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Portraits of Identity in Cynthia Ozick's Fiction
Shows how Ozick's characters attempt to mediate a complex Jewish identity, one that bridges the differences between traditional Judaism and secular American culture. 'Shows how Ozick’s characters attempt to mediate a complex Jewish identity, one that bridges the differences between traditional Judaism and secular American culture. In Belonging Too Well, Miriam Sivan draws on contemporary literary theory as well as traditional Jewish texts and culture to explore the question of identity in Cynthia Ozick’s fiction. Many critics have pointed to a split in Ozick’s work between Judaic and secular culture and values. Sivan suggests, however, that Ozick never settles for a simple either/or dichotomy between traditional Judaism and secular American culture, but that her protagonists instead fashion new means of living genuinely Jewish lives within the American Diaspora. Often they struggle not with not belonging to either the Old or the New Worlds, but of belonging too well to both. Part of a recent trend toward analyzing Jewish American literature in the context of a deep encounter with and understanding of Judaism and traditional Jewish texts, Sivan’s study enables readers of Ozick’s fiction to penetrate the complex webs she creates among cultures, time periods, and characters, some quite sober, others fantastic, all unusual. Miriam Sivan teaches in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Haifa in Israel.
From Philosophy of God to Philosophy of Religious Studies
Jim Kanaris provides a comprehensive understanding of esteemed theologian Bernard Lonergan’s philosophy of religion and a crucial means of identifying precisely the points of contact between Lonergan’s thoughts on God and religion and the issues presently discussed by philosophers of religion. Defining Lonergan’s philosophy of religion presents a challenge because he does not use the term as it is generally understood. Rather, Lonergan addresses these issues under the guise of philosophy of God or natural theology, understands the role of religious experience idiosyncratically, and allows this concept to play various roles in his thought. The dynamics of these various components, their interrelationships, and their function from early to late development are fleshed out in this work. Kanaris finds Lonergan’s philosophy of religion developing at that period when he attributes a new importance to the influence of religious experience. What this means for Lonergan’s controversial proof of God’s existence, the role of Lonergan’s concept of consciousness, and the specifically religious dimension of the notion of experience are explored, along with the emergence of what is technically philosophy of religion.
Seville's Universal Exposition, the New Spain, and the New Europe
The 1992 world’s fair in Seville serves as a vantage point from which to examine Spain’s developing democracy and Europe’s emerging unification, according to Richard Maddox in The Best of All Possible Islands. Visited by over fourteen million people, the Seville Expo drew the participation of more than one hundred countries and dozens of corporations. As part of Spain’s “miraculous year” in which Barcelona hosted the summer Olympics and Madrid was designated the Cultural Capital of Europe, the Expo advanced a remarkably optimistic, cosmopolitan, and liberal vision of the past, present, and future of the “new Spain” and the “new Europe.” Yet no aspect of this vision went unchallenged, and the Expo was at the center of fierce political rivalries and dramatic manifestations of popular discontent. In an engaging and accessible narrative, Richard Maddox demonstrates how visitors and local residents understood the significance of the event in ways that largely escaped the knowledge and control of the Expo’s organizers. Understanding how and why this occurred casts critical light on the transformation of Spain since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1976 and illuminates some of the key cultural and political dilemmas that processes of European and global integration pose for citizens of democratic societies.
Social Impacts of Sydney 2000
Despite International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samarach’s proclaiming the Sydney 2000 Olympics as the “best ever,” the truth of the matter is much less one-sided. In The Best Olympics Ever? Helen Jefferson Lenskyj discloses what the Sydney 2000 Olympic industry suppressed: the real costs and impacts.
Philosophy, Prophecy, and Politics in Leo Strauss's Early Thought
Examines the early works of German-Jewish philosopher Leo Strauss (1899-1973). Praised as a major political thinker of the twentieth century and vilified as the putative godfather of contemporary neoconservatism, Leo Strauss (1899–1973) has been the object of heated controversy both in the United States and abroad. This book offers a more balanced appraisal by focusing on Strauss’s early writings. By means of a close and comprehensive study of these texts, David Janssens reconstructs the genesis of Strauss’s thought from its earliest beginnings until his emigration to the United States in 1937. He discusses the first stages in Strauss’s grappling with the “theological-political problem,” from his doctoral dissertation on Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi to his contributions to Zionist periodicals, from his groundbreaking study of Spinoza’s critique of religion to his research on Moses Mendelssohn, and from his rediscovery of medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophy to his research on Hobbes. Throughout, Janssens traces Strauss’s rediscovery of the Socratic way of life as a viable alternative to both modern philosophy and revealed religion.
S. Y. Agnon and the Drama of Writing
This innovative study of the modern Hebrew writer, S. Y. Agnon, offers new insight into his literary transformations of Jewish themes and sources. With particular attention to Kafka, Hoffman situates Agnon in the context of twentieth-century literature and examines such central issues in Agnon’s art as the relationship of the literary text to traditions of sacred writings, the place of the book in culture, and the relationship of writing to the body.
Ambivalence, Identity, and the Education of Girls
Arguing for a recognition of the contradictory and ambivalent identifications that both attract and repel those who live the social category “girl,” Marnina Gonick analyzes the discourses and practices defining female sexuality, embodiment, relationship to self and other, material culture, use of social space, and cultural-political agency and power. Based on a school-community project involving collaborative production of a video which tells the stories of several fictional girl characters, Gonick examines the contradictory and textured structure of the discourses available to girls through which their identities are negotiated. Woven throughout the book is the integral concern with the way in which ethnographic writing as a discursive practice is also implicated in the production and signification of social identities for girls.
Comparative Studies in Judaism and Hinduism
This book stands at the crossroads between Jerusalem and Benares and opens a long awaited conversation between two ancient religious traditions. It represents the first serious attempt by a group of eminent scholars of Judaic and Indian studies to take seriously the cross-cultural resonances among the Judaic and Hindu traditions. The essays in the first part of the volume explore the historical connections and influences between the two traditions, including evidence of borrowed elements and the adaptation of Jewish Indian communities to Hindu culture. The essays in the second part focus primarily on resonances between particular conceptual complexes and practices in the two traditions, including comparative analyses of representations of Veda and Torah, legal formulations of dharma and halakhah, and conceptions of union with the Divine in Hindu Tantra and Kabbalah.
An Introduction to Isaac Breuer's Philosophy of Judaism
This is the first full-length, systematic study in English of Isaac Breuer, a founder of Agudat Israel, whose intellectual achievements reflected the world of Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber in an Orthodox mirror. It sheds light on an often neglected aspect of German Jewry’s last phase and reclaims Breuer as a paradigmatic figure in the Jewish encounter with modernity.