Christianity arose out of a conflict situation, and to this day it bears the characteristics of this original conflict. It begins with individuals, families and groups of Jewish sectarians who want to assert themselves in competition with other Jewish sectarians. They withdraw from one another. They outdo one another in part rhetorically, in part in their practice and then sometimes also politically, tactically and – on the side of the Christians – eventually with acts of violence.
As Christina Howells notes in ‘Sartre and Negative Theology’, it is easily assumed that Sartre was ‘a God-haunted or Spirit-haunted atheist, one haunted if not by the god of Christianity then at least by the god of idealism’.1 Sartre himself, as the above epigraph suggests, was all too aware of the spectre of idealism that haunted—or better, tainted—his early philosophical endeavours.
Whereas questions of race, class and gender may be uppermost in the minds of many late twentieth-century scholars and critics, in the early modern period tradition and belief were the predominant preoccupations, in practical terms, custom and Christianity were inextricably intertwined within the changing culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. An awareness of these past concerns motivates each of the seven articles in this issue, articles which re-examine literary and historical texts, not as past mirrors in which we might speculate upon our own particular preoccupations, but as sources of a more anthropological and spiritual history.
It is said that Sartre maintained a certain opposition to post-structuralism, for which his focus on a dialectical understanding of historical praxis is considered evidence. Yet he rarely discussed post-structuralism, nor engaged it in debate; which is odd, since it formed part of his philosophical milieu. After all, he took on Marxism and Christianity. But to debate post-structuralism would mean addressing its view of the world, thereby assuming it actually had one. Perhaps he saw that to address it as an ideology, a view of the world, rather than a critique of discursivity itself, would be to transform it into what it was not, against itself.
David G. Farley, Jill Dubisch, Miriam L. Wallace, Eroulla Demetriou, and Igor Tchoukarine
Corinne Fowler, Charles Forsdick, and Ludmilla Kostova, eds., Travel and Ethics: Theory and Practice (2014) Reviewed by David G. Farley
Antón M. Pazos, ed., Pilgrims and Pilgrimages as Peacemakers in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (2013) Reviewed by Jill Dubisch
Kathryn Walchester, Gamle Norge and Nineteenth-Century British Women Travellers in Norway (2014) Reviewed by Miriam L. Wallace
Jim Bowman, Narratives of Cyprus: Modern Travel Writing and Cultural Encounters since Lawrence Durrell (2015) Reviewed by Eroulla Demetriou
Diane P. Koenker, Club Red: Vacation Travel in the Soviet Dream (2013) Reviewed by Igor Tchoukarine
Lord Peter Millet
Two stories, one theme, and three lessons, Greek, Christian and Jewish. In both stories a great national enterprise and a dream of immortality are at stake. But they carry a heavy price. For Euripides, the enterprise is the Trojan war; the dream is the unity of Greece; he tells us that the price is not worth paying. For Christianity it is the hope of salvation; it teaches that God has paid the price on our behalf. For Judaism it is the future of the Jewish people and their God; it teaches that God does not demand that the price be paid in human blood.
The tasks that Rabbi Baeck sets out for us are the text and context for our conference. His own contributions to the science and study of Judaism, his focus on aggadic literature, a dialogue with Christianity and a vigorous defence of Judaism's covenant with the living God will inform and guide our deliberations throughout the four days. Each day will deal with a thematic aspect of the challenges and tasks facing Progressive Judaism while the conference as a whole seeks to engage us all in a debate about our future in the light of our own spiritual and intellectual inheritance.
The Judeo-Spanish Ballad Tradition of Morocco
The Spanish Jews who fled to North Africa from the 1391 pogroms were joined a century later, in 1492, by a larger wave of exiles, the thousands of Jews who had chosen to leave Spain rather than convert to Christianity. These fellow Jews, the megorashim or expelled Jews, had been forbidden to take 'gold and silver or minted coins' out of Spain (Edwards 1994: 52). They did, however, take with them invisible assets: their Spanish language and culture. This Iberian presence in Morocco was further reinforced by the arrival of a third group of Spanish-speaking Jews fleeing the forced conversions imposed by Portugal in 1497.
This essay focuses on a strange medieval phenomenon, the so-called gift of tears—religious weeping that brings beatitude. This internal purifying process, which was embedded in the specific conditions of historical Christianity, was described and understood as a procedure in which God himself acts and, therefore, as a process that human-kind cannot learn, formalize, or ritualize. However, the author analyzes religious weeping as a peculiar, `intimate ritual' in which the formalized process took place in the soul or spirituality of the weeping person. This essay aims to describe and analyze this practice while examining the historical conditions that enabled such a cultural elaboration to develop.
On the Social Productivity of Ritual Forms
Pentecostal Christianity has in the last several decades demonstrated an ability to globalize with great speed and to flourish in social contexts of poverty and disorganization in which other social institutions have been unable to sustain themselves. This article asks why Pentecostalism should be so successful at institution building in harsh environments. I argue that this question is more fundamental than those scholars more often ask about the kinds of compensations that Pentecostalism provides for its adherents. I then draw on Collins's theory of interaction ritual chains to suggest that it is Pentecostalism's promotion of ritual to the center of social life that grounds its unusual institution-building capacity.