The monastery of Agios Rafaïl, built in the 1960s on the northern Aegean island of Lesbos, commemorates the ‘newly appeared’ Saints Rafaïl, Nikolaos, and Irini. Their ‘apparition’ is marked by different forms of memory and commemoration: first, the juxtaposition of their trajectories with Asia Minor refugees visited by dreams, the main agents of the discovery of these saints; second, the local Bishopric’s search for people who could be canonized as saints as a result of their heroism during the Ottoman occupation of the island. Temporalities of varying dimensions are interwoven within these discourses, as the past intervenes in the present and marks the continuity of destinies and of sacred places. The future (or its promise) is equally tied to these events under the form of hidden treasures.
Memory, Temporality, and the Production of Sainthood in Lesbos
Dreaming and Shamanism in a Brazilian Indigenous Society
Waud H. Kracke
Drawing on his extensive psychoanalytic ethnographic work among the Parintintin Indians of Brazil, the author discusses the place of dreaming in Parintintin shamanism. In this culture, dreams are spiritually significant, and there are traditional modes of interpreting them. While dream interpretation was formerly the province of shamans, even ordinary people are considered to have the capacity to use dreams to predict events and sense feelings directed toward them. The article deals primarily with the dreams of an informant who was not a shaman but had an intense interest in this practice. Because his birth had not been 'dreamed' by a shaman, he was not considered to be one; nevertheless, he experienced in dreams the cosmic journey of a shaman. While the informants' dreams manifest yearnings in what could be considered stereotypical forms, the author finds that they do express personal meanings and reflect intimate, unconscious wishes.
The Social Life of Dream Stories within the Hizmet-AKP Conflict in Turkey
Building on ethnographic fieldwork in Istanbul in 2015, this article traces how certain people within the Hizmet community drew on dream stories to understand and manoeuvre within the escalating falling-out with the AKP government. It suggests that, in this context, dream stories were circulated within the community to reframe the conflict against the horizon of the afterlife but prevented from spilling into the wider public sphere out of fear that Hizmet critics would use dream stories to denounce the community as a threat to Turkish republican tradition. The article thus proposes to see the social life of dream stories as a ‘politics from below’ through which relations between the religious and the political refracted and notions of national and religious belonging were negotiated and contested.
Scholars have suggested that Pablo Picasso’s The Dream and Lie of Franco (1937), like other tragicomic strips of the Spanish Civil War, combines both satire and tragic subject matter. However, efforts to determine a narrative in Picasso’s Dream and Lie have been inconclusive. This article explains that ‘structural markers’ exist within Picasso’s two plates of nine panels each that comprise Dream and Lie. Among other things, there are four stylistically separated sections to Dream and Lie, a first and third section that focus on Franco generally, and a second and fourth section that depict his victims. Moreover, at the centre of each of the two plates is a portrait of a bull to which Picasso has added his fingerprints. It is suggested that these structural markers and others identified here are able to provide the basis for future discussions of a narrative within Dream and Lie.
A Society of Justice and Charity
This essay explores a key issue in Durkheim’s work, namely the relationship between justice and charity, and argues that the key to this, in turn, is to be found in an analysis of the gift. Beginning with his early lycée lectures and their account of justice and charity in relation to the moral law, it goes on to suggest that throughout his work there is an underlying concern with the gift – even or especially in his concern with the contract. This is evident in his vision of a society based on a ‘spontaneous’ division of labour, as well as in his critique of the inequalities built into existing society through the institution of inheritance. But the essay also draws on modern French discussions of the gift, and their concern with issues of mutuality, reciprocity and recognition. This helps to identify the approach to the gift that underlies Durkheim’s sociology, and to bring out its interest and importance.
The Political Theology of George W. Bush's Faith-Based Initiative
George W. Bush's controversial effort to direct government funds to religious social-service groups—his so-called 'faith-based initiative'—was influenced by confessional ideas about political order that are little understood in U.S. politics. Two key ideas from the Christian Democratic tradition in Europe played a formative role: the Dutch Calvinist theory of 'sphere sovereignty,' and the Catholic principle of 'subsidiarity'. This article describes what Bush set out to do with his faith-based initiative and investigates the confessional influences on this policy agenda in their European context. Viewed in this comparative light, Bush's vision of faith-based welfare is shown to be deficient in its understanding of the religious ideas on which it draws.
The Art of Defeat?
Just as Blue by Andy Croft (Hexham: Flambard Poetry, 2001) ISBN 1873226446 £7.00
Suspense, Anxiety and the Cold War in Tim O'Brien's The Nuclear Age
In Tim O’Brien’s The Nuclear Age the narrator, William Cowling, gazes out of his aeroplane window at a United States alight with nuclear explosions. In Don DeLillo’s End Zone nuclear war rapidly develops after a nuclear device explodes in Europe, and cities around the world are destroyed. In Douglas Coupland’s Generation X a supermarket erupts in panic as sirens wail, jets are scrambled and a nuclear missile explodes. The opening frames of the film Thirteen Days are lit by the explosions of rocket propellant as a missile rises gracefully into the blackness of space. The earth’s horizon is seen from the top of the missile’s arc, and inverts as it heads back downwards. A nuclear explosion follows, more missiles leaping into the air are intercut with further explosions, and the sequence ends with a mushroom cloud boiling up to fill the screen.
The tragedy of the age of integration (1954 onward) in the United States is that it overlapped with the demise of the social-wage state and with the rise of the neo-liberal social order. Whereas the civil rights movement fought for the widest provision of dignity, the guardians of the American state have reduced this vision to one concession: that all people will have certain rights vested in the state. When the US Congress passed the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act, it ended legal segregation in the US. That, combined with the judicial decisions that culminated in 1954 in the Brown v. Board of Education decision, was immense, and its victory should not be underestimated or misunderstood. Within a generation, people’s struggles had destroyed the statutory acceptance of Jim Crow and put in its place high-minded ideas of equal rights. By the logic of bourgeois democracy, the state is the guardian of those rights—the right to vote, along with all the other rights assembled in the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution. The problem is that the state, by the late 1960s, was not the same institution. The guardians of the state had dismantled the social-wage state, leaving citizens with high-minded norms as it gutted the institutions that could respond to them. The first-class visions of the civil rights movement would collapse into the second-class nightmare of our times.
The making of race and class in Brazil and the United States
Sean T. Mitchell
The extensive literature critiquing the weakness of cross-class Afro-Brazilian solidarity is perhaps equaled in size by the structurally similar literature on the weakness of cross-race working-class solidarity in the United States. For many critics, marginalized or exploited people in Brazil and the United States do not have the political consciousness they ought to have, given apparently objective conditions. What if we started, instead, from E. P. Thompson's insight that class is a “cultural as much as an economic formation,” that it is “a relationship and not a thing,” acknowledging that political consciousness is the partially contingent result of culturally specific struggles and utopias, as much as of determinate historical conditions? Drawing on ethnographic research on conflicts between Afro-Brazilian villagers and Brazil's spaceport, supplemented by comparative data on the mobilization around inequalities in Brazil and in the United States, this article sketches a comparative anthropology of political consciousness that attempts to avoid the objectivizing pitfalls of the genre.