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V. S. Soloviev on Paganism, Asian Civilizations, and Islam
As cultural conflicts roil the world, the idea of a “clash of civilizations” has lately taken hold, with commentators from both East and West weighing the religious and political disparities that affect global unity. For all its present currency and urgency, the idea is nothing new. In various contexts V. S. Soloviev (1853–1900), the most distinguished representative of nineteenth century Russian religious philosophy, anticipated our current global dilemma by more than a hundred years. These essays, presented together for the first time in English, consider from a number of perspectives how a future clash of cultures between East and West threatens human progress toward the harmonic unity that, for Soloviev, represented the ultimate human telos.
Logos and the Russian Word
These fourteen essays reflect the increasingly interdisciplinary character of Russian literature research in general and of the study of Gogol in particular, focusing on specific works, Gogol's own character, and the various approaches to aesthetic, religious, and philosophical issues raised by his writing.
Jacques Derrida and the Development of Deconstruction
However widely and differently Jacques Derrida may be viewed as a "foundational" French thinker, the most basic questions concerning his work still remain unanswered: Is Derrida a friend of reason, or philosophy, or rather the most radical of skeptics? Are language related themes writing, semiosis his central concern, or does he really write about something else? And does his thought form a system of its own, or does it primarily consist of commentaries on individual texts? This book seeks to address these questions by returning to what it claims is essential history: the development of Derrida's core thought through his engagement with Husserlian phenomenology. Joshua Kates recasts what has come to be known as the Derrida/Husserl debate, by approaching Derrida's thought historically, through its development. Based on this developmental work, Essential History culminates by offering discrete interpretations of Derrida's two book length 1967 texts, interpretations that elucidate the until now largely opaque relation of Derrida's interest in language to his focus on philosophical concerns.
Plato and Levinas on Relations to the Other
The Holocaust in Polish Writers' Diaries from Warsaw, 1939-1945
The Ethics of Witnessing investigates the reactions of five important Polish diaristswriters—Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Maria Dąbrowska, Aurelia Wyleżyńska, ZofiaNałkowska, and Stanisław Rembek—during the period when the Nazis persecuted and murdered Warsaw’s Jewish population. The responses to the Holocaust of these prominent prewar authors extended from insistence on empathic interaction with victims to resentful detachment from Jewish suffering. Whereas some defied the dehumanization of the Jews and endeavored to maintain intersubjective relationships with the victims they attempted to rescue, others selfdeceptively evaded the Jewish plight. The Ethics of Witnessing examines the extent to which ideologies of humanism and nationalism informed the diarists’ perceptions, proposing that the reality of the Final Solution exposed the limits of both orientations and ultimately destroyed the ethical landscape shaped by the Enlightenment tradition, which promised the equality and fellowship of all human beings.
From Victory to Collapse, 1977-1991
The Ethiopian popular revolution of 1974 ended a monarchy that claimed descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and brought to power a military government that created one of the largest and best-equipped armies in Africa. In his panoramic study of the Ethiopian army, Fantahun Ayele draws upon his unprecedented access to Ethiopian Ministry of Defense archives to study the institution that was able to repel the Somali invasion of 1977 and suppress internal uprisings, but collapsed in 1991 under the combined onslaught of armed insurgencies in Eritrea and Tigray. Besides military operations, The Ethiopian Army discusses tactical areas such as training, equipment, intelligence, and logistics, as well as grand strategic choices such as ending the 1953 Ethio-American Mutual Defense Agreement and signing a treaty of military assistance with the Soviet Union. The result sheds considerable light on the military developments that have shaped Ethiopia and the Horn in the twentieth century.
America and the World in 2040
Will the future be one of economic expansion, greater tolerance, liberating inventions, and longer, happier lives? Or do we face economic stagnation, declining quality of life, and a technologically enhanced totalitarianism worse than any yet seen? The Fabulous Future? America and the World in 2040 draws its inspiration from a more optimistic time, and tome, The Fabulous Future: America in 1980, in which Fortune magazine celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary by publishing the predictions of thought leaders of its time.
In the present volume, the world’s leading specialists from diverse fields project developments in their areas of expertise, from religion and the media to the environment and nanotechnology. Will we be happier, and what exactly does happiness have to do with our economic future? Where is higher education heading and how should it develop? And what is the future of prediction itself? These exciting essays provoke sharper questions, reflect unexpectedly on one another, and testify to our present anxieties about the surprising world to come.
Authorship, Gender, and Religion in Early Modern England
With Faithful Translators Jaime Goodrich offers the first in-depth examination of women’s devotional translations and of religious translations in general within early modern England. Placing female translators such as Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, alongside their male counterparts, such as Sir Thomas More and Sir Philip Sidney, Goodrich argues that both male and female translators constructed authorial poses that allowed their works to serve four distinct cultural functions: creating privacy, spreading propaganda, providing counsel, and representing religious groups. Ultimately, Faithful Translators calls for a reconsideration of the apparent simplicity of "faithful" translations and aims to reconfigure perceptions of early modern authorship, translation, and women writers.
The Rhetoric of Failure and the Making of American Modernism
From Herman Melville's claim that "failure is the true test of greatness" to Henry Adams's self-identification with the "mortifying failure in [his] long education" and William Faulkner's eagerness to be judged by his "splendid failure to do the impossible," the rhetoric of failure has served as a master trope of modernist American literary expression. David Ball's magisterial study addresses the fundamental questions of language, meaning, and authority that run counter to well-rehearsed claims of American innocence and positivity, beginning with the American Renaissance and extending into modernist and contemporary literature. The rhetoric of failure was used at various times to engage artistic ambition, the arrival of advanced capitalism, and a rapidly changing culture, not to mention sheer exhaustion. False Starts locates a lively narrative running through American literature that consequently queries assumptions about the development of modernism in the United States.
Modernist thinkers once presumed a progressive secularity, with the novel replacing religious texts as society’s moral epics. Yet religion—beginning with the Iranian revolution of 1979, through the collapse of communism, and culminating in the singular rupture of September 11, 2001—has not retreated quietly out of sight.
In Fiction Beyond Secularism, Justin Neuman argues that contemporary novelists who are most commonly identified as antireligious—among them Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Nadine Gordimer, Haruki Murakami, and J. M. Coetzee—have defied assumptions and have instead written some of the most trenchant critiques of secular ideologies, as well as the most exciting and rigorous inquiries into the legacies of the religious imagination. As a result, many readers (or nonreaders) on either side of the religious divide neglect the insights of works like The Satanic Verses, Disgrace, and Snow. Fiction Beyond Secularism serves as a timely corrective.