1112 Chapters
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5 Speculating God: Speculative Realism and Meillassoux’s Divine Inexistence

CLAYTON SCOTT CROCKETT Indiana University Press ePub

Leon Niemoczynski

The relationship between contemporary Continental philosophy of religion and “the new metaphysics” (twenty-first-century metaphysics in the Continental tradition, otherwise referred to as “the new metaphysics,” “the new materialism,” “the new realism,” or, more controversially, “speculative realism”) so far remains largely an unexplored relationship, especially regarding areas of mutual concern, influence, or crossover.1 Despite new and exciting inroads made by philosophers such as Iain Grant and his articulations of a neo-Platonic–Hegelian Absolute (a perspective not entirely unconducive to the nature theologies of the German idealists), François Laurelle’s non-philosophy and surrounding work on “non-theology,” or even Bruno Latour’s explorations of the social role of “factish gods” (and more recently his dialogues concerning natural religion), little discussion has actually taken place about how the recent turn toward a new metaphysics, with its insistence on various forms of materialism and realism, is able to converse with contemporary Continental philosophy of religion.2

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3. The Cold Order and the Eros of Storytelling: Joseph Roth’s “Exotic Jews” / Andreas Kilcher

Edited by Andreas Kilcher and Gabriella Indiana University Press ePub

Joseph Roth’s “Exotic Jews”

ANDREAS KILCHER

In August 1926 the Austrian writer and star journalist Joseph Roth traveled to Russia for the Frankfurter Zeitung. Roth, himself originally from Brody in the easternmost part of Galicia, close to the Russian border, had been commissioned to write a series of articles, for a Western European readership, on the young Soviet Union, where Stalin was in the process of establishing a centralized system of governance designed to shape economic, social, and cultural life. After Lenin’s death in January 1924 Stalin had emerged victorious from the power struggle with Trotsky, who was excluded from the Politburo in 1926 and, at the 15th Party Congress in late 1927, from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.1

The West, where the rift between “the left” and “the right” started to escalate, had been looking at the new Russia with a mix of curiosity and skepticism. Although the Spartacist uprising in Berlin and the Munich Soviet Republic had failed in 1919, and despite relentless persecution by the German right, German communists on the far left, following Liebknecht and Trotsky, such as Ruth Fischer, Arkadij Maslow, and Werner Scholem, were still counting on a German revolution.2 By means of the Communist International (Comintern), the long arm of Stalin reached Germany. In November 1925, the German Trotskyists lost their influence within the German Communist Party (KPD) before they were altogether banned in 1926. Considering these developments, Roth—who had signed his contributions to the social-democratic newspaper Vorwärts as “red Joseph” and had published his first novel, The Spider’s Web (1923), in the Viennese Arbeiter-Zeitung—sought to appease his features editor Benno Reifenberg even before he embarked on his travels. Roth gave him assurances that he had no intention of merely launching into panegyrics about the revolution and that he would instead be reporting factually; indeed, he would be a critical observer.

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Medium 9780253008039

2 Religion and American Empire in Mississippi, 1790–1833

Michael Pasquier Indiana University Press ePub

1790–1833

Sylvester Johnson

Early in the autumn, the last party of the Choctaws departed for their new country at the West. The whole number removed was about 15,000. Many remained in the southern part of their old country, and a few in other parts; but the nation was gone, and they were mere individual Indians in a community of white men.

—Cyrus Kingsbury, 1833

 

This essay explains how American Christian foreign missions functioned as a “civilizing” religion of empire in strategic partnership with the War Department to transform the Mississippi Territory (which became the state of Mississippi in 1817) from a land of sovereign Indian nations to an Anglo-American region of white imperial dominion. Our story begins with the religious and political conditions of the late 1700s. I focus on two nations among the Mississippi Indians, the Choctaw and Chickasaw. The United States was a foreign country with respect to the Choctaw and Chickasaw, and the region organized in 1798 as the Mississippi Territory was a field ripe for harvest in the eyes of Anglo-American missionaries. The Natchez, Choctaw, and Chickasaw nations had established thriving trade networks throughout the region. For centuries, Indians of the American South traveled hundreds of miles if necessary to reach the city of Natchez, where they participated in an international exchange; this market network eventually incorporated Spanish, French, and English commerce. Its proximity to the mouth of the Mississippi River was not happenstance but the central reason that Natchez was one of the most important urban centers among North Americans long before the European invasions began. Hundreds of years before the South became defined as an aberrant, diminutive expression of America in the wake of the cultural meanings of the Civil War, the Mississippi River valley—Natchez especially—was renowned for its status as an international (in both Indian and European terms) destination of exchange. Spanish and French colonizers in the American South were keenly aware of the strategic importance of Natchez and eventually pillaged and killed most of the Natchez nation to assume control of the city in the 1700s. Other nations like the Chickasaw and Choctaw, however, preserved their autonomy for decades longer by defending their lands from violent white invasions and negotiating peace treaties with whites while easily embracing and naturalizing white families or (far more typically) white bachelors seeking to marry into the Indian nations of Mississippi.1

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2 Frontier Concepts and Policies in Muscovy

Michael Khodarkovsky Indiana University Press ePub

Ne khvalis’ v pole educhi, khvalis’—iz polia.

(Do not boast leaving for the steppe;

boast returning from the steppe.)

—RUSSIAN PROVERB

There were no borders south of Muscovy, for borders required that neighboring peoples define and agree upon common lines of partition. Demarcating a conventional border in the steppe was simply impossible given the absence of the notion of territorial sovereignty among the nomads and the difficulty of maintaining such a border against nomadic predations. Instead, Moscow’s southern frontier was an invisible divide in a seemingly endless steppe known as the dikoe pole, which implied both open, untamed expanses of land and a perilous frontier.

It is important to draw a distinction between the notions of a frontier and a border. A frontier is a region that forms the margin of a settled or developed territory, a politico-geographical area lying beyond the integrated region of the political unit. A border, by contrast, is a clearly demarcated boundary between sovereign states. To put it differently, to have a border requires at least two state-organized political entities. It is a state that, both physically and mentally, constructs, maintains, and enforces borders. In the west, where Russia confronted other sovereign states, the territorial limits of the states were demarcated by borders. In the south and east, where Russia’s colonization efforts encountered disparate peoples not organized into states and with no clearly marked boundaries between them, the zone of separation between Russia and its neighbors was a frontier.1

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CH 2 Jewish and Israeli Pilgrimage Experience

Leppakari, M.; Griffin, K.A. CABI PDF

2

Judaism – Jewish and Israeli

Pilgrimage Experience:

Constructing National Identity

Motti Inbari*

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, USA

Introduction

Pilgrimage to the holy city of Jerusalem was a major ancient Jewish ritual. This chapter will discuss how this ancient tradition was transformed in the modern, secular, Israeli–Jewish experience. To this end, three different contemporary pilgrimage locations are presented, along with an explanation of how these new shrines are used for the creation of a national myth. New pilgrimage sites have helped develop Israeli identity, and even secular locations were sanctified. This process was promoted by the State of Israel, thus turning them into political pilgrimages. A different type of pilgrimage was also created from grass roots, by popular participation in newly dedicated shrines of North African Jewish saints.

Thus, the renewed Jewish national home on the biblical borders of the Land of

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5 Trusting The Point of View

Mark A. Tietjen Indiana University Press ePub

5 Trusting The Point of View

GARFF’S PORTRAIT OF Kierkegaard is one critical of Kierkegaard’s own moral failings, especially of his dishonesty and self-deception. However, it seems Garff’s own approach in reading Kierkegaard is not itself “morally neutral.” In this chapter I will explore further Kierkegaard’s understanding of the moral backdrop to his authorial practice, and then I will turn the focus toward the reader of Kierkegaard to ask whether the reader’s own interpretation of Kierkegaard has a moral dimension. That is, can one read a text immorally? Is there a way one ought to read a text? With these concerns in mind, I will articulate a hermeneutic of trust in contradistinction to the kind of hermeneutic of suspicion found in Fenger and Garff. To tie this objective to my larger thesis, I want to show that a reading that trusts Kierkegaard’s retrospective literature is defensible and that it consequently adds additional support to the idea of Kierkegaard’s edifying aims.

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39 The Plan for the Uprising in Sobibor

Yitzhak Arad Indiana University Press ePub

On the morning of October 11, when the prisoners were already at their workplaces, horrible screams and rifle shootings came from the direction of Camp II. A new transport of victims had arrived and was taken to Camp III. The people of this transport resisted. Some who were already undressed realized what was going on and started to run to the barbed wire; they were shot down by the guards. It took some hours of turmoil in the camp until this transport was liquidated.

October 12 was also an unforgettable day for the prisoners. In the morning a group of SS men led by Frenzel entered the living barracks. At that time, eighteen camp inmates, who had been sick for several days, were lying on the bunks inside. Frenzel ordered the sick to rise at once and march to Camp III. One of the sick was a young man from Holland who could hardly stand on his feet. His wife, who was in the women’s barrack, found out where her husband was being taken. She threw herself at the Germans, screaming, “Murderers! I know where you are taking my husband. Take me with him. I will not, you hear, I will not live without him. Murderers! Scum!” She took her husband’s arm, supporting him, and marched off with the others to her death.1

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6. Winner Takes It All

Joseph E. Early, Jr. University of North Texas Press PDF

CHAPTER 6

WINNER

TAKES IT ALL

ALTHOUGH TROUNCED AT MARSHALL, Hayden refused to give up. To his call for reform he now added sensational charges: J. B. Cranfill was an embezzler, B. H. Carroll was an autocrat,

R. T. Hanks was an adulterer, and J. M. Carroll was preoccupied with the love of money.1 In addition, President Buckner was under the Board’s control. Hayden rarely said anything negative about the Board system itself, but rather continually questioned the honesty of several of its perpetual members. During the next six years

Hayden intensified his attack, contending that Board members rather than the churches were making all of the decisions for the

BGCT. This argument now became a crusade for “Baptist polity.”

Although the Hayden Controversy was largely founded on old personal grievances, it increasingly revolved around ecclesiology.

Hayden made his position clear through the columns of his paper. On the one hand, he suggested that those who supported the Board party were in fact supporting an episcopal hierarchy that closely resembled Roman Catholicism. On the other hand, he argued that those who supported his own claims were not against the Board system but rather against an episcopal hierarchy that

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Medium 9781609940041

The Value of Pennies

Manz, Charles C. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money in the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12: 41–44)

The issue of evaluating and responding to the contributions of others is a major challenge for leaders. It is usually considered effective leadership to distinguish levels of performance of followers and to dole out rewards according to the amount that is contributed. This approach seems to be rational, logical, and even just. But once again Jesus throws us a curve. The value of contributions, he seems to be saying, must be considered in light of the capabilities of the contributor.

Initially this may send up some red flags. Is the implication that we should not concern ourselves with the levels of our employees’ performance? If someone means well and is doing the best she can and her performance is unsatisfactory, should a leader simply pat her on the back and praise her for trying? While this practice may not be as illogical as it sounds, I don’t think it is the real leadership lesson that can be learned. Perhaps the lesson is best summarized by prescribing a focus on the heart of the person. That is, pay attention to the intent, the motives, and the progress of the person. This may indeed be very sound wisdom for a couple of reasons.

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Medium 9780253020475

Introduction: Counting in Jewish

Edited by Michal KravelTovi and Deborah Indiana University Press ePub

Michal Kravel-Tovi

DELIVERED THROUGH rapid, hip-hop beats and intense lyrics, Hadag Nachash’s “The Numbers Song” provides a critical, numerical account of what matters to young Israeli Jews. It begins by counting states (“one or two”) in the land that stretches between the sea and the Jordan River and ends with the sacred icon of six million. In between, it offers a more intimate account of the numerical texture of personal experience (“three years and four months is the time I gave to the IDF”;1 “nine times I have been too close to a terror attack”), while detailing the harsh arithmetic that underwrites everyday life in Israel (“a quarter of a million are unemployed”; “the government cut off 12 percent of child benefits”). Fast-paced and abrasive in content, the song echoes in form the pervasive flow of statistical data in Jewish public spheres, while simultaneously mocking, through its poetics, the overwhelming presence of numbers in Jewish life. However, as critical a reflection on numbers as this song provides, its lyrics also disclose their inescapable grip: “Me too,” the chorus admits, “like all Jews, is obsessed with numbers 24/7, twelve months a year.”

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1. Historical Events and Historical Research

Christina M. Gschwandtner Indiana University Press ePub

Marion uses the term “event” in two different but closely connected senses in his work, especially in his presentation in Being Given. On the one hand, he speaks of the event as a characteristic of all given phenomena: phenomena give themselves as events, they are “being given.” He develops this in §17 of Being Given as the fifth characteristic of all phenomena alongside anamorphosis, arrival, incident, and fait accompli. Most prominently, however, the event is one type of saturated phenomenon, namely the phenomenon saturated according to quantity. The phenomenon of the historical or cultural event gives “too much” information, it can never be quantified, never be recreated. The event is overwhelming in quantity. This “giving too much” is, of course, to some extent also a characteristic of all saturated phenomena. Thus, although Marion draws distinctions between the four different types of saturated phenomena, depending on whether they saturate our sense of quantity, of quality, of relation, or of modality, at the same time all saturated phenomena give too much and are events in some sense.

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Medium 9781574414363

14. Is COPS Coming to Your Neighborhood?

Mary Beth Rogers The University of Chicago Press ePub

14

Is COPS Coming to Your Neighborhood?

New York, 1986

Texas Lieutenant Governor William P. Hobby Jr. and I share a cab to La Guardia Airport on a crisp fall afternoon. It is one of those interminable rides out of Manhattan, with the mix of high speed, quick stops, and long waits that sends most Texans in New York into orbit. But I am relatively free of anxiety because we have plenty of time before our plane departs and Hobby is calm because . . . Hobby is always calm, sometimes even maddeningly so.

We have been in New York to see the bond rating agencies about the financial condition of the State of Texas, which has not been good since the price of oil slipped from $21 to $11 a barrel. Wall Street is wary of Texas’ ability to meet its obligations, and we have been part of a delegation to reassure investment bankers and bond analysts that state officials will behave responsibly and with fiscal “prudence.” No one in the state can do a better job of reassuring Wall Street than quiet, serious—even shy—Bill Hobby, who since 1972 has stood guard against extremism in Texas government.

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Medium 9781786394996

10 Dreaming of Al-Quds (Jerusalem): Pilgrimage and Visioning

McIntosh, I.S.; Quinn, E.M.; Keely, V. CABI PDF

10 

Dreaming of Al-Quds (Jerusalem):

Pilgrimage and Visioning

Ian S. McIntosh*

Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indiana, USA

A visioning process pursued by students at Gaza University in a virtual classroom from 2012 to 2014 recognized the potential of pilgrimage to deliver positive outcomes in three critical areas, namely: (i) healing; (ii) marketplace development; and (iii) building a culture of peace. Gaza students were inspired by their shared vision for the future. In 2050 the now forbidden pilgrimage to Al-Quds (Jerusalem) was attracting over 3 million pilgrims from across the Muslim world. This pilgrimage, one of the largest in Islam, was now the cornerstone of a vibrant and sustainable tourist industry in the Gaza Strip, a bridge to interfaith cooperation, and a catalyst for peace in the region. Gaza, in this vision of the future, had itself undergone an astonishing transformation. Its seaport and airport were now among the busiest in the Mediterranean and the gateway for pilgrims and tourists alike. By drawing upon student reflections on the visioning process, and case studies of other pilgrimages – both peacerelated and ‘forbidden’ – this chapter highlights the relationship between this wished-for journey of pilgrims to the sacred centre in Al-Quds and the journey of the Gaza Strip itself from its current state of crisis to its liberation and prosperity.

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Medium 9780253009524

4. Female-Narrated Possibilities of Relationship

Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger Indiana University Press ePub

FEMALE-NARRATED
POSSIBILITIES OF
RELATIONSHIP

4

When I asked female jatara celebrants to tell me the why the jatara is celebrated, they almost always answered with descriptions of rituals rather than with a narrative. In contrast, men responded most often to the same question with the story of the Palegadu and Gangamma. When I asked women more specifically about the stories of Gangamma, while they often knew the general narrative outline of the Gangamma–Palegadu story, they reported rather than performed it.1 Even the flower sellers at the Tatayyagunta temple, who have an intimate relationship with the Gangamma of that temple and are witness to the broad range of jatara rituals that take place in its courtyard, were not storytellers; when I asked them for Gangamma narratives, they referred me to the Kaikalas and Pambalas. Until my return to Tirupati in the fall of 2005, I was tentatively concluding that men related to the goddess primarily narratively, whereas women related to her primarily ritually—and that men relate to her primarily during the jatara itself, whereas women relate to her throughout the year. While this conclusion may still be relevant, an unexpected, serendipitous meeting with a small group of women in the village of Avilala in 2005 opened up other possibilities.2

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Medium 9780253012876

1 Vasco da Gama’s Error: Conquest and Plurality

Alexander Henn Indiana University Press ePub

The true Religion can be but one, and that which God himselfe teacheth[,]… all other religions being but strayings from him, whereby men wander in the dark, and in labyrinthine error.

—Samuel Purchas, 1613 (Smith 1998: 272)

On sunday, 20 May 1498, after eleven months of adventurous navigation, the small fleet of Vasco da Gama reached Malabar, the southwestern coast of India. The Portuguese captain cautiously waited a few days on board to ascertain that the local population had no hostile intentions against them and then went ashore with some of his men to pay his respects to the local king. When he arrived in Calicut, the capitol of the little Indian kingdom, he had a curious adventure, which was handed down by one of his crew members, most likely the soldier Álvaro Velho,1 to whom we owe the oldest manuscript of the Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco da Gama.

 

They took us to a large church and this is what we saw: The body of the church is as large as a monastery, all built of hewn stone and covered with tile. At the main entrance rises a pillar as high as a mast, on the top of which was perched a bird, apparently a cock. In addition to this there was another pillar as high as a man, and very stout. In the center of the body of the church rose a chapel, all built of hewn stone, with a bronze door sufficiently wide for a man to pass, and stone steps leading up to it. Within this sanctuary stood a small image which they said represented Our Lady. Along the walls, by the main entrance, hung seven small bells. In this church the captain-major said his prayers, and we with him. We did not go within the chapel, for it is the custom that only certain servants of the church, called quafees,2 should enter. The quafees wore some threads passing over the left shoulder and under the right arm, in the same manner as our deacons wear the stole. They threw holy water over us, and gave us some white earth, which the Christians of this country are in the habit of putting on their foreheads, breast, around the neck, and on the forearms. They threw holy water upon the captain-major and gave him some earth, which he gave in change to someone, giving them to understand that he would put it on later. Many other saints were painted on the walls of the church, wearing crowns. They were painted variously, with teeth protruding an inch from the mouth, and four or five arms. Below the church there was a large masonry tank, similar to many others which we had seen along the road. (Ravenstein 1998: 52–54)3

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