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This chapter surveys the broader social contexts for dissection, in four sections: public performance, animals, religion, and popular conceptions of anatomy. The first section offers the context for public displays of dissection, namely competing types of performance, including sophistic lectures, legal proceedings, and the general spectacle of the streets. The second focuses on animals and the various circumstances outside scientific dissection in which bodies were cut into and opened, with specific attention on butchery, veterinary practice, pharmacology, magic, and staged animal shows in the arena. The third turns to religious contexts, encompassing the practices of animal sacrifice and divination from entrails, as well as the Italic votive tradition, which included artistic representations of various internal organs, and the Egyptian practice of embalmment. Finally, there is a sketch of popular experience with and conceptions of bodily rupture and anatomy, ranging from postmortem punishments, public executions and gladiatorial displays in the arena, and military violence to literary descriptions of gore, artistic depictions of bodies, and intellectual engagement with anatomy.
This chapter will explore ways to address spirituality in fertility counseling, offer clinicians guidance on how to understand the degree of spirituality or religiosity in their clients’ lives, and address how or if it is related to the challenges of infertility. The authors explore the views and positions of the major world religions with regards to options for couples who are exploring the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) to achieve family building. Guidelines for the assessment of spirituality with clients in counseling are provided, as well as examples of interventions for use in psychotherapy. This chapter should be read along with the corresponding chapter in the Case Studies volume.
Freud wrote some admittedly far-fetched speculative works addressing what he considered to be fundaments of the human psyche. Chapter 7 considers two of his most speculative pieces, “The return of totemism in childhood,” the fourth essay of his Totem and Taboo (1913), and Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920).
Both writings, despite their fantastical nature, contain a coherence and completeness The Interpretation of Dreams lacks. Throughout the Totem and Taboo excerpt, Freud examines his suppositions and, in the end, offers an enlightening, if hypothetical, account of totemism, the evolution of religion, and a prehistoric piece of modern mentality. The steps, in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, through which he reaches his improbable anchoring of mental life in dueling life and death instincts are clear, if avowedly extreme at the time.
Wallace “dabbled in religion,” as Matthew Gilbert put it in a 1997 interview with the author, but while he was openly intrigued by it, Wallace eschewed organized religion. Much of his work is characterized by a search for meaning that in other circumstances or periods would have constituted religious questing, and the absence of belief is generally portrayed in his work as part of the malaise of contemporary life. Religious language permeates the corpus, and religious iconography plays a significant role in several texts. Belief as a good in itself appears to be promoted in his work on politics, on aesthetics, and on culture, with the idea of faith central to his project of working against solipsism, but religion as a practice is often viewed with suspicion. This essay traces that pattern in Wallace’s writing, beginning with Broom’s connection of evangelical religion with capitalism by way of the G.O.D and the figure of John, the wasted prophet son of immense wealth, positioning a particularly American form of religious practice as pernicious and profit-driven. Don’s particular ambivalence about religion in Infinite Jest highlights a complex relationship between faith as a personal attribute and religion as a collective one. The essay argues that Wallace’s approach to religious thought bears the same ambivalent inflections as his work on art and entertainment, which can both inspire thought and suppress it. Nevertheless, the essay argues that while Wallace appeared to view organized religion with some wariness, the metanarratives of religion – belief, faith, transcendence and a sense of the sacred – constitute vital and consistent themes of his craft.
Religion is universal across human societies and this chapter reviews the earliest evidence of spiritual belief from the fossil and archaeological record. Religions have very specific roles in societies, depending on the complexity and institutional structures of the society, and this chapter explores the ways these roles have shifted over the course of the last 5,000 years. In particular, it discusses the institutional relationships, such as those seen in the use of sacred knowledge and authority, that characterize the interrelationship between government and religion, seen in such diverse states ranging from ancient Egypt to pre-war Japan. It discusses the transitions from polytheism to monotheism, especially in the light of Hume’s hypotheses on the evolution of religion, but also noting that polytheism is alive and well in modern Hinduism. Finally, it discusses the appearance of alternatives to religion, emphasizing the appearance of science during the Enlightenment as a viable alternative for knowledge about the material world, but also reviewing more philosophical critiques; contrasting, for example, Descartes with Hume, but also reviewing Marx and Freud.
This new collection enables students and general readers to appreciate Coleridge’s renewed relevance 250 years after his birth. An indispensable guide to his writing for twenty-first-century readers, it contains new perspectives that reframe his work in relation to slavery, race, war, post-traumatic stress disorder and ecological crisis. Through detailed engagement with Coleridge’s pioneering poetry, the reader is invited to explore fundamental questions on themes ranging from nature and trauma to gender and sexuality. Essays by leading Coleridge scholars analyse and render accessible his extraordinarily innovative thinking about dreams, psychoanalysis, genius and symbolism. Coleridge is often a direct and gripping writer, yet he is also elusive and diverse. This Companion’s great achievement is to offer a one-volume entry point into his incomparably rich and varied world.
In this chapter, I argue for religious freedom as a first-class right, and I criticise the views of some distinguished scholars who react against traditional conceptions of religious freedom and deny the right to any special protection of religion by legal systems. I focus primarily on Ronald Dworkin and Brian Leiter’s views and arguments. I conclude that Dworkin’s approach to religion belittles the idea of God. Yet conviction about the existence of God and the holding of profound ethical and moral convictions are not so independent as Dworkin argues. Leiter’s approach belittles the idea of religion, which cannot be reduced to a matter of commands, a lack of evidence, and consolation. I argue why religion is more than a matter of conscience and a personal decision about ultimate concerns and questions. Religion cannot be reduced to moral conscience, let alone ethical independence in foundational matters. An increasingly globalised and pluralistic society demands a more comprehensive approach that fully protects all religions and creeds.
Chapter 3 examines two features deemed constitutive of ‘national characters’ in the eighteenth century: language and religion. Many naval recruits, both from abroad and from the British Isles and Ireland, were not native English speakers, and sometimes did not understand the language. Yet naval English was a technical argot, blurring language divides, and shipboard structures and workflows, combined with a shared professional background, made linguistic competence a secondary concern. In fact, it was men otherwise known as ‘foreigners’, but speaking perfect English, who were potentially seen as suspect, because of their upturning of expectations. Religious difference, too, was generally unproblematic. Unlike other European fleets, the Navy ranked devotion relatively low among its priorities and routines. Although Catholics were theoretically banned from serving, this law was policed only in the case of officers, and some practical accommodations were even provided for Catholic common seamen. Overall, cultural differences often mattered to individuals. However, the naval service pursued efficiency, and its discipline was very efficacious in flattening or accommodating difference, making any diversity relatively marginal to shipboard rhythms. Royal Navy ships could thus become just another part of a maritime world in which various languages and faiths met and mingled.
The political salience of religious issues and identities has been rising in Thailand, and this is increasingly reflected in electoral politics. Thai political parties seek to position themselves in relation to struggles over the location of the ideological centre of gravity, which has pitted defenders of the religio-political status quo—a monarchy-centred civil-religious nationalism—against Buddhist nationalists, on the one hand, and proponents of greater secularization, on the other. In the 2019 general election, political entrepreneurs ‘particized’ these religio-political differences, which has far-reaching implications for majority-minority relations, to an extent that appears unprecedented in recent Thai political history. This argument is developed through an analysis of the platforms, policies, and rhetoric put forward by political parties contesting the election, which concluded an almost five-year period of direct military rule. This analysis suggests we need to pay greater attention to the role of political parties and electoral competition in maintaining and contesting the secular settlement in Thailand.
One thoroughgoing assumption of both classical liberal and neoliberal thinking has to do with the supreme importance of property rights. Accompanying most liberal notions of property ownership is the ability to exclude all others from using your property should you wish to. This has led to a curious phenomenon – the absentee landlord. The absentee landlord owns property, controls its use, and profits from it despite not being physically present or practically using the property. In this chapter, Goel looks at how a group of holy, third-gender people in India, hijras, think about property ownership and use. Due to a century or two of colonial degradation, hijras have been stripped of many of their rights to property and its use, and occupy a marginal place in Indian society today. As a result, they maintain an elaborate system of communally maintained use-rights in the cities they live in, apportioning the ability to walk mendicant rounds and grant blessings. This chapter, more than just offering a strict dichotomous set of cases, invites the reader to think about what possession of land or space looks like when we abandon contractual exclusive ownership and instead embrace rights that come from use. The chapter thereby moves beyond the neoliberal tradition and takes the reader right to the edge of the classical liberal tradition of thought, with its emphasis on property rights as an intrinsic component of individual liberty.
Beliefs play a central role in our lives. They lie at the heart of what makes us human, they shape the organization and functioning of our minds, they define the boundaries of our culture, and they guide our motivation and behavior. Given their central importance, researchers across a number of disciplines have studied beliefs, leading to results and literatures that do not always interact. The Cognitive Science of Belief aims to integrate these disconnected lines of research to start a broader dialogue on the nature, role, and consequences of beliefs. It tackles timeless questions, as well as applications of beliefs that speak to current social issues. This multidisciplinary approach to beliefs will benefit graduate students and researchers in cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, political science, economics, and religious studies.
Liberal constitutional discourse has been dominated by a proceduralist, acontextual, universalising worldview. This Rawlsian vision of constitutionalism castigates thick, substantive, moral commitments (other than fundamental rights) in constitutions as illiberal and unwise, at best to be tolerated as minor deviations only when absolutely unavoidable. In practice, however, the ideal of proceduralist constitutionalism is approximated only by a handful of liberal democratic states, arguably the United States and Australia.1 Many other (sufficiently or aspirationally) liberal-democratic states not only include thick moral commitments in their constitutions, tasking their governments with the duty to govern well, but also specify various facets of (what they believe to be required by) good governance.
Jeff King has characterised such thick moral commitments as constitutional ‘mission statements’.2 An important, but much-ignored, form of these thick commitments is a set of provisions I will call ‘constitutional directives’ or simply ‘directives’.
Chapter 2 investigates the development of a transnational Allied culture of rehabilitation that underwrote local and national efforts to rehabilitate the war disabled. Military and government officials, social reformers, philanthropists, and medical authorities contributed, throughout the war, to a robust, multi-directional campaign that championed the virtues of rehabilitation and solicited support for programmes that aimed to fit the war disabled into post-war society. Such literature became, itself, a way to imagine the contours of the post-war world with respect to hierarchies of gender and class and the roles of religion, science, rights, and internationalism. The co-constructed nature of the wartime culture of rehabilitation, in which images and rhetoric were frequently borrowed and re-circulated amongst nations, served to harmonise – though not entirely homogenise – Allied visions for rehabilitation and for social rights and welfare, more broadly.
Traditionally, historians believed that taking captives was a major goal in Mexica warfare, and this tendency has even been given as a reason why the Spanish conquistadors defeated the Mexica. Although historians have largely revised these conclusions, the perception that captives were important to Aztec strategy and warfare persists. In this article I argue that the need for captives was not great enough to affect Aztec military strategy or battlefield conduct. First, rituals only needed a small number of victims, which could easily be acquired through the normal course of battle, and thus did not constitute a specific objective. Second, Mexica strategy focused on economic objectives, rather than captive taking. Finally, individual warriors were not well equipped to take prisoners. Although captives played a vital role in Mexica society, the practice should be thought of as opportunistic, rather than strategic.
Religious traditions, especially in the West, have historically condemned suicide. This attitude has changed over time, such that compassion for the deceased and for survivors, together with appreciation of underlying troubled mental states, has led to an increasing emphasis on prevention and support. Membership of faith communities and spiritual practices are generally, but not always, protective against suicide. Some therapeutic treatments have evolved from a spiritual background. Spiritual beliefs and attitudes, such as a search for meaning, can be considerations for those contemplating suicide, as seen in case histories. Taking spiritual factors into account in both assessment and management is beneficial. Severely ill people may wish for assisted dying as a way of ending their suffering. Laws and attitudes to this differ internationally and change over time. People bereaved by suicide are a vulnerable group, and require appropriate support by both spiritual and health professionals.
Concerns that American psychiatry was neglecting an important dimension of human experience led to the introduction into DSM-IV of a V Code for a Religious or Spiritual Problem. The 1994 DSM-IV also included the new Outline for a Cultural Formulation, later accompanied by a Cultural Formulation Interview and 12 Supplemental Modules added to help clinicians to gather information for the Outline for Cultural Formulation. Recommendations from the APIRE Workgroup led to revisions in DSM-5, and outlined several areas for future research into the implications of spirituality, religion and culture for diagnosis and treatment. In particular, future research will need to better clarify the relationship between spiritual/religious and psychopathological phenomena, the different manifestations of psychiatric disorders in religious populations, the influences of spirituality/religion on the course and outcome of mental disorders, and the role of spirituality/religion in developmental and personality disorders.
In monarchical courts, religious rituals and celebrations have often been crucial moments bringing courtiers into contact with the monarch and society at large. There was no specific ‘court religion’ at the Roman court; rather, the household religious practices of emperors and resident members of his court were not differentiated from those in aristocratic households, and individual emperors and courtiers could choose their cult practices. However, certain rituals and festivals within the imperial house were still court occasions, especially the rites connected with the toga virilis ceremony and the Saturnalia. Furthermore, religious rituals in the civic spaces of Rome brought the emperor and members of his court into contact with the populace at large. Roman ideas about the divine realm included ideas about divination. As a result, astrologers and other individuals claiming expertise in divination at times had great power and influence at court.
Chapter 2 is a reflection on how people in Western societies seem to struggle to understand the ongoing place of religion, which means that they also and perhaps particularly struggle with the idea of a divine revelation and the possibility that there is anything more than the immanence of the world. The average person growing up today – whether or not he or she is religious in some way – inhabits the world as a secular reality. That person might have links to a religious community, might have a sense of openness to the transcendent and might name that transcendence 'God' in ways that are shaped by the tradition of that community. Any commitment to transcendence will be challenged, however, not only in the face of the encounter with multiple other beliefs and worldviews, and not only because something like Charles Taylor's 'immanent frame' overwhelms the social imaginary, but also in the face of the radical interruption and forgetting of traditional symbolic networks on which particular religious systems and their communities depend. The injunction to remember that is at the heart of the three Abrahamic religious traditions simply no longer comes to mind in the once-Christian West.
In Chapter 3, I consider several ways in which philosophical discourse has become allergic to the concept of revelation. While Catholic theology is largely dependent on scholastic and, more recently, modern philosophy as it tries to articulate understandings of faith, philosophy has been part of shaping a modern and postmodern culture that is frequently hostile or simply indifferent to religious faith and its notions of divine revelation. Various philosophical approaches seek to exclude theology from the realm of academic discourse, either because revealed religion is seen to be partial and therefore detrimental to the pursuit of universal wisdom, or because it seems to articulate merely its own will to power, using a metaphysics that is oblivious to having founded itself. Bound up in metaphysical systems, all discourse potentially becomes (onto-)theological. 'Religion' has recently returned in philosophy only by means of its transformation: used in Levinas’ sense as the ethical relation with the other, it effects a powerful critique. Yet, excluding the very particularity of religious traditions is a totalitarian and secularising act.
This chapter provides a brief overview of the ageing process in relation to psychopathologies encountered in the practice of old age psychiatry. In addition, it addresses the role of spirituality and religion in ageing, and discusses ways in which people approach the challenges of transition in later life. The authors discuss the importance of a multidimensional and holistic approach that includes paying sufficient attention to core aspects of being and personality, which can convey important information with regard to coping skills and how they influence responses to diagnosis, treatment and outcome. Deep among these core aspects lie the root constructs of a person’s vision of life and personal meanings, and what some would describe as the presence of a spiritual/transcendent dimension.