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Missionary and Scholar

Russian Orthodox Archbishop Nil Isakovich's Perception of Tibetan Buddhism in Eastern Siberia

Anna Peck

Nil (Isakovich), bishop of the Irkutsk and Nerchinsk eparchy from 1838 to 1853, completed a major work on Tibetan Buddhism, Buddizm, razsmatrivaemyi v otnoshenii k posledovateliam ego, obitaiushchim v Sibiri (Buddhism, examined in relation to its Siberian followers), published in St. Petersburg in 1858. It was a thorough description of Buddhist doctrine, rites, and organizational structures in the Transbaikal. The bishop observed the rapid spread of Buddhism with the growth of the number of followers, clergy, and monasteries (datsan) in this area. As a Christian missionary, he tried to find out the reasons why this teaching was so powerful and influential, and why Buddhism became so popular among the Buriat population, attracting far more converts from native Shamanism than Christianity. Nil was interested in organizational aspects, hierarchical structure, Buddhist dharma, everyday rituals, and ceremonies during major holidays. Throughout his book, Nil presented his erudition and understanding of the Buddhist tradition. He used numerous sources in Tibetan, Mongolian, Latin, Russian and French. The quality of his writing varies greatly from other contemporary works of the Russian Orthodox missionaries. Unfortunately, Nil's book, published in Russian, was unknown to the majority of European scholars of that time.

Open access

Caitlin Hindle, Vikki Boliver, Ann Maclarnon, Cheryl McEwan, Bob Simpson, and Hannah Brown

‘First-generation scholars’ is a term often used to refer to students whose parents do not have a university degree, but also more expansively to mean students from a wide range of ‘non-traditional’ backgrounds. 1 Such students are significantly

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Carl Plantinga

Film scholars, critics, filmmakers, and audiences all routinely employ intuitive, untutored "folk psychology" in viewing, interpreting, critiquing, and making films. Yet this folk psychology receives little attention in film scholarship. This article argues that film scholars ought to pay far more attention to the nature and uses of folk psychology. Turning to critical work on Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, the article demonstrates the diverse and sometimes surprising ways that folk psychology is used in criticism. From an evolutionary perspective, the article defends the critic's and audience's interests in characters as persons. It also defends folk psychology against some of its most vocal detractors, and provides some guidance into how cognitive film theorists might employ folk psychology, arguing that such employment must supplement and correct folk psychology with scientific psychology and philosophical analysis. Finally, the article argues that the application of folk psychology to films is a talent, a skill, and a sensitivity rather than a science.

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A German Rabbi and Scholar in America

Kaufmann Kohler and the Shaping of American Jewish Theological and Intellectual Agendas

Yaakov Ariel

One of the more central German-American rabbis, Kaufmann Kohler played a prominent role in shaping American Jewish communal, religious and intellectual life at the turn of the twentieth century. Kohler served as a link between the German-Jewish religious and intellectual environment and that of the United States, where he emigrated in 1869. Like a number of Reform rabbis in Germany, Kohler saw his work as a rabbi, a Reform leader, theologian, initiator of scholarship, and a writer on Jewish and Christian history, as inseparably intertwined. The article points to Kohler's role as a scholar-rabbi who brought with him from Germany certain academic standards and a belief in the power of scholarship and ideas to shape public life, as well as a Reform theological agenda. The thoughts, initiatives and travails of Kohler tells us a great deal about the role of intellectual German-Jewish immigrant rabbis in America, their effect on the course of American Judaism and the manner in which they negotiated a role and identity for themselves and their community in America, trying to change, among other things, the manner the Protestant majority related to Judaism and Jews.

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Megan Sullivan

In this article I analyze fiction and non-fiction using the critical lens or methodology of Girlhood Studies. I re-examine my published writing on Irish writer Mary Beckett and Irish-American author Lucy Grealy to demonstrate how feminist scholars can read differently. I argue that in my initial readings of the aforementioned texts I neglected the girl in the story, because I was concerned about the woman the female character would become. Finally, I also argue that feminist scholars should mine their own childhood experiences for insight into the study of girls. I provide an excerpt from my memoir in progress to demonstrate how this might be accomplished.

Open access

Enacting inclusivity in the preparation of emerging scholars

A response to programme reform in higher education

Saran Stewart, Chayla Haynes, and Kristin Deal

’ ( Danowitz and Tuitt 2011: 51 ). 4. Recorded, open discussions about our experiences as first-year students and our preparation as emerging scholars. We treated these data as transcripts of our learning and engagement within the higher education

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Paul Messaris, Cynthia Freeland, Sheena Rogers, Malcolm Turvey, Greg M. Smith, Daniel T. Levin, Alicia M. Hymel, and Tim J. Smith


Paul Messaris


Cynthia Freeland


Sheena Rogers


Malcolm Turvey


Greg M. Smith


Daniel T. Levin and Alicia M. Hymel


Tim J. Smith

Free access

Carl Plantinga and Malcolm Turvey

Friends and colleagues of Stephen Prince were shocked and saddened to learn of his death at the age of sixty-five on 30 December 2020 in Blacksburg, Virginia, after a brief illness. Steve was a good friend to many, a prolific scholar with a deep

Open access

Ryan Tucker Jones

Vladimir Klavdeevich Arsen'ev is one of the best-known figures of the Russian Far East, and yet the scholarly literature—particularly in English—on his historical significance is surprisingly thin. Literary scholars, drawn by Arsen'ev's famous

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Benjamin Abrams and Giovanni A. Travaglino

This issue of Contention is definitvely international, featuring data and cases from dozens of countries including Rwanda and China. We are proud to be a journal sought out by scholars working on diverse non-Western cases as well as by those