(26 October 1945–18 June 2020)
2018 saw the fiftieth anniversary of the spontaneous founding of an interfaith initiative involving Jews and Christians in the unlikely location of Germany. Anneliese Debray, who was the director of a Catholic women’s adult education centre in Bendorf, near Koblenz, had the imagination and courage to set about creating programmes for encounter and reconciliation in the post-war world. The centre, the Hedwig Dransfeld Haus, became a meeting place for French and German and Polish and German families; for physically and mentally handicapped people together with ‘normal’ people; for the challenging task of ecumenical encounters between Catholic and Protestant Christians; for dialogue between Christians and Muslims; and eventually between Israeli and German young people. In that latter context the editor of this journal found himself visiting the centre and then, with two fellow rabbinic students at Leo Baeck College, attending an annual Catholic Bible study conference that summer. Our presence, our willingness to be there, and the rarity of such an opportunity for the participants, led to the desire to repeat the experiment the following year. Through incremental changes, the International Jewish-Christian Bible Week became an annual reality. After the death of Anneliese Debray, who had struggled for years to keep the Haus financially afloat, it went into bankruptcy. Nevertheless, what had been built had enough recognition and influence that it led to an invitation from Dr Uta Zwingenberger, who was responsible for Bible education in the Diocese of Osnabrück, to re-establish the Week in a new home, another Catholic adult education centre, Haus Ohrbeck, in the area of Osnabrück. There it continues to grow and flourish, hosting up to 130 people each year. Part of the impact, which makes it different from other more formal interfaith encounters, is the participation of families, with special programmes for children, so that the entire atmosphere is one of a normal human community.
This issue contains papers delivered over a period of five years at the annual International Jewish-Christian Bible Week held at Haus Ohrbeck, Osnabrück, Germany. Each year during the opening evening I offered a ten-minute introduction to the texts that we would be studying. This article includes the introductions to each of the five sets of texts that were studied: Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), 2015; Psalms 107–118, 2016; Mishlei (Proverbs), 2017; selected passages marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Week, 2018; Psalms 119–134, 2019. They include general overviews of specific passages, and sometimes questions that might be addressed in the daily study groups that are held during the Week. Each was intended, according to the nature of the texts, to provide a welcome to the more than one hundred participants attending the Week and establish something of the unique character of the programme of textual study and interfaith dialogue.
(13 February 1927–8 July 2020)
Tony Bayfield, Julia Neuberger, Alexandra Wright, Manuela Koska, and Britta Wauer
Funeral Address by Rabbi Professor Tony Bayfield
Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger
Rabbi Alexandra Wright Eulogy
Obituary of a Friend – Manuela Koska
A Memoir – Britta Wauer
A Closing Word from Willy Wolff
Ana Margarida Sousa Santos
The riots of 2005 in Mocímboa da Praia and the current violent attacks in Cabo Delgado province have resulted in a range of unsettling rumors. This article revisits the riots and their aftermath to make sense of the rumors that have spread since then, fueling fears of violence and uncertainty. These disconcerting rumors are especially rich in what they tell us about the perception of the political Other and the narratives that materialize following violent events. The way in which rumors circulated and were believed or discarded draws a rough picture of the local political arena. This article discusses the elusive nature of trust following sudden violence and addresses the role and relevance of rumors as an obstacle to the creation of peaceful trust relationships.
Andrew J. Ball and Aleksandr Rybin
The cover of this issue of Screen Bodies features the digital work “Crypto Queen” by restlessperson (Aleksandr Rybin), which the artist has minted as an NFT. We spoke with Rybin about the subject matter of his work, connections between digital and analog art, and the future of NFTs. His work is available on KnownOrigin.
Freedom, Resistance and Radical Realism
This article compares the ideas of Amílcar Cabral and Amartya Sen on capability, freedom, resistance and political change, thereby revealing the importance of radical realism in political thought and development studies. Sen’s path-breaking work has been transformative for multiple disciplines, not least development. Yet, reading Sen alongside the ideas of one of Africa’s most successful anti-colonial political leaders is revelatory: it provides the basis for the argument that radical realism is most valuable if it is action-guiding, comparative and about context-specific change. This involves a distinction between realistic political theory and realism in political thought where only the latter demands utopian thinking. What follows from this regarding democracy, impartiality and justice? In answering this with reference to some social movements, the article then defends the political potential of conflict, partisan positions, resistance and political change directed towards overcoming domination.
Why Mediterranean patron-client relations are relevant for understanding the work of international accountancy firms
Patron-clientelism and corruption were traditionally viewed as problems endemic to underdeveloped marginal countries with weak states, powerful self-serving elites, and widespread civic disengagement. However, recent decades have seen a dramatic increase in corruption scandals in the Global North, particularly its more developed banking and financial sectors. Paradoxically, this has occurred despite a massive expansion in auditing by international accountancy firms (KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, EY) who often portray themselves as warriors of integrity, transparency, and ethical conduct. How are these trends connected? Drawing on anthropological studies of Mediterranean patron-clientelism, I illustrate how collusive relations between accountancy firms and their clients create ideal conditions for corruption to flourish. Finally, I ask how can these accountancy scandals help us rethink patron-clientelism in an age of “audit culture”?
Reconfiguring labor, kinship and relational obligation
Keir Martin, Ståle Wig, and Sylvia Yanagisako
Interdependence is a fundamental characteristic of human existence. The way in which certain dependencies are acknowledged as opposed to those that are hidden, or the ways in which some are validated while others are denigrated, is central to how social inequalities are reproduced and recreated. In this introduction we explore how particular dependencies are categorized, separated, and made visible or invisible as part of their performative effect. In particular, we explore the distinction between wage labor and kinship as two forms of relatedness that are often separated in terms of the (in)dependence that they are seen to embody. Even though they are practically entangled, their conceptual separation remains important. These conceptual separations are central to how gender difference is imagined and constituted globally.
Early Career Medical Anthropologists’ Perspectives on Contemporary Challenges in the Field
Francesca Cancelliere and Ursula Probst
Conrad W. Watson describes fieldwork as ‘a period of particular heightened intensity’ (1999a: 2) in the introduction of Being There (1999b). The authors of this volume were by far not the first, nor the last, anthropologists questioning and critically reflecting on what it is that they are actually doing when being there in their respective fields. For Watson and others (Borneman and Hammoudi 2009; Geertz 2004; Hollan 2008), this was primarily an epistemological question, following ruptures in the discipline’s identity after the Writing Culture Debates of the late 1980s. Forced to rethink their fieldwork practices, anthropologists saw their understandings of theory-building and knowledge production follow suit. However, the complexities and challenges of ethnographic fieldwork also confronted and still confront many anthropologists with intricate questions of inequalities, power structures and violence that not only need to be theorised but also navigated in the everyday practice of fieldwork.