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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.
A Writer's Meditation
"I started this meditation on the first day of Lent. I hope to keep going every day until Easter. Each day I go fishing in the water of this internal voice. This week the water's still, this angled pen a blue sail; the hook is lazy in the estuary, the water the color of lapis. So what if I don't catch a fish? I said that I would fish; that's all I promised. I bait the hook with each day's discipline. I have no guarantees that there is anything at all to catch in these particular waters, that something beneath the surface won't grab my pen and pull me under." -- from Iconography
When Susan Neville enrolls in an icon-painting class in the cellar of an Indianapolis monastery, she begins a journey into a fascinating hidden world where saints are fabricated of mineral and wood, yolk and blood, earth and time. The process is tedious, and she begins to make mistakes, to become impatient; she doesn't feel ready for the challenge. To prepare herself, Neville makes a vow to write during the 40 days of Lent. What emerges is a journal, a meditation, a series of confessions that we are invited to listen to as we follow Neville's sometimes painful attempts to reveal the truth and discover the mystery of her existence. In the layering of colors and moods, her writing is the spiritual equivalent of an icon. As she observes the world around her and applies the paint of language to her observations, she realizes that spirit and matter are not separate -- that now and then moments of meaning emerge from daily life, and the stillness and majesty of the universe shine through.