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Ruth Fainlight

Miriam’s Well (from Talmudic sources)

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Well-faring towards Uncertain Futures

A Comparative Perspective on Youth in Marginalized Positions

Susanne Højlund, Lotte Meinert, Martin Demant Frederiksen and Anne Line Dalsgaard

The article explores how societal contexts create different possibilities for faring well towards the future for young marginalized people. Based on a comparative project including ethnographies from Brazil, Uganda, Georgia and Denmark the authors discuss well-faring as a time-oriented process based on individual as well as societal conditions. The article argues that in order to understand well-faring it is important to analyse how visions and strategies for the future are shaped in relation to local circumstances. Whether it is possible to envision the future as hopeless or hopeful, as concrete or abstract or as dependent on family or state is a ma er of context. Well-faring is thus neither an individual nor a state project but must be analysed in a double perspective as an interplay between the two.

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Stanley Wells

People write biographies of Shakespeare for many different reasons, often in combination. Rarely, if ever, is it out of a desire to disseminate new information, though a technique that can illuminate is to find new ways of placing long-established facts within a fresh context. Biographical discoveries, and serious scholarly treatment of biographical issues, are more likely to be communicated through articles in learned journals. Full-length biographies may be the consequence of a creative wish to engage with and to entertain imagined readerships, or a desire to educate, or the fulfilment of personal or polemical agenda, possibly at least partly subconscious: feminist, or psychosexual, or political; and also, less worthily but no less understandably, of a desire to make money or a search for professional advancement.

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Tamils' Quest for Well-Being

Moving as a Success or Failure?

Anne Sigfrid Grønseth

During a period of about 15 years, Tamil refugees have resided in the small fishing villages along the arctic coast of northern Norway. Employing an ethnographic approach that emphasizes agency and experience in everyday life, this study describes how Tamils face a lack of crucial social and religious relationships and arenas that provide recognition and meaning to their daily lives. Not being able to give voice to their social experiences, the Tamils suffer from bodily aches and pains. As part of the Tamils' search for recognition, community and quest for well-being, they have relocated to places that provide a more complete Tamil community. To assess whether the Tamils' choice of leaving the fishing villages is a success or failure is a complex matter. Exploring the intricacies of this decision, this article discusses the links between the 'narrative of suffering' and the Tamils' decision to move.

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“Living Well Rather Than Living Better”

Measuring Biocentric Human-Nature Rights and Human–Nature Development in Ecuador

Johannes M. Waldmüller

Drawing on the first attempt worldwide to implement human rights indicators at the national level in Ecuador (2009–2014), as well as on a critical review of the uneasy relationship between human rights and human development discourses, this article calls into question the prefix “human” in contemporary human development and human rights thinking. By alternating case study and reflection, it argues that a systemic and biocentric focus on human–nature relationships, extending the concepts of capabilities and functionings to ecosystems and human–nature interactions, is important for designing adequate tools for human–nature development, monitoring and for moving beyond ascribing merely instrumental value to nature. In order to shift the common understanding of human rights and human development from anthropocentric frameworks toward a more realistic biocentric focus, a focus on life as such is proposed, including inherent moments of arising and passing that express the necessary limitations to all human conduct and striving.

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Heaven, the Mole and the Well

A Study of a Talmudic Theological Concept

Admiel Kosman

This article engages in a literary analysis of the 'Mole and the Well' narrative, a tale that in the far past apparently was part of the Talmudic text, but is absent from the extant Talmud, with only an allusion to the former existence of the story in the Talmud to be found in BT Taanit 8a. The discussion that opens the article uncovers the hidden links between the passage in Taanit, in a discursive unit that hints at this narrative, and the spiritual contents concealed within the narrative itself (as it is preserved in post-Talmudic sources). This is followed by a close reading of the narrative that will aid us in clarifying the concept of the Emunah (faith) of the sages of the Talmud. This reading places especial emphasis on gender. Our reading finds a striking expression of the central place occupied by the female side in the narrative, by virtue of the fact that those who represent the believer who adheres to God are its two female characters. These women seem to serve as spiritual guides for the third character, the man, who learns from them the profound meaning of the spiritual maturity demanded of the believer.

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Natalie Clark

In this article I will centre the historic and ongoing resistance of Indigenous girls to violence through colonial policies and practices. I challenge conventional intersectionality scholarship by foregrounding anti-colonialism and Indigenous sovereignty/nationhood. Using examples from my own work, I illustrate the manifestation of colonial power and persistent resistance in the lives of Indigenous girls. Through these stories, I will discuss the everyday practices of witnessing and resisting the discourses of risk. Red intersectionality will be offered as one way forward in relation to my ongoing work on violence.

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'Women May Be Perfect as Well as Men'

Self-identity and Patriarchal Oppression in the Writings of Mary Ward and her Followers

Christina Moss

Mary Ward’s initial view of her vocation as a nun challenges the seventeenth- century English reformed church’s view of women’s role but is firmly within the patriarchal boundaries of the seventeenthcentury Catholic church. In 1620 she writes of her early position as part of a retrospective attempt to explain her later activities: ‘I saw not how a religious woman could do more [good] than to herself alone. To teach children seemed then too much a distraction … nor was it of that perfection and importance as therefore to hinder that quiet and continual communication with God which strict enclosure afforded’ (1620, Letter to Mgr. Albergati). However, by 1620 her view had changed and Ward’s later work for female educational emancipation and her attempt to establish self-government and freedom from enclosure for the institute of Jesuitesses which she sought to establish, have led to her being labelled the first known English feminist by Warnicke. This striking shift is due to visionary experiences which convince her that ‘women may be perfect as well as men’ (TGW, 58). Her resulting challenge to the discourses of patriarchy meets with disapproval from most representatives of the establishment of the Catholic church. Even her abbess dryly informs her that it is, ‘no longer the time “when young maidens should have visions.”’ Her subtext seems to be: ‘And especially not ones like these!’

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Celestino Deleyto

‘I wrote the script and directed it. My name is Orson Welles.’ These words, spoken by the director over a shot of a microphone at the end of The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), resonate far beyond their ostensible function of a delayed credit sequence. In the first place, to connoisseurs of Welles’s opus, this is highly ironic: the film for which the director claims entire credit was the first and, to many, the worst case of an endless series of studio cuts, recuts and various tamperings with Welles’s films that was to continue nagging the director throughout his career. The voice-over, therefore, becomes the signifier of a ghost, a voice claiming authorship for a text that no longer exists – the original, unmutilated Ambersons – , or the almost real signature of a fictional author. The real Orson Welles was not the director of this film. But then, who is this ‘Orson Welles’ who addresses the spectator from the fringes of the film?

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Jan Berting

Van Bruggen’s theoretical and empirical analysis raises many questions about research on subjective well-being. I concede that this can be seen as an important merit of her contribution. I hope that this observation will contribute to her own subjective well-being, which, according to her preface, has not always been enhanced by doing research in this area. But then such is the common fate of those who are engaged in research.