This article begins with a review of studies in perception and depth psychology concerning the experience of exposure to sacred artworks in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox contexts. This follows with the results of a qualitative inquiry involving 45 Roman Catholic, Eastern and Coptic Orthodox, and Protestant Christians in Canada. First, participants composed narratives detailing memories of spiritual experiences involving iconography. Then, in the context of a darkened room evocative of a sacred space, they viewed artworks depicting Biblical themes and (...) interpreted their meanings. Stimuli included “Western” paintings from the Roman tradition—a selection from the Gothic, Northern Renaissance, and Renaissance canon—and matched “Eastern” icons in the Byzantine style. Spiritual experience narratives were analyzed in terms of word frequencies, and interpretations of sacred artworks were analyzed thematically. Catholics tended to utilize emotional language when recalling their spiritual experiences, while religious activity was most often the concern of Protestants, and Orthodox Christians wrote most about spiritual figures and their signifiers. A taxonomy of response styles was developed to account for participants’ interpretations of Western and Eastern artworks, with content ranging from detached descriptions to projective engagement with the art-objects. Our approach allows for representation of diverse Christians’ interpretations of sacred art, taking into consideration personal, collective, and cultural-religious sources of meaning. Our paradigm also offers to enrich our understanding of the numinous or emotional dimension of mystical contact. (shrink)
This paper constitutes a critical exploration of the functional features underpinning the unconscious of institutional attachment—namely an attachment which is understood in terms of the subject-infant’s love for his institutional parent-power holder, and the indefinite need for a subject to remain within its infantile condition under the parenthood of the State. We venture beyond the Paternal metaphor and move towards the neglected metaphor of the Mother, so focal in the individual process of identification, assumption of language and the permanent attachment (...) to the space of prohibition and Law. A new position in Language is defined. To understand how the psychic space of the infant is artfully subjugated in the making of the Western culture and domination of the Western system of legal interpretation, an enquiry into the legal emblematic history of representations is necessary to map the process through which the subject learns its legal self and relationship with otherness through what Pierre Legendre coined as the Occidental Mirror and the triangular logic of reflexivity. A final enquiry interrogates the way the legal institution places itself in the position of the specular image that captivates the subject-infant within a procreated legal order, a law-giving and law abiding life starting from the laws of the familial structure reinforced by the role of the parents and by analogy, by the State assuming that role in the institutional life of the ad infinitum infant. (shrink)
The current paper investigates the Romanian Uniate/ Orthodox conflict from the perspective of peace and conflict studies, making use of an interpretation of Johan Galtungs conflict theory and his proposed analysis tools. The aims are to contribute to a more comprehensive and multilateral understanding of this conflict in a wider context than the ideological one and hopefully to suggest some of the means of attenuating the conflict.
Deux figurines en terre cuite découvertes à Thasos, l’une votive, l’autre funéraire, nous conduisent, par leur ambiguïté, à se demander si les artisans ont donné une forme plastique au placenta humain alors même que les organes internes du corps ne sont presque jamais représentés. L’observation anatomique de l’« organe » comparée aux sources littéraires, médicales, épigraphiques et archéologiques offre des arguments valables pour appuyer l’hypothèse qu’il n’en a existé que des figurations indirectes, opérées à travers des métaphores imagées, selon le (...) mode connu en anthropologie de l’image grecque. Les figurines en mettant le placenta humain sur la même échelle que les fruits, les céréales, les gâteaux et l’enfant, tous pensés comme relevant d’un processus de cuisson correspondant à la vie civilisée, nous permettent de saisir des éléments essentiels autour desquels la cité se structure et font de cet organe un symbole de la fécondité. Aussi, le placenta devient-il fruit offert à Déméter, gâteau associé à la naissance pour Artémis ou signe des rites de passage de la jeune fille destinée à procréer des enfants légitimes.Two terracotta figurines found in Thasos, one from a votive, the other from a funerary context, invite us, by their ambiguity, to question whether craftsmen did represent the human placenta in a time when internal organs are almost never depicted. The anatomical observation of this bodily part, compared with literary, medical and epigraphic sources, supports the idea that indirect, metaphorical representations did exist and conform to the anthropological logic of Greek imagery. The figurines place the placenta at the same level as fruits, cereals, cakes and the child, all seen as the result of a cooking process corresponding to civilized culture. Thus, the placenta becomes a fruit offered to Demeter, and a cake associated with childbirth, when offered to Artemis; it is also the sign of the rites of passage for girls who will give birth to legitimate offspring. (shrink)
Alexis de Tocqueville asserted that America had no truly great literature, and that American writers merely mimicked the British and European traditions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This new edited collection masterfully refutes Tocqueville's monocultural myopia and reveals the distinctive role American poetry and prose have played in reflecting and passing judgment upon the core values of American democracy. The essays, profiling the work of Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Updike, Edith Wharton, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Willa Cather, (...) Walker Percy, and Tom Wolfe, reveal how America's greatest writers have acted as society's most ardent cheerleaders and its most penetrating critics. Christine Dunn Henderson's exciting new work offers literature as a portal through which to view the philosophical principles that animate America's political order and the mores which either reinforce or undermine them. (shrink)
Wonder is undoubtedly a term that floats around in today’s academic discussion both on ancient philosophy and on philosophy of education. Back in the 4th century B.C., Aristotle underlined the fact that philosophy begins in wonder, without being very specific about the conditions and the effects of its emergence. He focused a great deal on children’s education, emphasizing its fundamental role in human beings’ moral fulfillment, though he never provided a systematic account of children’s moral status. The aim of this (...) paper is to examine, on the one hand, if, to what extent, and under what conditions, Aristotle allows for philosophical wonder to emerge in children’s souls, and, on the other hand, how his approach to education may shed light to the link between wonder and the ultimate moral end, i.e. human flourishing. We will, thus, 1) try to offer a unified outlook of the philosopher’s views on children’s special cognitive and moral state, and 2) illustrate how wonder contributes in overcoming their imperfect state of being. (shrink)