The present paper tries to trace the particular contours that the problem of theodicy assumes in the Chinese Buddhist text the Awakening of Faith in the Great Vehicle. It analyses the beginning section of the main body of text – the section, that is, that outlines the major theoretical structure of the work – in terms of a problem that has been of particular concern in western theology. I believe that taking such a tack is especially valuable for highlighting the (...) central Problematik around which the text is organized. The paper will thus use the problem of theodicy as a means of exploring some of the philosophical implications of the Awakening of Faith. (shrink)
Happiness in World History traces ideas and experiences of happiness from early stages in human history, to the maturation of agricultural societies and their religious and philosophical systems, to the changes and diversities in the approach to happiness in the modern societies that began to emerge in the 18th century. In this thorough overview, Peter N. Stearns explores the interaction between psychological and historical findings about happiness, the relationship between ideas and popular experience, and the opportunity to use historical (...) analysis to assess strengths and weaknesses of dominant contemporary notions of happiness. Starting with the advent of agriculture, the book assesses major transitions in history for patterns in happiness, including the impact of the great religions, the unprecedented Enlightenment interest in secular happiness and cheerfulness, and industrialization and imperialism. The final, contemporary section covers fascist and communist efforts to define alternatives to Western ideas of happiness, the increasing connections with consumerism, and growing global interests in defining and promoting well-being. Touching on the experiences in the major regions of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and North America, the text offers an expansive introduction to a new field of study. This book will be of interest to students of world history and the history of emotions. (shrink)
Jesus of Nazareth, like Socrates, left nothing behind written by himself. Yet, the records of his teaching indicate a rich interest in dialogic pedagogy, reflected in his use of the parable, primarily an oral genre, as a dialogic provocation. Working at the interface of pedagogy, theology and philosophy, this article explores the parable of the Good Samaritan from the perspective of dialogic pedagogy. It employs an analytical approach termed diacognition, developed from the notions of dialogue, position and cognition, to analyse (...) the moves within the parable and the teaching situation in which it is located. The article explores how Jesus engages the dialogue of and around the parable to position and reposition his interlocutor, provoking a re-cognition of what it means to love one’s neighbour. It concludes by reflecting on the implications of this analysis for the relation of meaning to knowing and doing. (shrink)
American parents greatly value children’s happiness, citing it well above other possible priorities. This commitment to happiness, shared with parents in other Western societies but not elsewhere, is an important feature of popular emotional culture. But the commitment is also the product of modern history, emerging clearly only in the 19th century. This article explains the contrast between more traditional and modern views, and explains the origins but also the evolution of the idea of a happy childhood. Early outcomes, for (...) example, included the novel practice of hosting parties for children’s birthdays, another mid-19th-century innovation that has expanded over time. Explaining the intensification of the happiness commitment also reveals some of the downsides of this aspect of popular emotional culture, for example in measurably complicating reactions to childish unhappiness. The basic goal of the essay is to use this important facet of modern emotional history to evaluate a commitment that many modern parents assume is simply natural. (shrink)
The theme of this book is the crisis of the early modern state in eighteenth-century Britain. The revolt of the North American colonies and the simultaneous demand for wider religious toleration at home challenged the principles of sovereignty and obligation that underpinned arguments about the character of the state. These were expressed in terms of the 'common good', 'necessity', and 'community' - concepts that came to the fore in early modern European political thought and which gave expression to the problem (...) of defining legitimate authority in a period of increasing consciousness of state power. The Americans and their British supporters argued that individuals ought to determine the common good of the community. A new theory of representation and freedom of thought defines the cutting edge of this revolutionary redefinition of the basic relationship between individual and community. (shrink)
This article focuses on the rise of world history and the challenges it poses to curricula that emphasize history in service to national or civilizational identity. The nature and causes of the world history movement are juxtaposed to the continuing or renewed attachment to more nationalist history. Specific clashes around world history, particularly but not exclusively in the United States, have focused on opposing views about history and identity. Compromises continue to results, as well as clear delays in world history (...) interest in many regions and many programs. Yet world history continues to gain ground, fundamentally because, at its best, it provides many of the tools needed for responsible understanding of globalization past and present. (shrink)
Hai, Peter NV Lay people have always played a vital role in the life and mission of the church but it is only after the Second Vatican Council that the question of the laity has come into focus in a new way in Catholic theological reflection. Indeed, in the wake of Vatican II, the council that introduced a Copernican shift in the Catholic understanding of the laity, lay people have become the theme of a Synod of Bishops, the subject (...) of an Apostolic Exhortation, and the topic of several pastoral statements of national conferences of bishops. This paper begins with a review of the state of the question highlighting the need for a comparative investigation of the theologies of the laity according to John Paul II, the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, and the Vietnamese Episcopal Conference. It then highlights the differences and convergences in these theologies. As all three theologies draw their inspiration from the teachings of Vatican II, and a prominent element of the council's concerns was the emphasis on the universal call to holiness, we will also provide a detailed comparison of this notable aspect across these theological systems. Our argument is that while some minor points of divergence and disagreement remain there is a greater convergence and agreement between these theologies of the laity. (shrink)
This article uses historical analysis of shame to argue for a more active connection between emotions history and the other disciplines that deal with emotion. It assesses the current state of historical work on shame, including the argument for a 19th-century decline; it juxtaposes current social psychological and anthropological work with this argument. Additional data allow more precise consideration of changing patterns of shame, reasons for change, and probable impacts including increasing complexity in individual and social reactions alike. Evaluation includes (...) the unexpected increase in shame discussions in recent decades; the possibility that shame and “modernity” are ultimately incompatible; and some larger problems attached to the decline of shame. (shrink)
Among the newly enchristianed "extreme sports" category, ultrarunners and the sport of ultrarunning is on the fringe edge. What makes ultrarunners and their "sport" interesting is that ultrarunners regularly report experiences that can be equated to various types of mystical experiences during their "sporting" events. This paper briefly discusses ultrarunners, a hypothetical mystical (mythical) state of consciousness called Absolute Unitary Being, and the psychoneurophysiological aspects of ultrarunning. Through this process, a link is established that connects ultrarunners and their "sport" with (...) many traditional indigenous practices. It is suggested that many of the traditional indigenous practices may have produced experiences similar to those of ultrarunners, and thus we can look to ultrarunners to begin to understand some of the physiological, psychological, neurological, as well as humanistic, phenomenological, and transpersonal experiences and reasons behind many now lost traditional indigenous practices. (shrink)
This article argues that community-based research (CBR)—research that includes the participation of “lay” citizens in the research process—is changing the process of research and knowledge production. The article is an initial attempt to examine the outcomes of CBR and the impact such research is having on knowledge development and funding trends in North America. The article concludes with a set of policy recommendations and areas for further research.
Introduction : what and why is world history? -- A world history skeleton -- Habits of mind in world history -- Managing time : choosing and evaluating world history periods -- Managing space : world history regions and civilizations -- Contacts and the structure of world history -- Topics in world history -- Disputes in world history -- World history in the contemporary era.
During his time as Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams addressed the relations between Christianity and science at some length. While many contemporary theologians have explored the natural sciences in detail and have deployed scientific ideas and concepts in their theological work, Williams's writings suggest that theology has little need for natural scientific knowledge. For Williams, the created order's relationship to God renders the content of scientific theories about how finite causes are materially constituted and interact of little theological importance. At (...) the same time, Williams is convinced that theological and scientific work must each remain within their proper bounds, a position that can best succeed in practice when participants in each discipline are aware of how both disciplines approach their subject matter. Although Williams's view challenges those who would insist that theology requires anything more than minimal engagement with the sciences, the ability to clearly demarcate and preserve the boundaries between scientific and theological work nevertheless requires of the theologian the kind of understanding of scientific methods and theories that Williams himself demonstrates. (shrink)
The need for more comparative analyses in emotions research is increasingly obvious. Recent discussions of fear raise clear issues of “national” patterns and expressions versus standard societal or at least modern responses, and only explicit comparison can clarify. The same applies to current impacts on emotions from contemporary media or broader processes of globalization. Happily, there are some good examples of comparison to build upon, though the challenges of dealing with the complexity of different cultures, and potential causes of differences (...) remain very real. The agenda and the potential for additional understanding of emotional experience through comparison are rich and stimulating. (shrink)
Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc was een geleerde die niet tot een bepaalde institutie hoorde. Hij streefde naar de vooruitgang van wetenschappelijke kennis, had een netwerk van geleerden, politici, kooplieden en anderen en had contacten in Goa en Ethiopië, in het Ottomaanse Rijk en in christelijk Europa. Hij bewoog zich onder meer op terreinen als astronomie en de kennis van bijbelhandschriften in oosterse talen en werkte samen met protestanten, joden en moslims. Gedachte-experiment: iemand als Peiresc die internet ter beschikking heeft. Peiresc (...) heeft geen publicaties nagelaten en postuum hebben zijn vrienden zijn brieven niet gepubliceerd. Maar de archiefnalatenschap van deze briljante spin in zijn web is in onze tijd beschikbaar. (shrink)
Prompted by the concerns about legitimacy that Josh Reeves expresses in his book Against Methodology in Science and Religion: Recent Debates on Rationality and Theology, this article considers how the field of science and religion, and the disciplines and scholars that comprise it, should think about the pursuit of legitimacy today. It begins by examining four features of any conferral of legitimacy on an object. It then looks more closely at distance and its effects on judgments of legitimacy. It first (...) notes how longer distances can enable a wide range of factors other than the internal features or inherent merits of the object to influence judgments of its legitimacy. It then explores the factors that persons who have significant expertise in or experience with the object may consider when judging its legitimacy. It closes by posing three questions that anyone designing a strategy to increase the perceived legitimacy of an object might ask. (shrink)