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Reason, Revelation, and the Civic Order Cover

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Reason, Revelation, and the Civic Order

Political Philosophy and the Claims of Faith

While the dominant approaches to the current study of political philosophy are various, with some friendlier to religious belief than others, almost all place constraints on the philosophic and political role of revelation. Mainstream secular political theorists do not entirely disregard religion. But to the extent that they pay attention, their treatment of religious belief is seen more as a political or philosophic problem to be addressed rather than as a positive body of thought from which we might derive important insights about the nature of politics and the truth of the human condition.

In a one-of-a-kind collection, DeHart and Holloway bring together leading scholars from various fields, including political science, philosophy, and theology, to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy and to demonstrate the role that religion can and does play in political life. Contributing authors include such important thinkers as Peter Augustine Lawler, Robert C. Koons, J. Budziszewski, Francis J. Beckwith, and James Stoner.
 

Religion and Enlightenment in Catherinian Russia Cover

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Religion and Enlightenment in Catherinian Russia

The Teachings of Metropolitan Platon

This valuable study explores the Russian Enlightenment with reference to the religious Enlightenment of the mid to late eighteenth century. Grounded in close reading of the sermons and devotional writings of Platon (Levshin), Court preacher and Metropolitan of Moscow, the book examines the blending of European ideas into the teachings of Russian Orthodoxy. Highlighting the interplay between Enlightenment thought and Orthodox enlightenment, Elise Wirtschafter addresses key questions of concern to religious Enlighteners across Europe: humanity’s relationship to God and creation, the distinction between learning and enlightenment, the role of Christian love in authority relationships, the meaning of free will in a universe governed by Divine Providence, and the unity of church, monarchy, and civil society. Countering scholarship that depicts an Orthodox religious culture under assault from European modernity and Petrine absolutism, Wirtschafter emphasizes the ability of Russia’s educated churchmen to assimilate and transform Enlightenment ideas. The intellectual and spiritual vitality of eighteenth-century Orthodoxy helps to explain how Russian policymakers and intellectuals met the challenge of European power while simultaneously coming to terms with the broad cultural appeal of the Enlightenment’s universalistic human rights agenda.

The Rural Midwest Since World War II Cover

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The Rural Midwest Since World War II

J. L. Anderson

J.L. Anderson seeks to change the belief that the Midwest lacks the kind of geographic coherence, historical issues, and cultural touchstones that have informed regional identity in the American South, West, and Northeast. The goal of this illuminating volume is to demonstrate uniqueness in a region that has always been amorphous and is increasingly so. Midwesterners are a dynamic people who shaped the physical and social landscapes of the great midsection of the nation, and they are presented as such in this volume that offers a general yet informed overview of the region after World War II.

The contributors—most of whom are Midwesterners by birth or residence—seek to better understand a particular piece of rural America, a place too often caricatured, misunderstood, and ignored. However, the rural landscape has experienced agricultural diversity and major shifts in land use. Farmers in the region have successfully raised new commodities from dairy and cherries to mint and sugar beets. The region has also been a place where community leaders fought to improve their economic and social well-being, women redefined their roles on the farm, and minorities asserted their own version of the American Dream.

The rural Midwest is a regional melting pot, and contributors to this volume do not set out to sing its praises or, by contrast, assume the position of Midwestern modesty and self-deprecation. The essays herein rewrite the narrative of rural decline and crisis, and show through solid research and impeccable scholarship that rural Midwesterners have confronted and created challenges uniquely their own.

Saint Sergius of Radonezh, His Trinity Monastery, and the Formation of the Russian Identity Cover

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Saint Sergius of Radonezh, His Trinity Monastery, and the Formation of the Russian Identity

When Sergius of Radonezh founded a monastery near Moscow, his example spawned a movement of monastic foundations throughout Russia. Within three decades of his death in 1392, Sergius was recognized as a saint, and by 1450 many considered him the intercessor for the Russian land who freed its people from Mongol rule. Over the next century and a half, thousands sought St. Sergius’s intercession with gifts to the monastery. Moscow’s rulers made Sergius patron saint of their dynasty and of the Russian tsardom. By 1605, the Trinity-Sergius monastery was the biggest house in Russia. Miller presents Trinity’s dramatic history from the 14th century to the beginning of the Time of Troubles. Using extensive archival materials, he traces the evolution of Trinity’s relationship to Sergius’s venerators and its traditions, governance, social composition, and the lifestyle of its members. In lucid prose, Miller argues that St. Sergius’s cult and monastery became integrating forces on a national scale and vital elements in the forging of a Russian identity, economy, and cohesive society. The power of religion to shape national identity is a lively topic today, and Miller’s study will interest both medievalists and modern historians, as well as readers of Orthodox Church history.

The Science and Theology of Godly Love Cover

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The Science and Theology of Godly Love

Arguing that there are ways to move beyond the limitations of methodological atheism without compromising scientific objectivity, the essays gathered in The Science and Theology of Godly Love explore the potential for collaboration between social science and theology. They do so within the context of the interdisciplinary study of Godly Love, which examines the perceived experience of loving God, being loved by God, and thereby being motivated to engage in selfless service to others. This volume serves as an introduction to and a call for further research in this new field of study, offering ten methodological perspectives on the study of Godly Love written by leading social scientists and theologians. Drawing on the work of Douglas Porpora and others, the contributors contend that agnosticism is the appropriate methodological stance when religious experience is under the microscope. Godly Love does not force a theistic explanation on data, instead these essays show that it sensitizes researchers so that they can take seriously the faith and beliefs of those they study without the assumption that these theologies represent an incontestable truth.

The Science of Modern Virtue Cover

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The Science of Modern Virtue

On Descartes, Darwin, and Locke

The Science of Modern Virtue examines the influence that the philosopher Rene Descartes, the political theorist John Locke, and the biologist Charles Darwin have had on our modern understanding of human beings and human virtue. Written by leading thinkers from a variety of fields, the volume is a study of the complex relation between modern science and modern virtue, between a kind of modern thought and a kind of modern action. Offering more than a series of substantive introductions to Descartes’, Locke’s, and Darwin’s accounts of who we are and the kind of virtue to which we can aspire, the book invites readers to think about the ways in which the writings of these seminal thinkers shaped the democratic and technological world in which modern human beings live. Thirteen scholars in this volume learnedly explore questions drawn from the diverse disciplines of political science, philosophy, theology, biology, and metaphysics. Let the reader be warned: The authors of these essays are anything but consensual in their analysis. Considered together, the chapters in this volume carry on a lively internal debate that mirrors theoretical modernity’s ongoing discussion about the true nature of human beings and the science of virtue. Some authors powerfully argue that Locke’s and Darwin’s thought is amenable to the claims made about human beings and human virtue by classical philosophers such as Aristotle and classical Christian theologians such as Thomas Aquinas. Others make the opposite case, drawing attention to the ways in which Descartes, Locke, and Darwin knowingly and dialectically depart from central teachings of both classical philosophy and classical Christian theology.

Something that Feels like Truth: Stories Cover

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Something that Feels like Truth: Stories

Donald Lystra’s first novel, Season of Water and Ice, was the winner of the 2009 Midwest Book Award for fiction, making a nice publicity splash for our fiction imprint, Switchgrass, which proudly published it. The book garnered lots of publicity too, earing praise for Switchgrass in the pages of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Detroit Free Press, Time Out Chicago magazine, and other venues. This volume gathers a bracing selection of short stories by Lystra that are very much cut from the same cloth as his highly acclaimed novel. The stories in Something That Feels Like Truth confound expected plot turns, and Lystra develops his characters patiently and naturally, bringing them into convincing and honest actions. Lystra was a career engineer before retiring and launching a second career as a writer: I like to think this is why his fiction operates with such mathematical precision. Every plot point in every story here holds an integral part in the imbuing of its beauty and meaning. You can also tell Lystra has read a lot of Hemingway and Chekov: and that he aspires to be an inheritor of their effectively concise tradition. But there’s a touch of Cheever in Lystra’s stories as well: what that master storyteller did for the suburbs of New York, Lystra does for the Midwest.

Soviet Medicine Cover

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Soviet Medicine

Culture, Practice, and Science

Thanks to the opening of archives and the forging of exchanges between Russian and Western scholars interested in the history of medicine, it is now possible to write new forms of social and political history in the Soviet medical field. Using the lenses of critical social histories of healthcare and medical science, and looking at both new material from Russian archives and interviews with those who experienced the Soviet health system, the contributors to this volume explore the ways experts and the Soviet state radically reshaped medical provision after the Revolution of 1917. Soviet Medicine presents the work of an international group of leading scholars. Twelve essays—treating subjects that span the 74-year history of the Soviet Union—cover such diverse topics as how epidemiologists handled plague on the Soviet borderlands in the revolutionary era, how venereologists fighting sexually transmitted disease struggled to preserve the patient’s right to secrecy, and how Soviet forensic experts falsified the evidence of the Katyn Forest massacre of 1940. This important volume demonstrates the crucial role played by medical science, practice, and culture in the shaping of a modern Soviet Union and illustrates how the study of Soviet medical history can benefit historians of medicine, science, the Soviet Union, and social and gender historians.

They're Calling You Home Cover

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They're Calling You Home

Doug Crandell is a maestro in multiple genres: the author of critically-acclaimed true crime books, devilishly charming memoirs, and tragicomic works of fiction about small-town life that are leavened in equal measure with poignancy and humor. Enter They’re Calling You Home, Crandell’s latest novel. This is the story of Gabriel Burke, a writer who is alienated from everyone he loves for exposing a discomforting family secret in a bestselling memoir. Divorced from his wife, estranged from his daughter, and loathed by his alcoholic brother, Burke must confront all of them when he returns to his hometown in Smallwood, Indiana to chronicle the story of a gruesome mass murder there. Thus begins this intricately woven tale of redemption and forgiveness, of men paying the wages of masculinity, of sons coming to grips with the sins of their fathers, and of one writer grappling with the burdens of journalistic integrity. Throughout this deftly crafted work, secrets present a hall of mirrors through which Burke must constantly navigate: the secret of his father’s sex crimes, the furtive steps his family takes to deny them, and the surreptitious efforts of State and local officials as they try and cover up the murder case he’s investigating. Part road trip, part who-dunnit, part voyage of self discovery, Crandell’s moving novel is ultimately the story of a journey in which the only possible destination is its starting point—home.

Three Russian Tales of the Eighteenth Century Cover

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Three Russian Tales of the Eighteenth Century

The Comely Cook , Vanka Kain, and "Poor Liza"

For those who cannot read the language of the original texts, the lively and varied world of eighteenth-century Russian literature has been largely inaccessible. In this valuable collection, expert translator David Gasperetti presents three seminal tales that express the major literary, social, and philosophical concerns of late-eighteenth-century Russia. The country’s first bestseller, Matvei Komarov’s Vanka Kain tells the story of a renowned thief and police spy and is also an excellent historical source on the era’s criminal underworld. Mikhail Chulkov’s The Comely Cook is a cross between Moll Flanders, with its comic emphasis on a woman of ill-repute who struggles to secure her place in society, and Tristram Shandy, with its parody of the conventions of novel writing. Finally, Nikolai Karamzin’s “Poor Liza,” the story of a young woman who kills herself over a failed love affair, set the standard for writing sentimentalist fiction in Russia. Taken as a whole, these three works outline the beginnings of modern prose fiction in Russia and also illuminate the literary culture that would give rise to the Golden Age of Russian letters in the middle of the next century.

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