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“Kindness” is gentleness, consideration, care for others. It is related to “kinship”—the genetic and affective bonds among parents, children, brothers, and sisters. By way of “kind,” meaning “species” or “breed,” it expands the reach of those bonds to what Montaigne (in Florio’s translation) calls “the general throng.” The word “kindness” incites us to think about how human virtues, which usually stand apart from the natural world, might be rooted in our kinship with all the other animals. The Tempest is a key text for thinking about the history and the great utility of kindness as a transspecies virtue in the twenty-first century. This chapter makes its case for animal virtue by telling the story of the key arc of action in the play itself and by recounting a story about how the author of the chapter, at a workshop with actors and scholars, was terribly unkind toward Caliban and what he learned from his own lack of animal virtue.
A strange thing happened to Roman sarcophagi in the third century: their Greek mythic imagery vanished. Since the beginning of their production a century earlier, these beautifully carved coffins had featured bold mythological scenes. How do we make sense of this imagery's own death on later sarcophagi, when mythological narratives were truncated, gods and heroes were excised, and genres featuring no mythic content whatsoever came to the fore? What is the significance of such a profound tectonic shift in the Roman funerary imagination for our understanding of Roman history and culture, for the development of its arts, for the passage from the High to the Late Empire and the coming of Christianity, but above all, for the individual Roman women and men who chose this imagery, and who took it with them to the grave? In this book, Mont Allen offers the clues that aid in resolving this mystery.
This chapter analyzes a very different sense in which “demythologization” is sometimes used: referring not to the wholesale abandonment of mythological narratives but to their fragmentation and deformation as individual characters are ripped out of their narrative context in order to function as stand-alone symbols. Prior scholarship has consistently conflated the two phenomena. For critical leverage here I analyze the development of particular genres of sarcophagi, such as those showing frisky sea creatures, while also stepping outside the funerary domain to consider questions of narrative and allegory raised by sculpture in the round and ensembles of domestic wall paintings.
Sociologists often construct historical narratives to support their arguments. But how do they utilize history? The most common approach is to draw on facts from the past to develop and test causal hypotheses. Sociologists employ their theoretical knowledge and historical research to determine the power that drives the narrative forward. This is usually a structural variable: class, culture, social identity groups, state institutions, geopolitics, or a combination thereof. However, the continuing diffusion of power in society has strained this method to the limit. One alternative is to substitute scholarly conceptions of power for the way social actors practically understand and exercise power. After all, power is nothing but relational. Historical sociologists can weave together these everyday narratives of power to reveal how rather than why people behave the way they do. This requires cultivating an empathetic sensibility to understand other people’s experiences, and a literary skill to vividly re-enact their situations. The chapter traces the lineage of this method from Clausewitz and Tocqueville to contemporary sociologists, such as Andrew Abbot, Pierre Bourdieu, and Robert Nisbet. It encourages a scholarly disposition that embraces social complexity rather than settle for the simplification of overarching processes and structural factors.
This book is the first major study of providence in the thought of John Chrysostom, a popular preacher in Syrian Antioch and later archbishop of Constantinople (ca. 350 to 407 CE). While Chrysostom is often considered a moralist and exegete, this study explores how his theology of providence profoundly affected his larger ethical and exegetical thought. Robert Edwards argues that Chrysostom considers biblical narratives as vehicles of a doctrine of providence in which God is above all loving towards humankind. Narratives of God's providence thus function as sources of consolation for Chrysostom's suffering audiences, and may even lead them now, amid suffering, to the resurrection life-the life of the angels. In the course of surveying Chrysostom's theology of providence and his use of scriptural narratives for consolation, Edwards also positions Chrysostom's theology and exegesis, which often defy categorization, within the preacher's immediate Antiochene and Nicene contexts.
Contemporary asylum laws challenge the narratives of migrants and legal professional teams. Struggles arise in requirements to tell the right story defined by legal norms while storytelling in everyday life relies on sociocultural norms. Professionals working with socially and legally vulnerable populations, as in education and asylum cases, can bridge that gap if we understand narrating as a relational process with credibility and coherence developing over time in terms of the clients’ experience and institutional expectations. This paper presents dynamic storytelling methodology to guide such a process, applied successfully with a Roma community seeking inclusion in public education and used to interpret two unsuccessful asylum cases. Drawing on those examples, we conclude by proposing a socio-legal framework for collaborative lawyering in research on clinical legal training. The goal is a narrative process based on legal actors’ awareness that truth acquisition is a human sense-making process framed by human rights norms.
This chapter argues that generic distinctions between the essay and the novel have historically been difficult to preserve, with many of the supposedly identifying features of each genre applying in practice to the other. The author surveys work by writers including Milan Kundera, Robert Musil, Zadie Smith, and Virginia Woolf.
This introduction begins by surveying earlier scholarship on the Roman imperial court, arguing that the landmark works have been unduly confined to the court in the city of Rome, to particular time periods, and to certain narrowly defined themes. It then discusses the definition of ‘court’, presenting the social definition used in the book, namely a circle of people in reasonably regular personal contact with the emperor. The introduction also considers what kinds of historical knowledge in relation to the Roman court are possible. The sources lack the focus and detail needed for a narrative history of the court; nor can we convincingly posit a model that encapsulates the impact and operation of the court over c. 300 years. Instead, one should identify features of court life and culture that recur, even if they did not exist (or are not evidenced) under every emperor.
We examine a previously undiscussed interaction between tense and predicates of personal taste (PPTs). While disagreements involving delicious or fun are generally considered faultless – they have no clear fact of the matter – we observe that, in joint oral narratives, this faultlessness varies with tense: if the narrative is told in the historical present, disagreements involving a PPT are not faultless. Drawing on narrative research in psychology and discourse analysis, we propose that this contrast reflects a pragmatic convention of the narrative genre that participants construct a consensus version of what happened from a unitary perspective. To link this pragmatics with the semantics, we adopt a bicontextual semantics, where the perspectival parameters for both PPTs and tense are located in a context of assessment (and not context of utterance). We show that when these contextual parameters are constrained by the unitary perspective of narratives, the present tense leads to nonfaultless disagreements, as its semantics tightly binds the temporal location of an event to the parameter relevant for appraisal. The past tense, by contrast, enables both faultless and nonfaultless disagreements. We derive this flexibility by revising the existing semantics for past tense, engendering a new perspective on crosslinguistic variation in tense usage.
This chapter understands international law as more than a technocratic device to engineer changes in human behaviour and the environment. Law is a social and cultural process guided by myth and narrative. This chapter seeks new and better narratives to contest the foundational myths of modernity and development that shape our discipline and world. Rather than crafting new norms from the conventional centres of geopolitical power in the West and universalising them, this chapter calls for pluralised value formation that learns from diverse legal traditions. Such a myth protects the environment through transforming the process of global value formation. The chapter first examines how nature shapes mythology, looking at the role of the cosmic horizon in shaping social norms. It argues that the nexus of cosmos, nature and myth-making is not a phenomenon of ages past but plays a role in contemporary international environmental law. The chapter asks whether the discovery of countless Earth-like planets today could help us reimagine our Earth and global community in a healthier way, and considers the implications of our expanding cosmic horizon for rethinking international law and policy.
This Article offers an anthropologically informed rereading of the landmark case Neulinger and Shuruk v. Switzerland, decided by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in 2010. This rereading is undertaken by “going beyond judgments” temporally—i.e., reconstructing the case from its origins to present—and spatially—i.e., looking at different sources of data and putting them into conversation with one another. This approach draws on anthropology both conceptually and methodologically. Not only does it address “case law” and “litigation” as creations of a variety of social and legal agents, constantly and meaningfully interacting with one another, but it also adopts a “litigant’s perspective” and creates space for acknowledging aspects of the lived experience of the applicants that have been marginalized in legal reasoning. By doing so, this Article shows that, from being strongly imbued with religious considerations, Neulinger and Shuruk came to assume a neutral framing when entering and progressing through the ECtHR. “Going beyond judgments” ultimately foregrounds the image of the Court as an institution addressing and doing different things to different audiences and stakeholders, and showcases some of the ways through which multi-perspectivity and efforts to “humanize the law” may be incorporated into case-law analyses.
Here Dante, not yet dead, is in Paradise. His participation premortem in the knowledge and love of Heaven, and so in its community, is experienced as the “mystical,” which, earthbound, points to the reality that transcends the earth. And if Paradiso is by way of its narrative the articulation of Dante’s mystical theology it is so in a style that seems to owe much to that of St. Bonaventure, a distinctive feature of which is that he brings together all the steps on the way to a mystical union from the lowest “purgative” disciplines of the senses and through the reform of intellect, memory, and will, into the final vision of God. This theological epistemology allows Dante to conceive of Paradise as holding together the two dimensions of Heaven as at once an eternal journey of learning, an ultimate paideia, and a vision finally achieved.
With Purgatory we readers are at home. It is a place of hope, less a place of punishment due and more a place of conversion. And a comparison between Dante’s conversion in Purgatory in the hands, ultimately, of Beatrice, and Augustine’s conversion as recorded in Confessions allows us to see Purgatorio as moving progressively out of a place of moral reform and the rejection of the vices that formed the structure of Hell, and more a place of an wholesale transformation, a place of illumination.
This Element is a survey of the field of pathographies of mental illness. It explores classic texts in the field as well as other selected contemporary memoirs. In doing so, the reader is introduced to psychiatric information about various mental illnesses through a narrative lens, emphasizing experience. Because clinical research is evidenced-based and aims to produce generalizable knowledge (i.e., trends), the reading of pathographies can complement these findings with practical experiential insights. By pairing psychiatric information with pathographies, certain personal themes become apparent that are different from the empirical trends identified by scientific and medical researchers. Based on the survey presented here, this Element identifies seven such themes, laying the foundation for future research, inquiry, practice, and policy.
Chapter 15 begins with a general discussion of cultural adaptation the development of complex networks of conversation based on increasingly complex social organization, and the eventual fragmentation of discourse based on separate and often competing interests. The chapter discusses how the development of media first consolidated audiences then facilitated the fragmentation of audiences and the proliferation of incommensurable and conflicting narratives. The recent fragmentation of the US “national story,” centered around the Civil War and the issue of slavery, is used as a case study to illustrate the fragmentation of discourse and narratives, along with associated group and individual identities. The chapter closes with a brief discussion of the interaction of public discourse with politeness, facework, and homeostasis.
Chapter 14: Building Awareness of Discourse Structure. Skilled readers are tuned into how information is organized, how central themes emerge, and how signaling mechanisms provide cues to this organization. Skilled readers are able to identify the main or topic sentences as they appear in a text and are sensitive to text structures that help identify where to find main idea sentences. The chapter sorts written discourse analysis into two distinct approaches. The first examined specific aspects of the texts themselves, describing the roles of cohesion, information structuring, lexical signaling, anaphoric signaling, topic continuity signaling, text coherence, text genres, and patterns of discourse organization that underlie all prose texts. The second approach involves a focus on intentional inferencing skills and “deep comprehension.” The chapter then reviews research on discourse structure and reading comprehension in both L1 and L2 contexts. It also focuses specifically on the importance of using discourse sensitive graphic organizers. The chapter then describes research on teaching discourse structure awareness, and concludes with implications for instruction.
The Introduction will explore discourses surrounding violence, especially the articulation of perpetrators, victims, heroes, and bystanders (whether they be individuals, groups, or institutions). In the aftermath of mass atrocity, identities shift. Many jockey for the victim position. So-called perpetrators during the conflict may find themselves pronounced heroes, or erstwhile heroes may find themselves storied as villains. The newly assigned roles become truth as quickly as the old roles are discarded. These shifting descriptions of characters, events, and roles reveal sentiment on the ground, telling us a great deal about which regime is truly in power and whether groups in conflict may soon retaliate. We will make the argument that discourses are reflective as well as predictive of violence and that peacebuilding requires inquiring even into our own participation in these stereotypes, regardless of the ends we think they will achieve. The argument that exclusion through language is violence will be incorporated into the anthology’s larger framework. We will then situate each essay’s contribution in the larger themes of the book.
This chapter uses as a case study of the French National Railways (SNCF) and its multiple identities in German occupied France during World War II. During the war and the eight decades that followed, the SNCF has been storied multiple ways. The company perceived itself as a victim during the occupation, but for the first fifty years after the war was storied as a national hero because of the role some railway workers played in the resistance. Then, in the 1990s, the company found itself storied as a perpetrator for its role in transporting over 75,000 deportees crammed in merchandise cars towards concentration camps. Which identity is true? All of these positions can be argued without contorting history. Rather than trying to find the true story, this study considers these identity transformations as reflective of societal power shifts. Until we make the narrative framework behind the role ascription visible, we remain bound to cycles of intolerance and violence. The efforts of peacebuilding then involve increasing our comfort with overlapping roles.
An understanding of Dante the theologian as distinct from Dante the poet has been neglected in an appreciation of Dante's work as a whole. That is the starting-point of this vital new book. In giving theology fresh centrality, the author argues that theologians themselves should find, when they turn to Dante Alighieri, a compelling resource: whether they do so as historians of fourteenth-century Christian thought, or as interpreters of the religious issues of our own times. Expertly guiding his readers through the structure and content of the Commedia, Denys Turner reveals – in pacy and muscular prose – how Dante's aim for his masterpiece is to effect what it signifies. It is this quasi-sacramental character that renders it above all a theological treatise: whose meaning is intelligible only through poetry. Turner's Dante 'knows that both poetry and theology are necessary to the essential task and that each without the other is deficient.'