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Pneumatology and Politics: The role of the Holy Spirit in the articulation of an Orthodox political theology

Abstract

In this paper an attempt is made to discuss the importance of the Holy Spirit in the development of an Orthodox political theology, by bringing into critical dialogue the recent contributions of two of the most known Orthodox theologians of the young generation, namely A. Papanikolaou and P. Kalaitzidis. It is commonly recognized that the Holy Spirit is closely related both to the very “constitution of the whole Church” in virtue of the Eucharistic event, as well as to the everyday charismatic lives of individual Christians due to the various forms or stages of ascetism. In this respect a careful comparative examination of these two important works, would highlight some invaluable elements (Eucharistic perspective, eschatological orientation, historical commitment, ethical action, open and critical dialogue with modernity etc.) toward a formulation of a comprehensive and urgently necessary political theology. This sort of political theology should have inevitable implications for the Christian perception of the communal and the individual ecclesial life. This “theo-political” program proposed by the two thinkers and founded on a robust Pneumatology, could be perfectly included, following the apostolic kerygma and the patristic ethos, into a new way of doing (Orthodox) Christian theology, that takes as its starting point the grammar of the self-Revelation of God in the ongoing history of salvation (“Church and World Dogmatics”).

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H.C. Andersens Iisjomfruen und die Unterhaltungsliteratur des 19. Jahrhunderts

Abstract

H.C. Andersen’s fairy tale The Ice Maiden is in many ways very modern, especially when we take into account its formal and rhetorical devices. The narrative is not invented by the author as the story is compound of travel journeys, popular readings of the time and so on. Andersen himself indicated some of his sources. In the following paper I would like to discuss the relationship between the fairy tale and the so called „Gebirgserzählung“ from the 18th and 19th century, which was extremely popular at the time. While the core of a “Gebirgserzählung” often consists in a young couple, that after many troubles in the end comes happily together, this is not the case in The Ice Maiden, as Andersen let the protagonist die. It looks as if Andersen would argue in favour of predetermination, based on Christian belief. However, this conclusion is not convincing because it fails to explain the obvious injustice of Rudy’s fate. In what follows I suggest a rhetorical explanation of the protagonist’s death. In such a view Rudy’s death is not to be understood as predetermined, but as a result of Andersen’s fear of his own modernity. What he demonstrates is how an entire story can be the result of other stories, how literature is based on literature. But the author himself seems not to be mature for this insight and that’s the reason why he let the protagonist die.

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Crossing the Sacred/Secular Divide; Unraveling Turkish Identities

Abstract

This paper unpacks the ideas in the poem “Pull Down My Statues” by Süleyman Apaydın, to examine some common descriptors in use about modern Turkey. Taking his inspiration from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic, Apaydın ponders the success of Atatürk’s vision, based on the idea of a secular/sacred divide. Combining this with the way travel in Turkey is heavily promoted using the same themes, I explore how this divide, with its underlying connotations of West versus East and modernity versus tradition (as found in Turkey’s Ottoman past), is applied to Turkish identity. Turks are commonly portrayed as a homogenous people only differentiated by their degree of religiosity, but I argue that this analysis is too simplistic. Turkish identity has never been based on a single clear cut model, and this is becoming obvious as more traditional Islamic ways of life are being reworked by new forms of Islam based on capitalism. Consequently, although it is important to acknowledge Turkey’s past, looking to history for a way to steer through the complexities of the present is no longer useful or even relevant.

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Charisma and Communion

Abstract

In the context of reflections on modernity, an increasingly widespread belief seems to be emerging: the subject at which it is necessary to direct our attention, to which to throw a lifeline as it were, is the concrete and real human being, alone and at the same time besieged by increasingly tight and numerous systemic schemes. Are the “human subject” and his social context only undergoing a deep transformation, or are they actually in danger? This “new” knowledge involves all the humanistic and social sciences, such as philosophy, anthropology, psychology, economics, political science, and theology, in a sort of fusion and pact for mankind.

Great spiritualities include life experiences and ideas that reverberate on everyday life, lifestyles, and culture. From the very beginning, Chiara Lubich’s spirituality, is based on two fundamental concepts: unity and forsaken Jesus, has been perceived as a new way to know God, but also as an idea that is able to renew human life, as well as to penetrate social and cultural realities.

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The Erotics of Scenario. On the Construction of the Subject in Postmodern Theatre

Abstract

Set in the postmodern culture cadres that Lyotard talked about twenty years ago, we are witnessing an accelerated mistrust of a conspicuous value. In fact, all this mistrust has occurred amid a radical overthrow of the way we were accustomed to perceiving the values of modernity. Having its starting point in philosophy, falling into disuse that postmodernity propose grows like a wave that appeared after a stone was thrown into the water. Theatre has not escaped from postmodern articulation, and its subjects have inevitably passed through the postmodern reconfiguration filter. In this article, we will talk about the subject of eroticism, trying to outline our thesis on the idea that the comprehensive synthesis of the receiver in relation to the postmodern performance is based on the construction of the subject folded on the identification of some indicators. Considered as a cultural construct, eroticism is eliminated through its discourse and requires scenarios to be fully understood and recognized. The question inevitably arises: to what extent can we talk about these scenarios in the postmodern performance?

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Humanity and Animality. A Transdisciplinary Approach

Abstract

At a time when humanity experiences its greatest advances, major conflicts and abuses arise around the world due to a lack of humanism and reason within the meaning of the Enlightenment. Modernity and western comfort in our globalized society have not helped share and balance the wealth, nor preserve the natural resources; it has not prevented crimes against humanity nor the most insane dictatorial actions of the 20th and early 21st centuries. This went hand in hand with a massive degradation of the environment. Could the animal be the solution to all the mistakes we have made during the last century, instead of being considered an inferior, a slave? Could he not be the one who has managed the best in the fields of intelligence, self-regulation and respect of his vital environment? Should we not rather turn toward the animal to find a new balanced model? Respecting the environment and his peers seems to be the most striking evidence of intelligence, does it not? The animal has achieved this. Man has not. Focusing on the way man has treated animals may therefore help us to understand why we have treated our peers so badly.

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The Poet's "Caressive Sight": Denise Levertov's Transactions with Nature

The Poet's "Caressive Sight": Denise Levertov's Transactions with Nature

The scientific consciousness which broke with the holistic perception of life is credited with "unweaving the rainbow," or disenchanting the world. No longer perceived as sacred, the non-human world of plants and animals became a site of struggle for domination and mastery in implementing humankind's supposedly divine mandate to subdue the earth. The nature poetry of Denise Levertov is an attempt to reverse this trend, reaffirm the sense of wonder inherent in the world around us, and reclaim some "holy presence" for the modern sensibility. Her exploratory poetics witnesses to a sense of relationship existing between all creatures, both human and non-human. This article traces Levertov's "transactions with nature" and her evolving spirituality, inscribing her poetry within the space of alternative—or romantic—modernity, one that dismantles the separation paradigm. My intention throughout was to trace the way to a religiously defined faith of a person raised in the modernist climate of suspicion, but keenly attentive to spiritual implications of beauty and open to the epiphanies of everyday.

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Recalling All the Olympians: W. B. Yeats’s “Beautiful Lofty Things,” On the Boiler and the Agenda of National Rebirth

Abstract

While it has been omitted by numerous critics in their otherwise comprehensive readings of Yeats’s oeuvre, “Beautiful Lofty Things” has been placed among the mythical poems, partly in accordance with Yeats’s own intention; in a letter to his wife, he suggested that “Lapis Lazuli, the poem called ‘To D. W.’ ‘Beautiful Lofty Things,’ ‘Imitated from the Japanese’ & ‘Gyres’ . . . would go well together in a bunch.” The poem has been inscribed in the Yeats canon as registering a series of fleeting epiphanies of the mythical in the mundane. However, “Beautiful Lofty Things,” evocative of a characteristically Yeatsian employment of myth though it certainly is, seems at the same time to fuse Yeats’s quite earthly preoccupations. It is here argued that the poem is organized around a tightly woven matrix of figures that comprise Yeats’s idea of the Irish nation as a “poetical culture.” Thus the position of the lyric in the poet’s oeuvre deserves to be shifted from periphery towards an inner part of his cultural and political ideas of the time. Indeed, the poem can be viewed as one of Yeats’s central late comments on the state of the nation and, significantly, one in which he is able to proffer a humanist strategy for developing a culturally modern state rather than miring his argument in occasionally over-reckless display of abhorrence of modernity

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“Foran loven”
Moderne skandinavisk kortprosa over for Franz Kafkas roman processen

Abstract

The novel The trial, telling the story of the groundless arrest and prosecution of the bank clerk Josef K., remains one of the bestknown and most influential works written by Franz Kafka. Depicting the pointless struggle of a man placed at the mercy of a remote, inaccessible authority, it gives a symbolic account of the human condition in the modern era, characterised by the lack of universal truth, estrangement, confusion and existential impotence. Grasping the very idea of existential modernity, the novel provides ongoing inspiration for a great number of modernist and postmodernist writers all over the world, including Scandinavia. In the article presented below, The trial is examined as an intertext within the genre of the Scandinavian short prose, as it unfolds at breakthrough of modernism and postmodernism. Starting with the literary and critical works of the Danish modernist Villy Sørensen, and moving forward throughout the Danish and Norwegian minimalism of the 1990's, the paper discusses a range of different aspects of The trial, as they reappear in the short stories written by some of the main representatives of the Scandinavian short story. In this way, the article elucidates the relevance of Kafka's novel as an intertext for contemporary Scandinavian short fiction, as well as draws attention to the dialogical dimension of the genre.

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The Geopolitics of Emilia Pardo Bazán’s La Quimera: Femme Fatale as Split Feminist Subject

Abstract

This paper analyzes the representation of the femme fatale in Emilia Pardo Bazán’s La Quimera (1905). Femme fatale is described by many critics as an expression of masculine anxieties and fears, caused by political crisis and growth of feminine independence in the nineteenth century. Male authors employed this figure to preserve patriarchal structure and the existent power balance between prescribed gender roles. I argue that Pardo Bazán, through imitation of male writers and manipulation of hidden meanings in La Quimera, employs this masculinist projection to express latent feminist ideas and a critique of the contemporary social position of women. In her novel, Pardo Bazán creates a feminist femme fatale and, through her geopolitically split formation (France/Latin America/Spain), criticizes Spanish patriarchy, domesticity and non-modernity. She achieves this without overtly violating masculine narrative structure or demeaning patriarchal order, as she appropriates the originally masculinist imagery of fatal woman. Nevertheless, the eventual fate of Pardo Bazán’s femme fatale—especially the elaboration of internal dialogs and her presentation not as antagonist and invasive Other but as protagonist and subject—demonstrates fundamental differences of a feminist perspective within her elaboration of this masculine fantasy. In this way, in a time and space where feminism as a movement did not yet exist or was in its formative years, Pardo Bazán immensely contributed to the development of European/Spanish feminist thought.

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