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Pamela Sue Anderson's A Feminist Philosophy of Religion (1998) and Grace Jantzen's Becoming Divine: Towards a Feminist Philosophy of Religion (1998) set the tone for subsequent feminist philosophies of religion. This Element builds upon the legacy of their investigations, revisiting and extending aspects of their work for a contemporary context struggling with the impact of 'post-truth' forms of politics. Reclaiming the power of collective action felt in religious community and the importance of the struggle for truth enables a changed perspective on the world, itself necessary to realise the feminist desire for more flourishing forms of life and relationship crucial to feminist philosophy of religion.
The first section of this Element reviews the history of LGBT rights in the region since the 1960s. The second section reviews explanations for the expansion of rights and setbacks, especially since the mid 2000s. Explanations are organized according to three themes: (1) the (re-)emergence of a religious cleavage; (2) the role of political institutions such as presidential leadership, political parties, federalism, courts, and transnational forces; and (3) the role of social movement strategies, and especially, unity. The last section compares the progress on LGBT rights (significant) with reproductive rights (insignificant). This Element concludes with an overview of the causes and possible future direction of the current backlash against LGBT rights.
In communities plagued by conflict along ethnic, racial, and religious lines, how does the representation of previously-marginalized groups in the police affect crime and security? Drawing on new evidence from policing in Iraq and Israel, Policing for Peace shows that an inclusive police force provides better services and reduces conflict, but not in the ways we might assume. Including members of marginalized groups in the police improves civilians' expectations of how the police and government will treat them, both now and in the future. These expectations are enhanced when officers are organized into mixed rather than homogeneous patrols. Iraqis indicate feeling most secure when policed by mixed officers, even more secure than they feel when policed by members of their own group. In Israel, increases in police officer diversity are associated with lower crime victimization for both Arab and Jewish citizens. In many cases, inclusive policing benefits all citizens, not just those from marginalized groups.
Bakhtin's work is difficult to interpret because it amalgamates so many different intellectual strains and influences. His early interest in Neo-Kantian philosophy and phenomenology, the first largely mediated through his friend M. I. Kagan, structured his ideas permanently. His interest in and commitment to Christian thought, and Russian Orthodox thought specifically, was important but is often over-emphasised. Bakhtin's further intellectual development was spurred by encounters with Russian Formalism, linguistics (particularly early versions of sociolinguistics), and the Marxist literary debates of his time. Far from maintaining a saintly distance from the diputes around him, Bakhtin was fully engaged by and tried to participate in debates about the role of style in literary writing and the idea of realism and the positive hero.
Spinoza responds to the charge of atheism and the accompanying insinuation that his philosophy is irreligious by arguing that philosophy are theology distinct and autonomous practices. Each operates in accordance with its own epistemological standards and neither is the handmaid of the other. However, many of his readers have found his defense of this position unconvincing. Spinoza, they have claimed, awards priority to philosophy by endowing it with the authority to judge religion. In this chapter, I examine Spinoza’s response to their accusation. Religion, as he portrays it, can take various forms, of which the religion revealed in Scripture is one, and Spinozist philosophy is another. The shift from a theological to a philosophical mode of enquiry is not a move from a religious to a non-religious outlook, but a transition from one form of religious practice to another. This conclusion may disappoint critics who regard Spinoza as a predominantly secular philosopher, but I argue that they misidentify the nature of his radicalism. Spinoza undoubtedly aims to challenge the dominant religions of his time; but he also aspires to illuminate a form of religion that does justice to a philosophical understanding of God.
Benedict (Baruch) de Spinoza (1632–1677) was one of the most systematic, inspiring, and influential philosophers of the early modern period. From a pantheistic starting point that identified God with Nature as all of reality, he sought to demonstrate an ethics of reason, virtue, and freedom while unifying religion with science and mind with body. His contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, ethics, politics, and the analysis of religion remain vital to the present day. Yet his writings initially appear forbidding to contemporary readers, and his ideas have often been misunderstood. This second edition of The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza includes new chapters on Spinoza's life and his metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, and biblical scholarship, as well as extensive updates to the previous chapters and bibliography. A thorough, reliable, and accessible guide to this extraordinary philosopher, it will be invaluable to anyone who wants to understand what Spinoza has to teach.
While Henry V is alive with religious echoes, its moral direction seems incoherent or unstable. Accordingly, the focus of this account is the way the play’s use of religion paradoxically intensifies and legitimates the pleasures of war. The chapter aims to explain not only how the sacral monarchy of England’s Plantagenet kings lives on in Shakespeare’s play but more importantly how in instrumentalizing it and its complex political theology, the prince outdoes his royal predecessors and the play aestheticizes war. It does this by enabling Henry to appropriate the dynamism and sheer agency imagined in Scripture’s representation of God’s freedom. The king comes out of a whirlwind and his army appears as Leviathan – all apparently in the service of the new national community. While Henry V is insistently skeptical about the value of war, its delight in the king’s virtù or violent agency complicates the irony and so denies the play any clear-cut moral critique.
The remarkable lectures that Hegel gave in Berlin in the 1820s generated an exciting intellectual atmosphere which lasted for decades. From the 1830s, many students flocked to Berlin to study with people who had studied with Hegel, and both his original students, such as Feuerbach and Bauer, and later arrivals including Kierkegaard, Engels, Bakunin, and Marx, evolved into leading nineteenth-century thinkers. Jon Stewart's panoramic study of Hegel's deep influence upon the nineteenth century in turn reveals what that century contributed to the wider history of philosophy. It shows how Hegel's notions of 'alienation' and 'recognition' became the central motifs for the era's thinking; how these concepts spilled over into other fields – like religion, politics, literature, and drama; and how they created a cultural phenomenon so rich and pervasive that it can truly be called 'Hegel's century.' This book is required reading for historians of ideas as well as of philosophy.
This article will attempt to ‘provincialise’ (Chakrabarty, 2000) the ‘secular cosmology’ of International Relations (IR) through an examination of the relational cosmology of dharma. We argue that IR is grounded in ‘secularised’ Judaeo-Christian assumptions concerning time, relations between self and other, order, and the sovereign state that set the epistemic limits of the discipline. These assumptions will be ‘provincialised’ through an engagement with dharma based on a reading of The Mahābharāta, one of the oldest recorded texts in the world. We argue that the concept of dharma offers a mode of understanding the multidimensionality of human existence without negating any of its varied, contradictory expressions. By deconstructing notions of self and other, dharma illustrates how all beings are related to one another in a moral, social, and cosmic order premised on human agency, which flows from ‘inside-out’ rather than ‘outside-in’ and that is governed by a heterogenous understanding of time. This order places limits on the state's exercise of power in a given territory by making the state responsible for creating social conditions that would enable all beings to realise their potential, thus qualifying the principle of state sovereignty that remains the foundation of the ‘secular cosmology of IR’.
Remembering is also the theme of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) but of a different kind than Schelling’s. It is not of a cosmic event; nor does it yield a theogony. The issue for Hegel is rather the actualization of the historical human individual and of humanity accordingly, and the remembering is of how being rational affects an individual’s relation to nature. At origin this relation is worked out unconsciously. It is visibly reflected, however, in the sense of self-identity into which an individual is historically born, just as one is born into a family. To retrieve the source of the identity, thus to make it deliberately one’s own – by the same token to make of nature a work of intelligence – is the factor that motivates experience. Chapter 5 contrasts Schelling’s and Hegel’s respective ideas of history. It then proceeds with a detailed examination of the Phenomenology up to the section on Religion. It argues that, while in some ways a work of conceptual fiction, the Phenomenology must nonetheless have historical anchoring and logical significance. It also underscores the debt Hegel owes to Fichte that makes him quite different from Schelling.
Religion is for Hegel the language of a community about itself. Its practices and beliefs reflect the sense of self-identity that animates the community’s members, and, since that identity is a product of reason, they also reflect the level of explicit rationality the community has achieved. Religion, however, is not the same as rational knowledge. Evil, for Hegel, is not a cosmic event as it is for Schelling but a historical and eminently individual act – in effect, the product of reason doing violence to nature. Religion’s specific function is thus one of reconciliation, a function that assumes different forms depending on historical circumstances and the advent of self-aware rationality. Nonetheless, reconciling cannot be the same as understanding reconciliation. Chapter 6 contrasts religion in Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel. It returns to the theme of feeling of Chapter 1, for feeling is an experience of identity. It also examines Hegel’s interpretation of the Christian story of incarnation and redemption as an imaginative portrayal of incarnate rationality. It then again returns to Chapter 1 by interpreting Hegel’s Logic, the science of this rationality, as an extension of Kant’s doctrine of the categories but without the classical metaphysical presuppositions still encumbering that latter.
This chapter considers how Edward Payson Roe’s Barriers Burned Away – the first novel set in Chicago that dealt with the city as an urban environment rather than as a frontier settlement – examined topics that would become part of the Chicago literary tradition. These include the moral implications of a market economy that enriched some but left others in poverty, the role of conspicuous consumption in defining the city’s social hierarchy, and the question of whether those who arrived in the city in search of success could make a place for themselves without sacrificing their principles.
The relation between Kantian transcendental philosophy and Jamesian pragmatism is both historically and systematically crucial for the conception of pragmatism and truth developed in the book. Chapter 3 first introduces the basic idea of "transcendental pragmatism" - the integration of pragmatist, or pragmatically naturalized, and Kantian-inspired transcendental arguments identifying conditions for the possibility of things we take to be actual in our practices - and then offers a critical comparison between some of Kant's and James's key ideas, especially elaborating on their pessimistic conception of the human being and suggesting that Jamesian empirical meliorism (as distinguished from both optimism and pessimism) needs to be built upon Kantian transcendental pessimism about the limits of the human condition. Based on this development of transcendental pragmatism, the relation between ethics and religion - analogous in Kant and James - is critically considered: if religion can only be based on ethics, we will have to ask whether (ethically) legitimate religious faith inevitably remains insincere.
This chapter continues the discussion of pragmatism and truth from the first chapter by further investigating pluralism about truth in the context of the philosophy of religion, particularly focusing on the debates on religious diversity. Arguing that pragmatism should firmly side with religious inclusivism instead of exclusivism, the chapter compares Jamesian pragmatic pluralism and individualism to Hannah Arendt's more politically framed conception of natality, i.e., human beings' capacity of spontaneously creating novelties into the world, of beginning something anew. This Jamesian-Arendtian entanglement of individuality and novelty can, the chapter proposes, be illuminated by means of holistic pragmatism (indebted to Morton White). The chapter also contains a critical discussion of Naoko Saito's views on what she calls "philosophy as translation" offering a distinctive perspective on pragmatist views on acknowledging diversity, pluralism, and otherness. A defense of Jamesian meliorism, as distinguished from Saito's Cavell-inspired "perfectionism", is also included.
This chapter explores the role that monarchist beliefs played in war recruitment in Britain and in the British Empire. It looks at the ways that monarchist beliefs appeared in wartime propaganda, songs and recruitment campaigns as well as the monarchy’s importance to British legal and religious cultures. It examines how the first two years of the war saw the monarchy’s position consolidated and sacralised in Britain, arguing that the monarchy was central to British identity and associated with ideals of ‘honour’.
Certain universal and more or less perennial aspects of human perceptions of the night influence the representation of nightlife in ancient texts. But beyond the stereotypes, we may recognize tensions between conservative perceptions and a continually changing reality. In the Roman empire, we may observe certain recurring elements of a ‘nocturnal koine’, the result of general trends. The factors that shaped nightlife in the Roman empire include the diffusion of voluntary associations and their convivial activities, the donations of benefactors for nighttime activities (baths, gymnasia, public banquets), the prominent place of nocturnal rites in cults with a soteriological or initiatory aspect, and efforts to increase the safety in cities during the night. These factors should be considered within a broader context—that of the gradual and continuous colonization of the night with the activities of the day.
The "will to believe", introduced by James in his 1897 essay with the same title, is presumably one of the most famous - or, according to some, notorious - ideas in pragmatist philosophy of religion. This Jamesian strategy of argumentation can be extended from the philosophy of religion to other "existential" matters, including the question concerning the freedom of the will. By considering the will to believe argument and interpreting it in the context of holistic pragmatism, this chapter continues the discussion of pragmatist philosophical anthropology and individualism (started in the previous chapters) and thus provides novel perspectives on the notion of pragmatist truthfulness and truth-seeking in worldview-related (including ethical and religious) matters. The will to believe is, furthermore, explored (holistically) in terms of vice- and virtue-epistemology, drawing attention to the role it may play in a self-critical development of an individual's doxastic character. The concept of sincerity thus again turns out to be crucial to a proper understanding of not just the pursuit of truth generally but of the will to believe as well.
Hegel and the Challenge of Spinoza explores the powerful continuing influence of Spinoza's metaphysical thinking in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century German philosophy. George di Giovanni examines the ways in which Hegel's own metaphysics sought to meet the challenges posed by Spinoza's monism, not by disproving monism, but by rendering it moot. In this, di Giovanni argues, Hegel was much closer in spirit to Kant and Fichte than to Schelling. This book will be of interest to students and researchers interested in post-Kantian Idealism, Romanticism, and metaphysics.
This Afterword responds to each of the foregoing chapters in relation to the postsecular nature of the sacred. It begins by redirecting the question of the sacred from one of definition to one of enactment, and then proceeds by reflecting on how each chapter might enact the sacred in its own way, even if implicitly, and so often by rummaging in poetry, literature, visual art and language. It finishes by reiterating a possible sacred place in our contemporary deserts in which all opposites might be reconciled in Total Presence.