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Between al-Andalus and Christian Europe
This stimulating and graceful book explores Iberian Jewish attitudes toward cultural transition during the 12th and 13th centuries, when growing intolerance toward Jews in Islamic al-Andalus and the southward expansion of the Christian Reconquista led to the relocation of Jews from Islamic to Christian domains. By engaging literary topics such as imagery, structure, voice, landscape, and geography, Jonathan P. Decter traces attitudes toward transition that range from tenacious longing for the Islamic past to comfort in the Christian environment. Through comparison with Arabic and European vernacular literatures, Decter elucidates a medieval Hebrew poetics of estrangement and nostalgia, poetic responses to catastrophe, and the refraction of social issues in fictional narratives.
Published with the generous support of the Koret Foundation.
Europe's expansion into the New World during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries was a story of power alignment and cultural transmission as well as dramatic individual effort. Spain had her conquistadores, France her coureurs de bois, and England her sea dogs. Isolated from the authority of home governments, tempted by the abundance of gold, fur, and fish in the New World, these adventurers so vital to national policies of expansion developed their own personal creeds of conquest and colonization. Their individual exploits not only represent a humanistic theme essential in Europe's movement westward but heighten the analyses of cultural institutions of the era. It is within such a multidisciplinary light that one can experience the Gulf Coast adventures of Pierre LeMoyne d'Iberville.
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.
A Woman’s Adventures from the Mojave to the Antarctic
For Lucy Jane Bledsoe, wilderness had always been a source of peace. But during one disastrous solo trip in the wintry High Sierra she came face to face with a crisis: the wilderness no longer felt like home. The Ice Cave recounts Bledsoe’s wilderness journeys as she recovers her connection with the wild and discovers the meanings of fear and grace.
These are Bledsoe’s gripping tales of fending off wolves in Alaska, encountering UFOs in the Colorado Desert, and searching for mountain lions in Berkeley. Her memorable story “The Breath of Seals” takes readers to Antarctica, the wildest continent on earth, where she camped out with geologists, biologists, and astrophysicists. These fresh and deeply personal narratives remind us what it means to be simply one member of one species, trying to find food and shelter—and moments of grace—on our planet.
With a radically changing world, cultural identity and images have emerged as one of the most challenging issues in the social and cultural sciences. These changes provide an occasion for a thorough reexamination of cultural, historical, political, and economic aspects of society. The INOR (Iceland and Images of the North) group is an interdisciplinary group of Icelandic and non-Icelandic scholars whose recent research on contemporary and historical images of Iceland and the North seeks to analyze the forms these images assume, as well as their function and dynamics. The 21 articles in this book allow readers to seize the variety and complexity of the issues related to images of Iceland.
Nature, Culture, and Storytelling in the North Atlantic
This cultural and environmental history sweeps across the dramatic North Atlantic landscape, exploring its unusual geology, saga narratives, language, culture, and politics and analyzing its emergence as a distinctive and symbolic part of Europe. The book closes with a discussion of Iceland's modern whaling practices and its recent financial collapse.
Studies in the History of An Idea
Over the centuries, European debate about the nature and status of images of God and sacred figures has often upset the established order and shaken societies to their core. Out of this debate, an identifiable doctrine has emerged of the image in general and of the divine image in particular. This fascinating work concentrates on these historical arguments, from the period of Late Antiquity up to the great and classic defenses of images by St. John of Damascus and Theodore of Studion. Icon extends beyond the immediate concerns of religion, philosophy, aesthetics, history, and art, to engage them all.
Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman
Angela Davis, Pam Grier, Alice Walker, Michelle Obama. Revolutionary black women have evoked strong reaction throughout American history. Magazines, political campaigns, music, television, and movies have relied upon deep-seated archetypes and habitually cast strong, countercultural black women as mammies and sexual objects. In Iconic Lakesia Johnson explores how this belittling imagery is imposed by American media, revealing an immense cultural fear of black women's power and potential.
But the media does not have the last word. Johnson chronicles how strong black women—truly revolutionary black women—have nonetheless taken control of their own imaging despite consistent negative characterizations. Through their speech, demeanor, fashion, and social relationships, women from Sojourner Truth to Michelle Obama have counteracted these depictions. With ingenuity, fortitude, and focus on the greater good, these revolutionary women transformed the cultural images of themselves and, simultaneously, those of American black women as a whole.
Seamlessly weaving together role models of past and present, from women in politics to artists and musicians, Johnson eloquently demonstrates how the revolutionary black woman in many public forums has been—and continues to be—a central figure in challenging long-standing social injustices.
For more, including photographs, videos, news, and author appearances, visit RevoutionaryBlackWomen.com.
The Dark Theology of Samuel Beckett's Drama
Iconic Spaces looks at Samuel Beckett's mature theatrical work as a displaced theology of the icon. Sandra Wynands rejects conventional existentialist or nihilist interpretations of Beckett's work, arguing instead that beneath the text, in the depths of language and being, Beckett creates an absolutely irreducible, transcendent space. She traces a nondual model of perception and experience through a selection of Beckett's art-critical and dramatic works, focusing in particular on four minimalist plays: Catastrophe, Not I, Quad, and Film. Iconic Spaces makes an important contribution to scholars and students of literature, philosophy, theatre studies, and religion by giving them an exciting new way of reading and experiencing Beckett's work.