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Evangelical revivalism was the first purely American worship tradition and has been the single largest Protestant movement in America since the 1700s. Liturgical practices that developed during the early American evangelical revival period have affected the worship piety of nearly every American Protestant tradition and movement since, and the revivalist worship piety of evangelicalism has by and large remained consistent and prevalent in American Protestantism to the current day. The chapter provides a broad survey of the worship customs and mindsets that developed in America over the past 300 years through the agency of the evangelical revival movement, identifying significant factors that influenced American evangelical worship practice and piety.
As it transitioned from its late medieval into its early modern forms, the Christian just war tradition did more than shape colonialization, law, and the nation-state; it significantly shaped modernity itself. Its emphases on four big modern ideas – autonomy, immanence, instrumentalism, and universalizability – manifest throughout the modern social imaginary, including in the way both religion/theology and the nonhuman natural world are removed from view in the political realm. Viewing this transition through explicitly theological lenses helps make sense of modernity’s preoccupation with (state) violence, its struggles to negotiate ambiguity, and its commitment to a myth of progress that conceals the ironies, disjunctions, and ambivalences of history. It also helps to explain why modern political thought ignores the nonhuman natural world at a time when the costs of such ignorance are growing exponentially.
The conventional narrative of the history of the Christian just war tradition has dominated the literature of Christian just war thought. It is a deeply problematic and peculiarly modern narrative, repeating both a myth of progress and a great man view of history. Toward constructing a more historically accurate, theologically coherent, and functionally relevant narrative, it helps to have a clearer understanding of the relationship between just war thinking, just war traditions, and just war theory. Moreover, at the entrance to the Anthropocene, as the interplay between natural and political systems becomes more apparent, the relationship between evolving social imaginaries and the movements of traditions through time needs to be better understood. A starting point is recognizing that the primary questions of the tradition are those of theological anthropology: what does it mean to be human, how are human beings valued, who counts among those who are valued, and what social structures do human beings create to shape and reinforce those values?
‘Scientism’ is not the artificial dissolution of an otherwise natural and good boundary that divides modern science from other interpretations of the world, such as religion or metaphysics, but constitutes the essence of modern science precisely to the extent that this latter understands itself as making a radical break with the prior study of the world that called itself ‘natural philosophy’. This chapter argues that science becomes ‘scientism’ the moment it denies it is a philosophy of the whole of reality, and pretends instead to limit itself simply to quantitative abstractions and strictly empirical methods. In restricting the scope of its inquiry, and thus claiming a certain ‘epistemic humility’ or ‘modesty’ for itself, science follows a pattern that can be discovered in other instances of the rise of modernity, such as that in politics or economics, and presents analogous problems. The only way to avoid scientism, that is, the totalitarian domination of an abstract conception of nature, is to recover the original aspiration of science as an inquiry into being qua mobile: science must recognize itself most basically as an interpretation of nature, understood as the internal principle of motion and rest that sets the defining horizon for things.
In this volume, Mark Douglas presents an environmental history of the Christian just war tradition. Focusing on the transition from its late medieval into its early modern form, he explores the role the tradition has played in conditioning modernity and generating modernity's blindness to interactions between 'the natural' and 'the political.' Douglas criticizes problematic myths that have driven conventional narratives about the history of the tradition and suggests a revised approach that better accounts for the evolution of that tradition through time. Along the way, he provides new interpretations of works by Francisco de Vitoria and Hugo Grotius, and, provocatively, the Constitution of the United States of America. Sitting at the intersection of just war thinking, environmental history, and theological ethics, Douglas's book serves as a timely guide for responses to wars in a warming world as they increasingly revolve around the flashpoints of religion, resources, and refugees.
This Element argues that Ireland did not experience a disenchanted modernity, nor a decline in magic. It suggests that beliefs, practices and traditions concerning witchcraft and magic developed and adapted to modernity to retain cultural currency until the end of the twentieth century. This analysis provides the backdrop for the first systematic exploration of how historic Irish trials of witches and cunning-folk were represented by historians, antiquarians, journalists, dramatists, poets, and novelists in Ireland between the late eighteenth and late twentieth century. It is demonstrated that this work created an accepted narrative of Irish witchcraft and magic which glossed over, ignored, or obscured the depth of belief in witchcraft, both in the past and in contemporary society. Collectively, their work gendered Irish witchcraft, created a myth of a disenchanted, modern Ireland, and reinforced competing views of Irishness and Irish identity. These long-held stereotypes were only challenged in the late twentieth-century.
This chapter explores whether it is possible to talk meaningfully of an African brand of crime fiction. It seeks broad trends in localized examples but, in so doing, it privileges those texts that have resonated beyond national and indeed continental borders. Following a survey of the role played by the Parisian publishing industry in the global dissemination of African crime fiction, the focus turns inwards, examining how authors including Benin’s Florent Couao-Zotti and South Africa’s Margie Orford and Deon Meyer stage the continent’s social realities, typically in the wake of independence. Crucial here is the appropriation of the city. On the other hand, authors including Mali’s Aïda Mady Diallo and Moussa Konaté and Ghana’s Kwei Quartey and Nii Ayikwei Parkes use their work to subvert the literary myths of rural Africa. The chapter argues that Sub-Saharan African crime fiction has an important anthropological function, adapting the genre’s urban DNA in order to map the tensions between the traditions of rural Africa and life in its modern cities.
This article examines the meaning of the ‘impolitical’ regarding cases of impolitical theatre and associated critical discourse, with reference to Rodolfo Usigli and Raymond Williams, among others. It is argued that ‘impolitical’ theatre represents social relations from the standpoint of the ideal of culture. The analysis starts with Richard Schechner’s critique of the original Broadway production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and discusses this play, segueing into The Performance Group’s Dionysus in 69. The author indicates the differences of theatre practice between the examples chosen, and shows that these theatres nevertheless participate in the same form of theatrical representation as they broach similar social questions of moment in the Unites States in the 1960s. John Yves Pinder has recently received his PhD from the University of Leeds. He is currently teaching at Leuphana University of Lüneberg.
The introduction lays out the rationale behind Modern Erasures and the approach it takes to the study of cultural memory of China’s recent past. The book breaks down the latter into two types of memory generated by communities and the varied forces of national revolution, respectively – what the book terms communal and revolutionary memory. It also discusses challenges posed by the historical record on early republican China, and on rural areas in particular, and what the prism of disaster events and mutual aid offers researchers in the study of remote, rural communities. It then considers the study of Maoist culture and violence, followed by the implications that historiographic gaps in knowledge on early twentieth-century rural China have for the study and understanding of modernity and colonialism on a global scale. Finally, it explains the use of the terms deinscription and reinscription for the processes of cultural erasure examined throughout the book.
Modern Erasures is an ambitious and innovative study of the acts of epistemic violence behind China's transformation from a semicolonized republic to a Communist state over the twentieth century. Pierre Fuller charts the pedigree of Maoist thought and practice between the May Fourth movement of 1919 and the peak of the Cultural Revolution in 1969 to shed light on the relationship between epistemic and physical violence, book burning and bloodletting, during China's revolutions. Focusing on communities in remote Gansu province and the wider region over half a century, Fuller argues that in order to justify the human cost of revolution and the building of the national party-state, a form of revolutionary memory developed in China on the nature of social relations and civic affairs in the recent past. Through careful analysis of intellectual and cultural responses to, and memories of, earthquakes, famine and other disaster events in China, this book shows how the Maoist evocation of the 'old society' earmarked for destruction was only the most extreme phase of a transnational, colonial-era conversation on the 'backwardness' of rural communities.
In this chapter the Condemnations of 1277 are discussed. While their impact might have been overstressed in the past, they remain an important landmark, with important consequences for how thinkers conceived of the relation between faith and reason, theology and philosophy. Rather than resulting in a separation of faith and reason, theology and philosophy, it led to a different notion of theological reason (more analytical, more pluralist and less sacramental).
Alexis de Tocqueville is often described as a critic of American culture and modern democracy. Yet, as Alan Levine argues, there is an important difference between Tocqueville’s friendly criticisms of parts of American culture he finds wanting and other ideological critiques by “anti-American” thinkers such as Martin Heidegger and the Frankfurt School. Several factors separate Tocqueville from this European tradition of “Anti-Americanism.” Tocqueville’s criticisms are balanced by an appreciation of the virtues of American democracy and a recognition that these defects are hardly unique to America. His criticisms also take their root in empirical considerations of the complexities of American culture. Although the Frankfurt School and other influential critics often claim Tocqueville as inspiration for their complaints about mass society, they are ideologically motivated, ignore America’s redeeming virtues, and fault America uniquely for widely shared flaws of modernity.
British nature writing is a conflict-ridden mode that speaks to contradictions in the modern condition, and a crisis-ridden mode that addresses the modern crises of the environment, of representation and of the alienated self. It returns repeatedly to problems of mimesis and the non-transparency of language, and to the slippages between ecological facts and the cultural imagination. ‘Nature writing’ is a problematic category, and classifications of earlier literature as such must be qualified, recognising the historical overlapping of environmental literature with natural history and other genres. Although British nature writing grew in dialogue with its American equivalent, it has always been less concerned than the latter with the wilderness, addressing more cultivated environments in which wildlife intermingles with human social and economic activity. The genre has long sought spiritual renewal and significance in wildlife and engaged in conservation movements, although its environmentalist ethics have not been consistent. British nature writing has also been deeply shaped by the pastoral and georgic traditions, causing it to waver between the foci of leisurely contemplation and laborious activity.
Chapter 3 addresses the Modern period. As good a way as any of designating the period is via Eric Hobsbawm’s moniker the Short Twentieth Century (1914–91), which he sees as an age of extremes marked, especially in its first half, by a sequence of potentially world-ending catastrophes bookended by the two world wars. Much nature writing of the time evidences this apocalyptic trend, though it also takes heart in the regenerative properties of nature, which is viewed, via the lenses of such fast-developing disciplines as ecology and ethology, with an increasingly scientific eye. The first part of the chapter draws accordingly on writing which, informed by evolving ecological understandings, also debates the protectionist measures needed to combat species extinction in an ecologically threatened world. These ecological threats are then brought to bear on early- to mid-twentieth-century rural writing, which is often all too hastily viewed as reacting against the modern forces of industrialisation and urbanisation, but is better seen as belonging to a complex machinery of rural representation adapted to the cultural needs of post-war England as well as to the new technological demands of a rapidly modernising world.
This chapter rereads The Great Gatsby as a novel deeply concerned with the temptations and dangers of fossil fuel culture. After providing an overview of the contemporaneous Teapot Dome Scandal, Stecopoulos examines Fitzgerald’s subtle linkage of the novel’s more precarious characters with petro-modernity. By analyzing figural accounts of Gatsby as oil detector, Myrtle Wilson as gusher, and George Wilson as depleted energy field, the chapter offers an ecologically oriented account of a classic American novel.
Writing in the Malay-language press from the late 1910s to the 1930s, literate women in colonial Java and Sumatra engaged deeply with understandings of modernity mediated through concepts of healthfulness and hygiene. Piecing together the views of writers who participated in conversations about health, child-rearing, child-feeding, and socio-political progress, and situating them against the backdrop of both imperial policies of hygienic modernity and systems of indigenous knowledge, this article argues that these women deployed their own agency and negotiation efforts to articulate a singular paradigm of progress. The article focuses on practices of infant-feeding, showing that these literate colonized women's conscious manipulation of the colonial discourse on scientific modernity was grounded in their awareness of the racial project of control of their own bodies. The promotion of ‘traditional’ breastfeeding was a way to affirm a path to progress that shared the underlying conditions for, but not the modalities of, Western modernity. Examining the processes of negotiation and subversion that emerged in these women's writings provides a productive space to question and reframe scholarly understandings of ‘modernity’ as a category of analysis.
Archaeology, Nation, and Race is a must-read book for students of archaeology and adjacent fields. It demonstrates how archaeology and concepts of antiquity have shaped, and have been shaped by colonialism, race, and nationalism. Structured as a lucid and lively dialogue between two leading scholars, the volume compares modern Greece and modern Israel – two prototypical and influential cases – where archaeology sits at the very heart of the modern national imagination. Exchanging views on the foundational myths, moral economies, and racial prejudices in the field of archaeology and beyond, Hamilakis and Greenberg explore topics such as the colonial origins of national archaeologies, the crypto-colonization of the countries and their archaeologies, the role of archaeology as a process of purification, and the racialization and 'whitening' of Greece and Israel and their archaeological and material heritage. They conclude with a call for decolonization and the need to forge alliances with subjugated communities and new political movements.
That the United States stands almost alone among nations in its failure to adopt the metric system has long been blamed on conservative, reactionary forces. This paper argues against this interpretation, which passes for conventional wisdom in both academic and popular circles. It instead contends that attacks on the metric system in the late nineteenth and twentieth century originated with progressive engineers, entrepreneurs, and industrialists who had taken the lead in setting the nation's first industrial standards. Far from being backward-looking reactionaries, they enjoyed reputations as cutting-edge leaders in the development of the machine-tool industry, the railroads, and the metal-working industries. Many of them pioneered new methods of management that privileged rationality, efficiency, and systemic approaches; indeed, they strongly influenced the development of what became known as scientific management. These individuals deftly advanced their cause through the nation's political institutions, thwarting the metric cause.
“Political economy” is a Western term that carries its own, evolving ideological baggage. For John Stuart Mill, political economy was a science – that which “traces the laws of such of the phenomena of society as arise from the combined operations of mankind for the production of wealth, in so far as those phenomena are not modified by the pursuit of any other object.”1 Adam Smith used the word “science,” but meant what Mill would have called “art”: for him, “political oeconomy” could be “considered as a branch of the science of a statesman or legislator” and had as its objectives “enabl[ing]” the people to prosper through their own efforts and “supply[ing] the state or commonwealth” with means of payment for “the public services.”2 Smith takes us closer than Mill to what the authors mentioned in this chapter understood as their mission. It is not that Chinese writers were incapable of identifying infallibly observed regularities, but construction of a disciplinary edifice through the systematic “tracing” of such regularities in economic behavior was not a premodern Chinese project.