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Anna Sapir Abulafia

referred to in paragraph 35 as ‘belong[ing] to the core of the Christian faith’, namely ‘the universal and therefore also exclusive mediation of salvation through Jesus Christ’. I for one believe that the benefits of universality have been vastly overrated

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A Critique of Liberal Universalism

The Concept of Secular Philosophical Grounding

Jaan S. Islam

world as well as the necessary experiences with people from religions and cultures other than one’s own, this new age of philosophy can be easily mistaken for the achievement of moral universality. The United Nations and other major global bodies, the

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Rethinking Universalism

Olympe Audouard, Hubertine Auclert, and the Gender Politics of the Civilizing Mission

Rachel Nuñez

Building on Joan Scott's argument that the struggles of feminists since the Revolution have been rooted in the paradoxes of republican universalism, this article explores how two nineteenth-century feminists—Olympe Audouard and Hubertine Auclert—sought to escape the problem of sexual difference through engagement with the civilizing mission. They criticized the civilizing mission as chauvinistic and misogynistic to reveal how republican universalism had failed to address inequalities of both sex and race. They also proposed more inclusive forms of universalism: in her writing on Turkey, Audouard advocated cosmopolitanism, in which all peoples, regardless of race or sex, could contribute to civilization, while Auclert, in her writing on Algeria, supported assimilation as a way to endow both French women and Arabs with the rights of French men. Yet their versions of universalism were no less paradoxical than republican universalism. Through cosmopolitanism and assimilation, they invoked new others and worked strategically to displace sexual difference with racial, national, and religious difference.

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Stefan Nygård and Johan Strang

The purpose of this article is to explore the logic of conceptual universalization from the perspective of the European peripheries. We tentatively combine a discussion of the way in which intellectuals claim universal validity and applicability for

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A Malady of the Left and an Ethics of Communism

Badiouian Diagnosis, Lacanian Cure, Sartrean Responsibility

Andrey Gordienko

an ethics of the Same that presupposes indifference to differences. If infinite propagation of bodies and languages is all there is in the situation, then what founds universalism and secures uncompromising equality between endlessly proliferating

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Conjunctures and Convergences

Remaking the World Cultures Displays at the National Museum of Scotland

Henrietta Lidchi

cultural citizenship in a context of a renewed debate about Enlightenment ideals and universalism, prompted by large metropolitan museums in London. To situate the developments, this article begins with an episodic historiography of the National Museum of

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Jo Bogaerts

French existentialism is commonly regarded as the main impetus for the universal significance that Kafka gained in postwar France. A leading critic, Marthe Robert, has contended that this entailed an outright rejection of interest in the biographical, linguistic and historical dimension of Kafka's writing in order to interpret it as a general expression of the human condition. This article will consider this claim in the light of Sartre's original conceptualization of a dialectic of the universal and the particular in the intercultural mediation of the work of art. The notion of a 'true universality' proposed by Sartre as a defence of Kafka during the 1962 Moscow Peace Conference will allow for a reassessment of Robert's criticism in a paradoxical reversal of terms: it is precisely the inevitable loss of context and the appropriation within one's own particular situation which allow the literary work to elucidate a foreign historical context and thereby gain a wider significance. Rather than a universal meaning of the work, Sartre's concept points to literature's potential to continually release specific meanings in new contexts.

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Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider

Images of German victims have become a ubiquitous feature of political debates and mass-mediated cultural events in recent years. This paper argues that changing representations of the Holocaust have served as a political cultural prism through which histories of German victimhood can be renegotiated. More specifically, we explore how the centrality of the Holocaust in Germany informs how the postwar expulsion of twelve million ethnic Germans has been remembered during the last sixty years. Most interpretations of the destruction of European Jewry and the expulsion of ethnic Germans from Poland and Czechoslovakia and their corresponding memory cultures treat these memories as mutually exclusive manifestations of competing perceptions of national self understanding. We suggest that memories of both the Holocaust and expulsions are entwined. The Holocaust remains a specific event but also spans a universalizing human rights discourse that conceals the magnitude of the Holocaust as a particular historical occurrence; at the same time, the expulsion stops being a particular event and is being reframed as a universal evil called "ethnic cleansing." Examining recent political and public debates about how the expulsions of ethnic Germans are politicized and remembered reveals how comparisons to other incidents of state sanctioned violence and claims of singularity shape the balance of universal and particular modes of commemoration.

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Shura Lipovsky

After a time of silence, Jewish identity often appeared to be reclaimed, or redefined, through connecting to Yiddish (folk-) song. Since Yiddish songs have become a kind of musical historic archive, Jews find in this repertoire different expressions of Jewish identity. They are able to embark on a joyful learning process as opposed to the sadness or silence they have been confronted with before. Meanwhile, the interest of non-Jews for this subject teaches them about a multi-faceted Jewish life, as opposed to only learning about the Shoah or the dramatic political struggles of Israel. This kind of cultural exploration becomes a strong tool for intercultural dialogue and peace. Both Jews and non-Jews participate in an inclusive learning-experience about a European Jewish heritage, which appears to be a discovery for both, on different levels. Depending on the choice of repertoire and a specific pedagogical approach, this particular way of learning appears to contribute to consciousness and universal thinking. The usual chauvinism that might result from reclaiming one's ethnic, cultural or religious identity does not seem to occur in this case. This article details Europe's quest for Yiddish culture after the Second World War and its consequences for Jewish and non-Jewish life today, seen through the eyes of a singer and pedagogue of Yiddish songs.

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John Pickles

Anyone who studies post-socialist political economy probably has to begin a discussion of ‘the commons’ and common property resources by explaining the relationship between common property and collectivism, and the enormous impact that liberal and neo-liberal thought and institutions have had on the social economies of the Eastern European commons. In this article, I want to do this in three ways. First, I argue that contemporary accounts of socialist and post-socialist common property resources and practices have been shaped by the commitments of neo-liberalism and have had the very particular effect (and perhaps intent) of discrediting certain kinds of collective action and common property institutions. Second, I illustrate the ways in which a new definition of the commons has emerged in Europe—one that struggles to harmonize juridical and political aspirations for a peaceful and inclusive European Union with a common economic project and space of harmonized markets and trade policy. These twinned projects of this new ‘common economic union’ and their own versions of what constitutes a public, a commons, as well as their universal value, are increasingly conflated with post-colonial notions of a return to Europe and with deeply historical and racialized views of identity and commonality. The building of markets through the institutions and projects of structural adjustment and shock therapy has resulted in a thoroughgoing integration of the economies of the region with those of the broader international market and a fundamental recomposition of class forces in the region.