Some recent state formations are offshoots of religious societies where the elite clothed the state with religious apparel. Diverse communities and their beliefs compel many modern nations to adopt a secular state ideology in order to avoid religious domination of time. Constitutionally, Islam is the official religion in Malaysia, while the state has maintained peaceful co-existence among its religious groups with an emphasis on religious tolerance and improved wealth distribution. Conversely, Nigeria, constitutionally a secular state with shared populations of mainly (...) Christians and Muslims, is embroiled in yearly religious conflicts. This article aims to show how Nigeria’s secular state status is engulfed in religious bigotry due to institutional inadequacies. This is unlike Malaysia’s state-centered influence on religion, yet its wealth distribution policy makes room for peaceful co-existence in its polity as against more severe challenges of corruption in Nigeria. The paper argues that leadership and institutional failures have exacerbated religious conflicts in Nigeria and hence the state totters in the face of tension. A theoretical debate unveils our proposition on religious practices in both countries. We rely on secondary data and empirical evidence in unveiling issues and conclude with modest recommendations. (shrink)
In now classic article, James Clifford offers a novel perspective on ethnographic texts. Inspired by literary studies he uses contemporary ethnographic works to question ethnography’s claims of scientific objectivity and a clear distinction between allegorical and factual. If ethnography aims to keep its contemporary relevance, it should specifically focus on allegory as an intrinsic quality of ethnographic texts This kind of analysis may assume that any ethnographic text accounts for facts and events but at the same time it tackles (...) the moral, ideological or even cosmological issues. According to Clifford, ethnography has been dominated by a “pastoral” allegorical register which allowed an ethnographer to occupy a privileged position to interpret other, non-writing cultures. Clifford notices that this register is loosing support in the modern world since the difference between illiterate and literate cultures is not relevant anymore. Ethnographic pastoral is now replaced with self-reflexive and dialogical forms of ethnographic writing, analyzed by Clifford by the example of Marjorie Shostak’s book Nisa: The Life and Words of a!Kung Woman. (shrink)
A fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and of the Royal Society, William Clifford made his reputation in applied mathematics, but his interests ranged far more widely, encompassing ethics, evolution, metaphysics and philosophy of mind. This posthumously collected two-volume work, first published in 1879, bears witness to the dexterity and eclecticism of this Victorian thinker, whose commitment to the most abstract principles of mathematics and the most concrete details of human experience resulted in vivid and often unexpected arguments. Volume 1 (...) includes a detailed biographical introduction by Clifford's colleague, Frederick Pollock, who situates his close friend's interests in Darwin and Spinoza within a larger, life-long devotion to the principles of scientific enquiry and experiment. This volume also features two important essays, 'On Some of the Conditions of Mental Development', his first public lecture delivered at the Royal Institute in London, and 'The Philosophy of the Pure Sciences'. (shrink)
Combining the most powerful elements of Foucault's theories, Clifford produces a methodology for cultural and political critique called "political genealogy" to explore the genesis of modern political identity. At the core of American identity, Clifford argues, is the ideal of the "Savage Noble," a hybrid that married the Native American "savage" with the "civilized" European male. This complex icon animates modern politics, and has shaped our understandings of rights, freedom, and power.
Clifford, Dick The world outlook is rather grim. Greece is bankrupt, the efforts to cure the problem by making new loans to the banks and cutting living standards is likely only to postpone the date when bankruptcy is declared. Italy and Spain are in a similar position. Britain, Europe and the USA are loaded with debt, only a few countries like Iceland are adopting methods which are the reverse of what conventional economics requires and seem to be recovering from (...) their problems slowly. (shrink)
In these extracts from longer essays, James Clifford deals with the question of the dynamics of indigenous cultures. Following the ideas of Jean-Marie Tjibaou, he exposes the different dialectics that inhabit the relations to place and localization of power with regard to their terms of articulation. Across the dialectics that variously link aboriginal histories and diasporas, origins and dislocations, and the relations between past, present and future, Clifford explores the array of indigenous arrangements tangled up in the post- (...) and neo-colonial situations and the stakes behind the reappropriation of sovereignty. (shrink)
In this book, Michael Clifford lays the groundwork for the formalization of political genealogy as a recognized methodology of theoretical inquiry. Appealing to scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities, this book looks to our future by focusing on the history of our present and on what being a political subject will be like in a post-representational world.
Fitting the Mind to the World explores the brain's remarkable capacity to adapt to its current visual environment. Leading vision researchers explore how visual experience alters the adult brain, fitting the mind to the world, and ensuring the efficient coding of sensory signals. They demonstrate how this plasticity affects every aspect of our visual experience, from the perception of movement and colour, to the perception of subtle, social and emotional information in human faces.
The success of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) worldwide has led to an accumulation of frozen embryos that are surplus to the reproductive needs of those for whom they were created. In these situations, couples must decide whether to discard them or donate them for scientific research or for use by other infertile couples. While legislation and regulation may limit the decisions that couples make, their decisions are often shaped by their religious beliefs. Unfortunately, health professionals, scientists and policy-makers are often (...) unaware of the way in which faith traditions view ART and decisions concerning the ‘fate’ of surplus embryos. In this paper scholars representing six major religious traditions provide a commentary on a hypothetical case concerning the donation or destruction of excess ART embryos. These commentaries provide a rich account of religious perspectives on the status of the human embryo and an insight into the relevance of faith to health and policy decisions, particularly in reproductive medicine, ART and embryo research. (shrink)
This paper seeks to describe and evaluate the work of the late Iris Marion Young as a critical reference point for values and ethics in the social professions. Her credentials are both experiential and theoretical, having studied analytical then postmodern and phenomenological thought, publishing a series of influential books on political and ethical concepts from a critical feminist position. Her theory and practice were closely related: she actively campaigned for feminist and related social causes for many years. The aim is (...) to provide a broad review of her work, with special reference to aspects particularly relevant to the social professions, and some discussion of implications for practice. It is not the intention to set out a systematic framework of concepts but to suggest the fruitfulness of some of her ideas, particularly those relevant to social professionals, and encourage the reader to go back to the original work. (shrink)
Abstract None of the numerous modern proposals for jus post bellum models has gained wide acceptance. The proposals tend to resemble laundry lists, often enumerated without an obvious and coherent ethical rationale. Recognizing the importance of jus post bellum, this article seeks to move the jus post bellum discourse forward. First, the article constructs a foundation of seven principles for jus post bellum models by modifying and integrating the separate proposals advanced by Bellamy and Evans. Then building on that revised (...) set of foundational principles, this article incorporates selected criteria and research from prior proposals to erect a five-part jus post bellum framework: (1) respect for persons; (2) establish justice; (3) exercise ecological responsibility; (4) engage multinational commitment and support; and (5) maintain progress toward closure. The article concludes by arguing that the proposed jus post bellum model is comprehensive, parsimonious, pragmatic, and has a universally applicable framework analogous to Just War Theory's other two components. (shrink)