In the first full-length study of the circumcision of Jesus, Andrew S. Jacobs turns to an unexpected symbol—the stereotypical mark of the Jewish covenant on the body of the Christian savior—to explore how and why we think about difference and identity in early Christianity. Jacobs explores the subject of Christ's circumcision in texts dating from the first through seventh centuries of the Common Era. Using a diverse toolkit of approaches, including the psychoanalytic, postcolonial, and poststructuralist, he posits that while seeming to desire fixed borders and a clear distinction between self (Christian) and other (Jew, pagan, and heretic), early Christians consistently blurred and destabilized their own religious boundaries. He further argues that in this doubled approach to others, Christians mimicked the imperial discourse of the Roman Empire, which exerted its power through the management, not the erasure, of difference. For Jacobs, the circumcision of Christ vividly illustrates a deep-seated Christian duality: the fear of and longing for an other, at once reviled and internalized. From his earliest appearance in the Gospel of Luke to the full-blown Feast of the Divine Circumcision in the medieval period, Christ circumcised represents a new way of imagining Christians and their creation of a new religious culture.
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A Companion to Augustine presents a fresh collection of scholarship by leading academics with a new approach to contextualizing Augustine and his works within the multi-disciplinary field of Late Antiquity, showing Augustine as both a product of the cultural forces of his times and a cultural force in his own right. Discusses the life and works of Augustine within their full historical context, rather than privileging the theological context Presents Augustine’s life, works and leading ideas in the cultural context of the late Roman world, providing a vibrant and engaging sense of Augustine in action in his own time and place Opens up a new phase of study on Augustine, sensitive to the many and varied perspectives of scholarship on late Roman culture State-of-the-art essays by leading academics in this field
Critical Theory and Animal Liberation is the first collection to approach our relationship with other animals from the critical or 'left' tradition in political and social thought. Breaking with past treatments that have framed the problem as one of 'animal rights,' the authors instead depict the exploitation and killing of other animals as a political question of the first order. The contributions highlight connections between our everyday treatment of animals and other forms of social power, mass violence, and domination, from capitalism and patriarchy to genocide, fascism, and ecocide. Contributors include well-known writers in the field as well as scholars in other areas writing on animals for the first time. Among other things, the authors apply Freud's theory of repression to our relationship to the animal, debunk the 'Locavore' movement, expose the sexism of the animal defense movement, and point the way toward a new transformative politics that would encompass the human and animal alike.
Early Twentieth-Century Continental Philosophyelaborates the basic project of contemporary continental philosophy, which culminates in a movement toward the outside. Leonard Lawlor interprets key texts by major figures in the continental tradition, including Bergson, Foucault, Freud, Heidegger, Husserl, and Merleau-Ponty, to develop the broad sweep of the aims of continental philosophy. Lawlor discusses major theoretical trends in the work of these philosophers -- immanence, difference, multiplicity, and the overcoming of metaphysics. His conception of continental philosophy as a unified project enables Lawlor to think beyond its European origins and envision a global sphere of philosophical inquiry that will revitalize the field.
Predictions about global climate change have produced both stark scenarios of environmental catastrophe and purportedly pragmatic ideas about adaptation. This book takes a different perspective, exploring the idea that the challenge of adapting to global climate change is fundamentally an ethical one, that it is not simply a matter of adapting our infrastructures and economies to mitigate damage but rather of adapting ourselves to realities of a new global climate. The challenge is to restore our conception of humanity--to understand human flourishing in new ways--in an age in which humanity shapes the basic conditions of the global environment. In the face of what we have unintentionally done to Earth's ecology, who shall we become? The contributors examine ways that new realities will require us to revisit and adjust the practice of ecological restoration; the place of ecology in our conception of justice; the form and substance of traditional virtues and vices; and the organizations, scale, and underlying metaphors of important institutions. Topics discussed include historical fidelity in ecological restoration; the application of capability theory to ecology; the questionable ethics of geoengineering; and the cognitive transformation required if we are to "think like a planet."
Unknown to most outside observers, from the earliest days of embryonic stem cell research through today's latest developments, Christian theologians have been actively involved with leading laboratory research scientists to determine the ethical implications of stem cell research. And contrary to popular expectation, these Christians have been courageously advocating in favor of research. Three of these dynamic theologians tell their story in Sacred Cells? Why Christians Should Support Stem Cell Research. Sacred Cells? takes readers through the twists and turns of stem cell development, providing a brief history of the science and an overview of the competing ethical frameworks people use in approaching the heated debate. Each new scientific advance, from the cloning of Dolly the sheep to the use of engineered cells in humans, had to be carefully considered before proceeding. Rejecting the widely held belief that the ethics of stem cell research turn on the moral status of the embryo, the authors carefully weigh a diversity of ethical problems. Ultimately, they embrace stem cell research and the prospect of increased health and well being it offers.
Since the dawn of film in the 1890s, religious themes and biblical subjects have been a staple of cinema. One of the earliest focuses of screen presentations was the Bible, especially the New Testament and the Gospels. In Screen Jesus: Portrayals of Christ in Television and Film, Peter Malone takes a close look at films in which Jesus is depicted. From silent renditions of The Passion Play to 21st-century blockbusters like The Passion of the Christ, Malone examines how the history of Jesus films reflects the changes in artistic styles and experiments in cinematic forms for more than a century. In addition to providing a historical overview of the Jesus films, this book also reveals the changes in piety and in theological understandings of the humanity and divinity of Jesus over the decades.While most of the Jesus films come from the United States and the west, an increasing number of Jesus films come from other cultures, which are also included in this study. Fans and scholars interested in the history of religious cinema will find this an interesting read, as will students and teachers in cinema and religious studies, church pastors, parish groups, and youth ministry.
Despite increasing interest in the figure of Socrates and in love in ancient Greece, no recent monograph studies these topics in all four of Plato's dialogues on love and friendship. This book provides important new insights into these subjects by examining Plato's characterization of Socrates in Symposium, Phaedrus, Lysis and the often neglected Alcibiades I. It focuses on the specific ways in which the philosopher searches for wisdom together with his young interlocutors, using an art that is 'erotic', not in a narrowly sexual sense, but because it shares characteristics attributed to the daimon Eros in Symposium. In all four dialogues, Socrates' art enables him, like Eros, to search for the beauty and wisdom he recognizes that he lacks and to help others seek these same objects of eras. Belfiore examines the dialogues as both philosophical and dramatic works, and considers many connections with Greek culture, including poetry and theater.
In many histories of modern ethics, Kant is supposed to have ushered in an anti-realist or constructivist turn by holding that unless we ourselves 'author' or lay down moral norms and values for ourselves, our autonomy as agents will be threatened. In this book, Robert Stern challenges the cogency of this 'argument from autonomy', and claims that Kant never subscribed to it. Rather, it is not value realism but the apparent obligatoriness of morality that really poses a challenge to our autonomy: how can this be accounted for without taking away our freedom? The debate the book focuses on therefore concerns whether this obligatoriness should be located in ourselves (Kant), in others (Hegel) or in God (Kierkegaard). Stern traces the historical dialectic that drove the development of these respective theories, and clearly and sympathetically considers their merits and disadvantages; he concludes by arguing that the choice between them remains open.
A woman glances at a broken clock and comes to believe it is a quarter past seven. Yet, despite the broken clock, it really does happen to be a quarter past seven. Her belief is true, but it isn't knowledge. This is a classic illustration of a central problem in epistemology: determining what knowledge requires in addition to true belief. In this provocative book, Richard Foley finds a new solution to the problem in the observation that whenever someone has a true belief but not knowledge, there is some significant aspect of the situation about which she lacks true beliefs--something important that she doesn't quite "get." This may seem a modest point but, as Foley shows, it has the potential to reorient the theory of knowledge. Whether a true belief counts as knowledge depends on the importance of the information one does or doesn't have. This means that questions of knowledge cannot be separated from questions about human concerns and values. It also means that, contrary to what is often thought, there is no privileged way of coming to know. Knowledge is a mutt. Proper pedigree is not required. What matters is that one doesn't lack important nearby information. Challenging some of the central assumptions of contemporary epistemology, this is an original and important account of knowledge.
Exploring the Yoruba tradition in the United States, Hucks begins with the story of Nana Oseijeman Adefunmi's personal search for identity and meaning as a young man in Detroit in the 1930s and 1940s. She traces his development as an artist, religious leader, and founder of several African-influenced religio-cultural projects in Harlem and later in the South. Adefunmi was part of a generation of young migrants attracted to the bohemian lifestyle of New York City and the black nationalist fervor of Harlem. Cofounding Shango Temple in 1959, Yoruba Temple in 1960, and Oyotunji African Village in 1970, Adefunmi and other African Americans in that period renamed themselves "Yorubas" and engaged in the task of transforming Cuban Santer'a into a new religious expression that satisfied their racial and nationalist leanings and eventually helped to place African Americans on a global religious schema alongside other Yoruba practitioners in Africa and the diaspora. Alongside the story of Adefunmi, Hucks weaves historical and sociological analyses of the relationship between black cultural nationalism and reinterpretations of the meaning of Africa from within the African American community.