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Yuliya Komska

Heimat is commonly theorized as an entity both co-extensive with the nation and easily describable in terms of its regional peculiarities (Eigenart). To challenge this view, this article turns to sociolinguistic discussions in the press of Sudeten German expellees in the early 1950s. Rather than speaking as experts on local dialects or folklore, these newcomers resorted to Sprachkritik, a widespread postwar public form of sociolinguistic criticism, to fashion Heimat into a prescriptive, normative authority over the High German standard that they found missing in the Federal Republic. Their attacks on the West German parlance focused on inability of its consumerist diminutives to produce a coherent narrative of the period. By suggesting that Heimat's parameters superseded those of the nation, their interventions countered the widespread cliché of inarticulate, rural expellees at the same time as they put Sprachkritik on the map of West Germany's “miracle years.“

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Ta' Pinu

Ritualised Empathy on the Doorstep of Heaven

Philip Kao

This article explores the miracles and ex-votos (votive offerings) associated with the Ta' Pinu shrine on Gozo, Malta's northernmost island. Drawing from ethnographic data, analysis of various personal accounts, and observations of people's interactions with the bricolage of Ta' Pinu ex-votos, I seek to show that Gozitans perform a highly personal yet ritualised form of empathy in the context of miracle worship. The miracles associated with Ta' Pinu are thus seemingly 'contagious' and meaningful, because they elicit existential connections and reflections on the nature of supplication and Gozitan social relations.

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Ben Lieberman

The history of the Federal Republic of Germany is closely connected with economic achievement. Enjoying a striking economic recovery in the 1950s, the FRG became the home of the “economic miracle.” Maturing into one of the most powerful economies in the world, it became known as the “German model” by the 1970s. Now, however, the chief metaphor for the German economy is “Standort Deutschland,” and therein lies the tale of the new German problem.

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Frans Ciappara

and defend the whole village.” 65 Parishioners venerated saints in return for the patronage they exercised on behalf of their devotees. These “holy bodies,” which performed miracles even before their solemn translation, 66 were deemed essential to

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William Glenn Gray

This essay explores the relationship between West Germany's “economic miracle” and the goal of reunification in the early postwar decades. It argues that Konrad Adenauer was reluctant to mobilize economic resources on behalf of German unity-instead he sought to win trust by proclaiming unswerving loyalty to the West. Ludwig Erhard, by contrast, made an overt attempt to exchange financial incentives for political concessions-to no avail. Both of these chancellors failed to appreciate how West Germany's increasing prosperity undermined its diplomatic position, at least in the near term, given the jealousies and misgivings it generated in Western capitals and in Moscow. Only a gradual process of normalization would allow all four of the relevant powers-France, Britain, the United States, and the USSR-to develop sufficient trust in the economically dynamic Federal Republic to facilitate the country's eventual unification.

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Milacres of San Vicente Ferrer

From the Pages of a Play to the Streets of Valencia

Urszula Wilk

The aim of this study is to bring the feast of San Vicente Ferrer in the city of Valencia closer to our knowledge. This festivity serves as a good example of how literature created by local folk writers is transformed into a street performance. At the same time it is one of the best examples of contemporary popular religiosity in this region of Spain. On the day of the celebration, actors perform short plays on the streets of the city. The shows are based on the life of the patron of the city and are written by local authors. The feast has a long history – the oldest altar was set in la calle del Mar in the mid-fifteenth century – and the celebrations continue into the twenty-first century with well-organised associations. These entities are an element of the utmost importance for the neighbourhood. They both preserve traditional Valencian customs and this region’s own language, and have an important role in shaping social relationships within the community.

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Mark E. Spicka

Perhaps the most remarkable development in the Federal Republic

of Germany since World War II has been the creation of its stable

democracy. Already by the second half of the 1950s, political commentators

proclaimed that “Bonn is not Weimar.” Whereas the

Weimar Republic faced the proliferation of splinter parties, the rise

of extremist parties, and the fragmentation of support for liberal and

conservative parties—conditions that led to its ultimate collapse—the

Federal Republic witnessed the blossoming of moderate, broadbased

parties.1 By the end of the 1950s the Christian Democratic

Union/Christian Social Union (CDU), Social Democratic Party

(SPD) and Free Democratic Party (FDP) had formed the basis of a

stable party system that would continue through the 1980s.

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Pilgrimage into Words and Images

the Miracles of Santa Maria delle Carceri in Renaissance Prato

Robert Maniura

On 6 July 1484 an eight-year-old boy called Jacopino was chasing a cricket in the derelict area of Prato near the old castle when he saw the figure of the Virgin Mary, painted above a barred window of the ruined town prison (Figure. 1), ‘detach itself’ from the wall. The Virgin, who had been holding her son in her arms, placed him on the ground and, leaving him wriggling at the foot of the window, descended into the prison vaults. She proceeded to clean the place, ‘scrubbing three times with her hand’, before collecting her son and resuming her place on the wall. The boy hurried home to tell his mother what he had seen, but she would have none of it. She scolded him for his truancy and sent him back to school. Instead of returning to school, however, the boy returned to gaze at the image ‘as if in ecstasy’. His rapt attention drew others to the site and the image was seen to undergo further miraculous transformations: the figure of the Virgin cried, opened and closed its eyes and sweated blood. The questioning of the boy by the vicar of the bishop of Pistoia, in whose diocese Prato lay, served to draw even more notice and crowds began to gather in anticipation of further wonders.

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Konrad H. Jarausch

Perhaps two generations after the modest beginning, the FRG's successes and failures have become amenable to a more balanced evaluation. From the vantage point of the "Berlin Republic," the key question has shifted from whether the second German democracy would survive at all, to the reasons for its relatively positive course and to the extent of its lingering problems. This chapter first delves into the emergence of popular myths that characterized the Federal Republic's difficult search for identity. Secondly, it takes a look at some of the West's actual accomplishments in problem-solving, because such a comparison helps explain the eventual collapse of the East. Finally, it scrutinizes several of the competing explanations so as to reveal their political agendas and discuss their analytical limitations. Instead of presenting a simple success story, this reflection therefore strives for a critical appreciation. The paper concludes that at sixty, the FRG has entered a comfortable middle age, leaving be hind some of its earlier drama, but exuding a sense of competent normalcy. The mythical challenges of postwar reconstruction and recovery of international respectability have receded, followed instead by everyday concerns that are much less exhilarating. There are still plenty of problems, ranging from an aging population to a lack of full-day childcare, but they are shared by other advanced industrial societies. Moreover, after a century of first arrogant and then dejected difference, the German Sonderweg has finally come to an end. As a result of the meltdown of the Anglo-American version of unrestrained capitalism, the German model of a socially responsive market economy has even regained some of its prior luster. Hence, the postwar record of cautious incrementalism inspires some confidence that the Germans will also manage to meet the unforeseen political and economic challenges of the future.

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A Working Model of a Sacred Place

Exhibits Appearing in Dreams and Other Miracles in a Small Museum at the Edge of the World

Elena V. Liarskaya and Anna Kushkova

Based on materials from expeditions to the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug during 2006 and 2007, this article discusses the role of a small museum in the local society of a district administrative center. The article focuses on a specific class of sacred Nenets objects in the museum's collection, called locally babushka (grandmother) and a “working model“ of a sacred site that is itself a sacred site for local residents, both indigenous and Russian, to explore the social relationships forged by the museum and its collection among local residents of all ethnicities. The museum and its objects are not removed from social life and rendered dead and preserved under glass. They remain alive in a network of relationships between human and non-human persons.