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Lacouturisme and the Folly of the Cross, 1910-1985
Contributing to the ongoing excavation of the spiritual lifeworld of Dorothy Day—“the most significant, interesting, and influential person in the history of American Catholicism”—The Bread of the Strong offers compelling new insight into the history of the Catholic Worker movement, including the cross-pollination between American and Quebecois Catholicism and discourse about Christian antimodernism and radicalism.The considerable perseverance in the heroic Christian maximalism that became the hallmark of the Catholic Worker’s personalism owes a great debt to the influence of Lacouturisme, largely under the stewardship of John Hugo, along with Peter Maurin and myriad other critical interventions in Day’s spiritual development. Day made the retreat regularly for some thirty-five years and promoted it vigorously both in person and publicly in the pages of The Catholic Worker.Exploring the influence of the controversial North American revivalist movement on the spiritual formation of Dorothy Day, author Jack Lee Downey investigates the extremist intersection between Roman Catholic contemplative tradition and modern political radicalism. Well grounded in an abundance of lesser-known primary sources, including unpublished letters, retreat notes, privately published and long-out-of-print archival material, and the French-language papers of Fr. Lacouture, The Bread of the Strong opens up an entirely new arena of scholarship on the transnational lineages of American Catholic social justice activism. Downey also reveals riveting new insights into the movement’s founder and namesake, Quebecois Jesuit Onesime Lacouture. Downey also frames a more reciprocal depiction of Day and Hugo’s relationship and influence, including the importance of Day’s evangelical pacifism on Hugo, particularly in shaping his understanding of conscientious objection and Christian antiwar work, and how Hugo’s ascetical theology animated Day’s interior life and spiritually sustained her apostolate.A fascinating investigation into the retreat movement Day loved so dearly, and which she claimed was integral to her spiritual formation, The Bread of the Strong explores the relationship between contemplative theology, asceticism, and radical activism. More than a study of Lacouture, Hugo, and Day, this fresh look at Dorothy Day and the complexities and challenges of her spiritual and social expression presents an outward exploration of the early- to mid–twentieth century dilemmas facing second- and third-generation American Catholics.
The Role of Religious Motifs in Contemporary Art
In recent decades curators and artists have shown a distinct interest in religion, its different traditions, manifestations in public life, gestures and images. Breaking Resemblance explores the complex relationship between contemporary art and religion by focusing on the ways artists re-work religious motifs as a means to reflect critically on our desire to believe in images, on the history of seeing them, and on their double power— iconic and political. It discusses a number of exhibitions that take religion as their central theme, and a selection of works by Bill Viola, Lawrence Malstaf, Victoria Reynolds, and Berlinde de Bruyckere—all of whom, in their respective ways and media, recycle religious motifs and iconography and whose works resonate with, or problematize the motif of, the true image.
A Dying Waterfront Transformed
Stretching along a waterfront that faces one of the world’s greatest harbors and storied skylines, Brooklyn Bridge Park is among the largest and most significant public projects to be built in New York in a generation. It has transformed a decrepit industrial waterfront to a new public use that is both a reflection and an engine of Brooklyn’s resurgence in the 21st century. Brooklyn Bridge Park unravels the many obstacles faced during the development of the park and suggests solutions that can be applied to important economic and planning issues around the world.Situated below the quiet precincts of Brooklyn Heights, a strip of moribund structures that formerly served bustling port activity became the site of a prolonged battle. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey eyed it as an ideal location for high-rise or commercial development. The idea to build Brooklyn Bridge Park came from local residents and neighborhood leaders looking for less intensive uses of the property. Together, elected officials joined with members of the communities to produce a practical plan, skillfully won a commitment of government funds in a time of fiscal austerity, then persevered through long periods of inaction, abrupt changes of government, two recessions, numerous controversies often accompanied by litigation, and a superstorm. Brooklyn Bridge Park is the success story of a grassroots movement and community planning that united around a common vision. Drawing on the authors’ personal experiences—one as a reporter, the other as a park leader—Brooklyn Bridge Park weaves together contemporaneous reports of events that provide a record of every twist and turn in the story. Interviews with more than sixty people reveal the human dynamics that unfolded in the course of building the park, including attitudes and opinions that arose about class, race, gentrification, commercialization, development, and government. Despite its broad and growing appeal, the park’s creation was lengthy, messy, and often contentious. Brooklyn Bridge Park suggests ways other civic groups can address these hurdles within their own communities.
Southeast of the Island: Travel Notes
For the first time in book form-a great writer's classic celebration of the essence of Brooklyn.In 1939, James Agee was assigned to write an article on Brooklyn for a special issue of Fortune on New York City. The draft was rejected for creative differences,and remained unpublished until it appeared in Esquire in 1968 under the title Southeast of the Island: Travel Notes.Crossing the borough from the brownstone heights over the Brooklyn Bridge out through backstreet neighborhoods like Flatbush, Midwood, and Sheepshead Bay that roll silently to the sea, Agee captured in 10,000 remarkable words, the essence of a place and its people. Propulsive, lyrical, jazzy, and tender, itspitch-perfect descriptions endure even as Brooklyn changes; Agee's essay is a New York classic. Resonant with the rhythms of Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, and Thomas Wolfe, it takes its place alongside Alfred Kazin's A Walker in the City as a great writer's love-song to Brooklyn and alongside E. B. White's Here Is New York as an essential statement of the place so many call home. James Agee was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1909. One of the great prose stylists of the past century, Agee wrote in many forms-poetry, short stories, novels, essays, commentary, and criticism. In 1958 he won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for A Death in the Family, and he also wrote the classic account of poor Southern farmers, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, accompanied by Walker Evans's documentary photographs. With John Huston, he wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for The African Queen, and he was an influential film and theater critic for Time and The Nation. James Agee died in 1955 of a heart attack in a New York City taxicab. In the fall of 2005, the Library of America will publish a two-volume collection of his writings. Jonathan Lethem's novels include Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, his most recent book is The Disappointment Artist. Lethem was born and raised in Brooklyn, where he still lives.
An Intellectual Biography
Bruno Latour stirs things up. Latour began as a lover of science and technology, co-founder of actor-network theory, and philosopher of a modernity that had “never been modern.” In the meantime he is regarded not just as one of the most intelligent—and also popular—exponents of science studies, but also as a major innovator of the social sciences, an exemplary wanderer who walks the line between the sciences and the humanities._x000B__x000B_This book provides the first comprehensive overview of the Latourian oeuvre, from his early anthropological studies in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), to influential books like Laboratory Life and Science in Action, and his most recent reflections on an empirical metaphysics of “modes of existence.” In the course of this enquiry it becomes clear that the basic problem to which Latour’s work responds is that of social tradition, the transmission of experience and knowledge. What this empirical philosopher constantly grapples with is the complex relationship of knowledge, time, and culture._x000B_
Building on a hermeneutic tradition in which accounts of carnal embodiment are overlooked, misunderstood, or underdeveloped, this work initiates a new field of study and concern.Carnal Hermeneutics provides a philosophical approach to the body as interpretation. Transcending the traditional dualism of rational understanding and embodied sensibility, the volume argues that our most carnal sensations are already interpretations. Because interpretation truly goes “all the way down,” carnal hermeneutics rejects the opposition of language to sensibility, word to flesh, text to body.In this volume, an impressive array of today’s preeminent philosophers seek to interpret the surplus of meaning that arises from our carnal embodiment, its role in our experience and understanding, and its engagement with the wider world.
Being and Creation
This book is the first systematic reconstruction of Castoriadis' philosophical trajectory. It critically interprets the internal shifts in Castoriadis' ontology through reconsideration of the ancient problematic of 'human institution' (nomos) and 'nature' (physis), on the one hand, and the question of 'being' and 'creation', on the other. Unlike the order of physis, the order of nomos played no substantial role in the development of western thought: The first part of the book suggests that Castoriadis sought to remedy this with his elucidation of the social-historical as the region of being elusive to the determinist imaginary of inherited philosophy. This ontological turn was announced with the publication of his magnum opus The Imaginary Institution of Society (first published in 1975) which is reconstructed as Castoriadis' long journey through nomos via four interconnected domains: ontological, epistemological, anthropological, and hermeneutical respectively. With the aid of archival sources, the second half of the book reconstructs a second ontological shift in Castoriadis' thought that occurred during the 1980s. Here it argues that Castoriadis extends his notion of 'ontological creation' beyond the human realm and into nature. This move has implications for his overall ontology and signals a shift towards a general ontology of creative physis. The increasing ontological importance of physis is discussed further in chapters on objective knowledge, the living being, and philosophical cosmology. It suggests that the world horizon forms an inescapable interpretative context of cultural articulation - in the double sense of Merleau-Ponty's mise en forme du monde - in which physis can be elucidated as the ground of possibility, as well as a point of culmination for nomos in the circle of interpretative creation. The book contextualizes Castoriadis' thought within broader philosophical and sociological traditions. In particular it situates his thought within French phenomenological currents that take either an ontological and/or a hermeneutical turn. It also places a hermeneutic of modernity - that is, an interpretation that emphasizes the ongoing dialogue between romantic and enlightenment articulations of the world - at the centre of reflection. Castoriadis' reactivation of classical Greek sources is reinterpreted as part of the ongoing dialogue between the ancients and the moderns, and more broadly, as part of the interpretative field of tensions that comprises modernity.
The Role of the Body in Contemporary Catholic Literature
The metaphor of the Church as a bodyhas shaped Catholic thinking since the Second Vatican Council. Its influence on theological inquiries into Catholic nature and practice is well-known; less obvious is the way it has shaped a generation of Catholic imaginative writers. Cathedrals of Bone is the first full-length study of a cohort of Catholic authors whose art takes seriously the themes of the Council: from novelists such as Mary Gordon, Ron Hansen, Louise Erdrich, and J. F. Powers, to poets such as Annie Dillard, Mary Karr, Lucia Perillo, and Anne Carson, to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley. Motivated by the inspirational yet thoroughly incarnational rhetoric of Vatican II, each of these writers encourages readers to think about the human body as a site-perhaps the most important site-of interaction between God and human beings. Although they represent the body in different ways, these late-twentieth-century Catholic artists share a sense of its inherent value. Moreover, they use ideas and terminology from the rich tradition of Catholic sacramentality, especially as it was articulated in the documents of Vatican II, to describe that value. In this way they challenge the Church to take its own tradition seriously and to reconsider its relationship to a relatively recent apologetics that has emphasized a narrow view of human reason and a rigid sense of orthodoxy.
Recent Reflections from Rome
This book makes available in English important essays that mark the fortieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate). Surveying Vatican dialogues and documents, the essays explore challenging theological questions posed by the Shoah and the Catholic recognition of the Jewish people's covenantal life with God.
Featuring essays by Vatican officials, leading rabbis, diplomats, and Catholic and Jewish scholars, the book discusses the nature of Christian-Jewish relations and the need to remember their conflicted and often tragic
history, aspects of a Christian theology of Judaism, the Catholic-Jewish dialogue since the Shoah, and the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. The book includes an essay
by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and documents on the rapprochement between the Church and the Jewish people.; "The Catholic Church and the Jewish People is an extraordinarily useful commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the Vatican Council Declaration on the Jews. Outstanding authorities provide historical perspective, an account of the evolution of the document itself, and analyses of its impact on Jewish-Catholic relations both in the immediate aftermath of the Council and in the long term. An invaluable collection for academics, interfaith activists, and all Jews and Christians interested in the historic transformation in their mutual relations inaugurated by Vatican II."
Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., and the Politics of American Anticommunism
This book is the first biography in 42 years of the priest and educator whomhistorians have called the most important anticommunist in the country.Edmund A. Walsh, as dean of Georgetown College and founder in 1919 of itsSchool of Foreign Service, is one of the most influential Catholic figures of the20th century. Soon after the birth of the Bolshevik state, he directed the PapalRelief Mission in the Soviet Union, starting a lifelong immersion in Soviet andCommunist affairs. He also established a Jesuit college in Baghdad, and servedas a consultant to the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.A pioneer in the new science of geopolitics, Walsh became one of Truman's mosttrusted advisers on Soviet strategy. He wrote four books, dozens of articles, andgave thousands of speeches on the moral and political threat of Soviet Communismin America. Although he died in 1956, Walsh left an indelible imprint on theideology and practical politics of Cold War Washington, moving easily outside thetraditional boundaries of American Catholic life and becoming, in the words of onehistorian, practically an institution by himself.Few priests, indeed few Catholics,played so large a role in shaping American foreign policy in the 20th century.