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The Head Beneath the Altar Cover

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The Head Beneath the Altar

Hindu Mythology and the Critique of Sacrifice

Brian Collins

In the beginning, says the ancient Hindu text the Rg Veda, was man. And from man’s sacrifice and dismemberment came the entire world, including the hierarchical ordering of human society. The Head Beneath the Altar is the first book to present a wide-ranging study of Hindu texts read through the lens of René Girard’s mimetic theory of the sacrificial origin of religion and culture. For those interested in Girard and comparative religion, the book also performs a careful reading of Girard’s work, drawing connections between his thought and the work of theorists like Georges Dumézil and Giorgio Agamben. Brian Collins examines the idea of sacrifice from the earliest recorded rituals through the flowering of classical mythology and the ancient Indian institutions of the duel, the oath, and the secret warrior society. He also uncovers implicit and explicit critiques in the tradition, confirming Girard’s intuition that Hinduism offers an alternative anti-sacrificial worldview to the one contained in the gospels.

Hegel's Trinitarian Claim Cover

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Hegel's Trinitarian Claim

A Critical Reflection

Landmark study of Hegel's arguments for God as Trinity.

Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion Cover

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Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion

From God to the Gods

By Ben Vedder

In various texts, Martin Heidegger speaks of god and the gods, but the question of how exactly Heidegger’s thought relates to theology and religion in a broad sense—and to God in a specific sense—remains unclear and in need of careful, philosophical excavation. Ben Vedder provides the first book-length study on Heidegger’s relation to the philosophy of religion, offering greater accessibility into an area that continues to fascinate philosophers, theologians, and all those interested in the philosophy of religion. Heidegger’s Philosophy of Religion: From God to the Gods deals intimately with hotly debated topics such as Heidegger’s interpretation of Saint Paul, Nietzsche and the death of God, ontotheology, and Heidegger’s discussion of the “last god,” taking into account the early, middle, and later texts of Heidegger. Significantly, Vedder draws heavily on Heidegger’s The Phenomenology of Religious Life, long available in German, but only recently available to English readers. Vedder describes the tension between religion and philosophy, on the one hand, and religion and poetic expression, on the other. If we grasp religion completely from a philosophical point of view, we tend to neutralize it; but if we conceive it in a simply poetic way, we tend to be philosophically indifferent to it. Vedder demonstrates how Heidegger speaks a “poetry of religion,” a description of humanity’s relationship to the divine, and why Heidegger’s thinking is ultimately a theological thinking. Clearly written and comprehensive in scope, Heidegger’s Philosophy of Religion: From God to the Gods represents a major step forward in Heidegger scholarship.

Historical-critical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mythology Cover

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Historical-critical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mythology

Translated here into English for the first time, F. W. J. Schelling’s 1842 lectures on the Philosophy of Mythology are an early example of interdisciplinary thinking. In seeking to show the development of the concept of the divine Godhead in and through various mythological systems (particularly of ancient Greece, Egypt, and the Near East), Schelling develops the idea that many philosophical concepts are born of religious-mythological notions. In so doing, he brings together the essential relatedness of the development of philosophical systems, human language, history, ancient art forms, and religious thought. Along the way, he engages in analyses of modern philosophical views about the origins of philosophy’s conceptual abstractions, as well as literary and philological analyses of ancient literature and poetry.

History of Franciscan Theology Cover

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History of Franciscan Theology

Kenan B. Osborne, OFM

One cannot enter the medieval world of the 13th century wearing 21st century glasses. The authors writing in the volume make every effort to see what the Franciscan Schoolmen saw; to hear what they heard; to think as they thought. Thus foundational Franciscan insights and intuitions are offered for consideration in the contemporary search for meaning.

Human Action in Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham Cover

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Human Action in Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham

This book sets out a thematic presentation of human action, especially as it relates to morality, in the three most significant figures in Medieval Scholastic thought: Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham

Human Destinies Cover

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Human Destinies

Philosophical Essays in Memory of Gerald Hanratty

Frank O'Rourke

From 1968 until his death in 2003, Gerald Hanratty was professor of philosophy at University College Dublin. In this volume to his memory, Fran O'Rourke has assembled twenty-six essays reflecting Hanratty's broad philosophical interests, dealing with central questions of human existence and the ultimate meaning of the universe. Whether engaged in historical investigations into Gnosticism or the Enlightenment, Hanratty was concerned with fundamental themes in the philosophy of religion and philosophical anthropology. Human Destinies brings together a wide range of approaches to central questions of human nature and destiny. Included are historical studies of classical thinkers of the ancient and medieval periods (Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas) and of modern authors (Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, Marcel, Adorno, Derrida, Plantinga, Scruton).

Ibn al-'Arabi's Barzakh Cover

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Ibn al-'Arabi's Barzakh

The Concept of the Limit and the Relationship between God and the World

This book explores how Ibn al->Arabiµ (1165–1240) used the concept of barzakh (the Limit) to deal with the philosophical problem of the relationship between God and the world, a major concept disputed in ancient and medieval Islamic thought. The term “barzakh” indicates the activity or actor that differentiates between things and that, paradoxically, then provides the context of their unity. Author Salman H. Bashier looks at early thinkers and shows how the synthetic solutions they developed provided the groundwork for Ibn al->Arabiµ’s unique concept of barzakh. Bashier discusses Ibn al->Arabiµ’s development of the concept of barzakh ontologically through the notion of the Third Thing and epistemologically through the notion of the Perfect Man, and compares Ibn al->Arabiµ’s vision with Plato’s.

Imperial to International Cover

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Imperial to International

A History of St John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong

STUART WOLFENDALE

Founded in 1849, St John’s Cathedral is the oldest, neo-gothic cathedral in East Asia and China’s oldest surviving, still-operating Anglican church. In its early decades, the cathedral was the center of Hong Kong colonial life. Today, it has drawn in other Hong Kong communities, becoming a truly international church with services in several languages. This first comprehensive history of St John’s traces the cathedral’s role as a colonial parish church and as a bishop’s seat for a diocese stretching across China and beyond. It also discusses St John’s significance as a center of modern worship for a growing cosmopolitan community. This volume is the first in the new series, Sheng Kung Hui: Historical Studies in Chinese Anglicanism, copublished by Hong Kong University Press and Hong Kong Sheng

The Implications of Immanence Cover

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The Implications of Immanence

Toward a New Concept of Life

Leonard Lawlor

The Implications of Immanence develops a philosophy of life in opposition to the notion of bio-power,which reduces the human to the question of power over what Giorgio Agamben terms bare life,mere biological existence. Breaking with all biologism or vitalism, Lawlor attends to the dispersion of death at the heart of life, in the minuscule hiatusthat divides the living present, separating lived experience from the living body and, crucially for phenomenology, inserting a blind spot into a visual field.Lawlor charts here a post-phenomenological French philosophy. What lies beyond phenomenologyis life-ism,the positive working out of the effects of the minuscule hiatusin a thinking that takes place on a plane of immanence,whose implications cannot be predicted. Life-ism means thinking life and death together, thinking death as dispersed throughout life. In carefully argued and extensively documented chapters, Lawlor sets out the surpassing of phenomenology and the advent of life-ism in Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, and Foucault, with careful attention to the writings by Husserl and Heidegger to which these thinkers refer.A philosophy of life has direct implications for present-day political and medical issues. The book takes its point of departure from the current genocide in Darfur and provides conceptual tools for intervening in such issues as the AIDS epidemic and life-support for the infirm. Indeed, the investigations contained in The Implications of Immanence are designed to help us emerge once and for all out of the epoch of bio-power.Lawlor's novel way of treating the concept of life is stimulating, original, and necessary for the social well being of our time.-Fred Evans, Duquesne UniversityThe Implications of Immanence continues the most promising, rigorous, and fruitful ongoing research project among scholars of twentieth-century philosophy. . . .A wonderful new book.-John Protevi, Louisiana State University

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