashion to subvert the rules of the patriarchal system and its strict moral code that limits their social roles to those of respectful mothers, obedient sisters or virtuous wives. (shrink)
Following her abdication, Queen Christina of Sweden took up residence in the Palazzo Farnese, Rome from 1655. She had already developed a keen interest in music, gained from tuition from a French dancing master, and playing the star role in the ballet The Captured Cupid in honour of her mother's birthday in 1649. Christina's arrival in Rome was marked by performances in her honour in the Palazzo Barberini and Palazzo Pamphili of specially commissioned works by contemporary composers Marco (...) Marazzoli and A.F. Tenaglia, and by her favourite Giacomo Carissimi. Inspired by the chamber music proportions of the cappella of the Collegio Germanico, many of Carissimi's secular arias were composed for his royal Swedish patron. After two years in France, Christina returned to Rome, where she took up residence in the Palazzo Riario on the Janiculum. Inventories record her musical instruments and describe the contents of the Great Hall in which concerts were held. (shrink)
I want to argue…that to read Rossetti’s religious poetry with understanding requires a more or less conscious investment in the peculiarities of its Christian orientation, in the social and historical particulars which feed and shape the distinctive features of her work. Because John O. Waller’s relatively recent essay on Rossetti, “Christ’s Second Coming: Christina Rossetti and the Premillenarianist William Dodsworth,” focuses on some of the most important of these particulars, it seems to me one of the most useful pieces (...) of scholarship ever written on the poet. The essay locates the special ground of Rossetti’s religious poetry in that peculiar Adventist and premillenarian context which flourished for about fifty years in mid nineteenth-century culture. In point of historical fact—and it is a historical fact which has enormous significance for the aesthetic character of Rossetti’s poetry—her religious verse is intimately meshed with a number of particular, even peculiar, religious ideas.18 From the vantage of her strongest poetry, the most important of these ideas were allied to a once powerful religious movement which later—toward the end of the century—slipped to a marginal position in English culture.The whole question [of premillenarianism] was overshadowed first and last by the Tractarian Movement, Anglo-Catholicism, and the resulting Protestant reaction. And we can see in retrospect that all through the years [1820-1875] the theological future actually belonged to liberal, or Broad Church, principles. By the middle 1870s, apparently [the issues raised through the premillenarian movement] were no longer very alive.19In this context we may begin to understand the decline of Rossetti’s reputation after the late nineteenth century, when she was still regarded as one of the most powerful and important contemporary English poets. Her reputation was established in the 1860s and 1870s, when Adventism reached the apogee of its brief but influential career. Thereafter, the availability of religious poetry was mediated either through the Broad Church line or through the High Church and Anglo-Catholic line . The premillenarian and evangelist enthusiasm which supported Rossetti’s religious poetry had been moved to the periphery of English culture when the canon of such verse began to take shape in the modern period.To read Rossetti’s poetry, then, we have to willingly suspend not only our disbelief in her convictions and ideas but also our belief in those expectations and presuppositions about religious poetry which we have inherited from those two dominant ideological lines—Broad Church and High Church and Anglo-Catholic. Waller has drawn our attention to the general premillenarian content of her work, and I should like to follow his lead by emphasizing another crucial and even more particular doctrinal feature of her poetry. 19. Waller, “Christ’s Second Coming,” p. 477. For a general discussion of millenarianism in the early nineteenth century, see J. E. Harrison, The Second Coming, Popular Millenarianism, 1780-1850 . Jerome J. McGann is the Doris and Henry Dreyfuss Professor of Humanities at the California Institute of Technology. His two most recent books are The Romantic Ideology. A Critical Investigation and A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism . His previous contributions to Critical Inquiry are “Formalism, Savagery, and Care; or, The Function of Criticism Once Again” and “The Meaning of the Ancient Mariner”. (shrink)
This article focuses on the ways that one individual child, Christina, experienced urban life in and outside of a diversely populated elementary school with a multicultural curriculum. Labeled by the school and her parents as white, Christina identified as Latina, and used specific spaces in the city to support this claim. Drawing on data from a year-long ethnographic study, I show how Christina navigated her life in the city and explore the ways that she consciously represented herself (...) over time, in multiple social spaces, as non-white. Three particular spaces are explored here: the city bus ride to school, Christina's neighborhood, and classroom discussions. Christina used a variety of resources to negotiate each space, in effect drawing a map of her racial identity as she lived in the city. Her case offers ideas about how such a curriculum might influence the senses of self of children in diversely populated classrooms. (shrink)
In the long-running debate on the interest of the dead, Joan C. Callahan argues against such interests and although Søren Holm for practical reasons is prepared to consider posthumous interests, he does not see any moral basis to support such interests. He argues that the whole question is irresolvable, yet finds privacy interests where Tutankhamen is concerned. Callahan argues that there can be reasons to hold on to the fiction that there are posthumous interests, namely if it is comforting for (...) the living and instrumental for society. Thus, despite arguing against the position that the dead have any interests or for any moral basis for such interests, these “interests” are still taken into consideration in the end. This shows the unsatisfactory basis of their positions and indicates the tenacity of the moral intuition that the dead can have moral claims on the living. One example of a posthumous interest is the interest in one’s good name. Here we argue that it is an interest of moral significance. This implies that if individuals restrict use of their sample when they are still alive, those restrictions apply after their death. Further, it implies that one should be concerned with the reputation of historic persons. Research that defeats these interests calls for justification. We have suggested two lines of thinking along which such a discussion could go: investigating the truth-value of the good name and the relevance of bringing it into possible disrepute. (shrink)
In today’s academia, scholars are compelled to be productive. The result is an overabundance of publications that often are formulaic follow-ups to the debates du jour. The essays included in this collection are a fortunate exception to this rule—they are original and make refreshingly bold claims. The articles are devoted to the reception of Aristotle’s logic and metaphysics in the Middle Ages and show the vitality of the cluster of scholars known as the “Copenhagen School of Medieval Philosophy.” Even though (...) the school does not identify as “neo-scholastic”, many of its members accept the idea that scholastic interpretations are relevant to our understanding of Aristotle’s thought. Undoubtedly, this is a... (shrink)