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Viera Plechová

Abstract

The article deals with the ideas of humanity and morality as reflected in the works of R. W. Emerson, the main representative of an intellectual movement called American transcendentalism. It conveys basic facts about the movement and focuses on the key aspects of Emerson’s transcendental philosophy, particularly his concept of the Over-soul and his concept of Nature, which gave his humanistic philosophy a religious and moral accent. Due to it, Emerson’s religious humanism also became the basis of American democratic individualism. The article offers insight into Emerson’s ideas on morality and ethical behaviour, which challenge us to live in harmony with God and nature.

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Alina Nowicka-Jeżowa

Summary

Based on earlier research, and especially Tadeusz Ulewicz’s landmark study Iter Romano- -Italicum Polonorum, or the Intellectual and Cultural Links between Poland and Italy in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (1999) this article examines the influence of Rome - in its role as the Holy See and a centre of learning and the arts - on Poland’s culture in the 15th and 16th century as well as on the activities of Polish churchmen, scholars and writers who came to the Eternal City. The aim of the article is to trace the role of the emerging Humanist themes and attitudes on the shape of the cultural exchange in question. It appears that the Roman connection was a major factor in the history of Polish Humanism - its inner development, its transformations, and the ideological and artistic choices made by the successive generations of the Polish elite. In the 15th century the Roman inspirations helped to initiate the Humanist impulse in Poland, while in the 16th century they stimulated greater diversity and a search for one’s own way of development. In the post-Tridentine epoch they became a potent element of the Poland’s new cultural formation. Against the background of these generalizations, the article presents the cultural profiles of four poets, Mikołaj of Hussów, Klemens Janicjusz, Jan Kochanowski, and Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński. They symbolize the four phases of the Polish Humanist tradition, which draw their distinctive identities from looking up to the Roman model

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Alina Nowicka -Jeżowa

Summary

The article tries to outline the position of Piotr Skarga in the Jesuit debates about the legacy of humanist Renaissance. The author argues that Skarga was fully committed to the adaptation of humanist and even medieval ideas into the revitalized post-Tridentine Catholicism. Skarga’s aim was to reformulate the humanist worldview, its idea of man, system of values and political views so that they would fit the doctrine of the Roman Catholic church. In effect, though, it meant supplanting the pluralist and open humanist culture by a construct as solidly Catholic as possible. He sifted through, verified, and re-interpreted the humanist material: as a result the humanist myth of the City of the Sun was eclipsed by reminders of the transience of all earthly goods and pursuits; elements of the Greek and Roman tradition were reconnected with the authoritative Biblical account of world history; and man was reinscribed into the theocentric perspective. Skarga brought back the dogmas of the original sin and sanctifying grace, reiterated the importance of asceticism and self-discipline, redefined the ideas of human dignity and freedom, and, in consequence, came up with a clear-cut, integrist view of the meaning and goal of the good life as well as the proper mission of the citizen and the nation. The polemical edge of Piotr Skarga’s cultural project was aimed both at Protestantism and the Erasmian tendency within the Catholic church. While strongly coloured by the Ignatian spirituality with its insistence on rigorous discipline, a sense of responsibility for the lives of other people and the culture of the community, and a commitment to the heroic ideal of a miles Christi, taking headon the challenges of the flesh, the world, Satan, and the enemies of the patria and the Church, it also went a long way to adapt the Jesuit model to Poland’s socio-cultural conditions and the mentality of its inhabitants.

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Emily Horton

Abstract

In the context of twenty-first century global conservatism, where anti-immigrant sentiment is everywhere apparent, the importance of Ishiguro’s writing arguably lies in its on-going challenge to this perspective’s faulty logic and its capacity to reveal the radical violence behind nationalist political attacks on minority and immigrant populations. In this article I explore this challenge explicitly through a politically-oriented reading of The Remains of the Day (1989), highlighting this novel’s joint critique of Thatcherite nationalism and late twentieth century global entrepreneurialism. While this focus obviously represents a response to an earlier socio-political moment, defined by its own unique amalgam of ideological anxieties, nevertheless what emerges most prominently through this reading is the novel’s topical condemnation of cultural essentialism and its attendant hierarchies, concerns which remain of utmost critical significance within the twenty-first century. Thus, by making this assessment explicit, highlighting British conservatism’s devastating psychological and material implications for affected individuals, ranging from repressed and traumatised psychologies to radical economic precarity, this novel can be seen to register Thatcherite prejudice in a poignantly relevant manner. Indeed, the pseudo-respect granted to the ‘genuine old-fashioned English butler’ in this novel might also be seen as comparable to Trump’s pseudo-populism or Brexit nostalgia, both of which likewise ignore the pressing reality of imperialism’s historical violence.

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Jennifer Henke

Abstract

This article discusses the role of the body in Alex Garland’s film Ex Machina (2015). It focuses on Ava’s female cyborg body against the backdrop of both classic post-humanist theories and current reflections from scholars in the field of body studies. I argue that Ex Machina addresses but also transcends questions of gender and feminism. It stresses the importance of the body for social interaction both in the virtual as well as the real world. Ava’s lack of humanity results from her mind that is derived from the digital network Blue Book in which disembodied communication dominates. Moreover, the particular construction of Nathan’s progeny demonstrates his longing for a docile sex toy since he created Ava with fully functional genitals but without morals. Ex Machina further exhibits various network metaphors both on the visual and the audio level that contribute to the (re)acknowledgement that we need a body in order to be human.

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Ching-Huan Lin

. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2001. 249-75. Ledent, Bénédicte. “The “Aesthetics of Personalism” in Caryl Phillips’s Writing: Complexity as a New Brand of Humanism.” World Literature Written in English 39.1 (2001): 75-85. Levinas, Emmanuel. The Levinas Reader . Ed. Seán Hand. Oxford: Blackwell, 1989. McLeod, John. “‘Between Two Waves’: Caryl Phillips and Black Britain.” Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings 7 (2007): 9-19. McLeod, John. “Diaspora and Utopia: Reading the Recent Work of Paul Gilroy and Caryl Phillips.” Diasporic

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Anca-Luminiţa Iancu

. Transcultural Imaginings: Translating the Other, Translating the Self in Narratives about Migration and Terrorism . Sofia: KX: Critique and Humanism, 2016. Gray, Jeffrey. “Essence and the Mulatto Traveler: Europe as Embodiment in Nella Larsen’s ‘Quicksand’.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 27.3 (Spring 1994): 257-270. Harrison-Kahan, Lori. “‘Drunk with the Fiery Rhythms of Jazz’: Anzia Yezierska, Hybridity, and the Harlem Renaissance.” Modern Fiction Studies 51.2 (2005): 416-436. Hart, Betty L., and Anna A. Moore. “Nella Larsen.” American Ethnic Writers . Rev

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Ali Arian

Abstract

It seems that the very important role of literature is its transcendental appeal. Literature knows no boundary and it ties whole nations even if they are politically segregated. The present paper tries to trace some of the salient features of humanism and Sufism, such as Absolute Unity, simplicity, selfknowing, purity, solitude, loving one another and some others in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. This American writer, as an ardent follower of the Transcendental Club in America and the holy scriptures of the East, was known as the hero of simplicity in the U.S.A. Being a protester against government and society, he dwelled for more than two years alone in Walden Pond to see the mysteries of life and to find Reality and the Almighty. He believed Nature to be the best teacher and opined that every parcel of nature is a sign of God. He came to know about the holy scriptures of the East, especially those of the Indians and strongly used them in his writings, especially in Walden and the Week. Therefore such a person who seeks God, indeed, can be familiar with elements of humanism and Sufism, and one can find such elements in Walden by pondering its text

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Martin Šemelák

. 2011. “Human Rights Storytelling and Trauma Narrative in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go” In Journal of Human Rights , 10:1, 1-16 Sartre, J. P. 1946. Existentialism is Humanism . From a public lecture given in 1946. Translated by Philip Mairet. Available at: < http://www.mrsmoser.com/uploads/8/5/0/1/8501319/english_11_ib_-_no_exit__existentialism_is_a_humanism_-_sartre.pdf > Schopenhauer, A. 1891. On Suicide In Studies in Pessimism . Translated by T. B. Saunders. Adeliade: The University of Adelaide Library. eBook file. Available at: < https