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Duncan Wilson

the face of increasing secularisation. Ramsey and other theologians did not claim that interdisciplinary debates were necessary because procedures such as IVF raised unprecedented moral dilemmas. They instead believed that IVF touched on longstanding moral questions such as ‘respect for life’, but argued that collaboration was needed because these questions had become hard to resolve in secular societies that lacked ‘a common morality’.2 Crucially, these theologians emulated their predecessors by positioning themselves as ancillaries to doctors. They did not

in The making of British bioethics
Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author: Neil Macmaster

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Open Access (free)
The Enlightenment and modernity
S.J. Barnett

Enlightenment is a broad phenomenon, and it is now increasingly recognised that it was as diverse in its protagonists as it was geographically and chronologically disparate. This chapter reveals that, outside of traditional Enlightenment studies, there also exists strong support for the Enlightenment-modernity thesis in the form of the so-called post modernity theory. Modernity gave way to post modernity in the early 1970s. Postmodernists have repeatedly asserted that the secularising, reason-orientated Enlightenment is the one and only origin of modernity. It is true that postmodernism has been responsible for a renewed interest in the philosophy of history, mostly because it asserts that the past is irretrievably gone, and that self-interested attempts at reconstructing it are, by their nature, consequently doomed to failure. This study represents an attempt to review some of the causes and contexts of religious change in Enlightenment Italy, France and England.

in The Enlightenment and religion
Marie Lennersand and Linda Oja

strangers as having real knowledge of magic.40 The secularisation of magical beliefs An important prerequisite for the essential role of superstition as a ‘counterconcept’ to enlightenment was a certain degree of secularisation. I do not 72 Beyond the witch trials mean secularisation in the sense of the decreasing influence of the church and the individualisation of religion. The kind of secularisation I have in mind was rather a forerunner to these processes and involved what is sometimes called the ‘disenchantment of the world’. More specifically, it meant stressing

in Beyond the witch trials
Open Access (free)
Beyond the witch trials
Owen Davies and Willem de Blécourt

devotional practices, meanwhile the Catholic Church also used it against its own laity who dared assume clerical powers or who resorted to unsanctioned forms of piety. This confessional use of ‘superstition’ was still prevalent in the Enlightenment period, particularly in Protestant countries, but as several of the articles in this volume show, the term also underwent a process of secularisation. It was appropriated as an Enlightenment tool, and added to the arsenal of words used to enforce a self-conscious intellectual and cultural break with the past. It was a term of

in Beyond the witch trials
Open Access (free)
Theoretical approaches
Finn Stepputat

movement used these powers of abjection as a kind of ‘political pedagogy’ aimed at opening up and changing political subjectivities when leaving corpses to rot on the roads. Bataille (1991) gives the fear of death and the abject powers of the dead body a key role in his conceptualisation of sovereignty. He shares Hertz’s image of the dead body as an object of horror and dread. Thus, the dead body partakes of ‘a whole sticky horror’ that cannot be assimilated into ‘the order of things’ (1991: 215–16). But for Bataille, analysing modern, secularised society, the horror is

in Governing the dead
Open Access (free)
Alan Cromartie

when supported by the claim that God rewards sincerity (as opposed to dogmatic correctness). Though the decline of Christianity has taken away its original foundation, responsibility to a Creator, the secularisation experienced by most societies has actually entrenched the core assumption, for the tendency to abandon dogmatic religion has been in the name of the value of working out one’s own morality. Both Christianity

in Political concepts
Open Access (free)
Cécile Laborde

contrast to countries that experienced a slow, incremental process of secularisation, whereby the state progressively shed its non-secular attributes and the established Church slowly relinquished its political and social power to make way for religious pluralism, France experienced the brutal – or at any rate confrontational – assertion of an autonomous civil power struggling to impose a secular, republican order against the claims of religious supremacy made by the Catholic Church.13 In the light of this historical heritage, it would be ‘reductive’14 to understand

in The culture of toleration in diverse societies
From universalisation to relativism
David Bruce MacDonald

excellent means for keeping the people together, so that the assumption of eternal antisemitism would even imply an eternal guarantee of Jewish existence. This superstition, a secularised travesty of the idea of eternity inherent in a faith in chosenness and a Messianic hope, has been strengthened through the fact that for many centuries the Jews experienced the Christian brand of hostility which was indeed a powerful agent of preservation, spiritually as well as politically.9 For some Zionist thinkers, the role of anti-Semitism as a constant foil to Jewish aspirations

in Balkan holocausts?
Open Access (free)
Towards an archaeology of modernism
Jay Bernstein

biographical form of the classical novel, paralleling the ambitions and trajectory of secularising modernity, chartered the formation, education, quest and achievement of identity and worldliness of its bourgeois heroes and heroines. What was previously narrative and adventure becomes in Flaubert a stutter, every appointment of learning a site for blindness, every posting of hope a tour of disappointment, each potential moment of formation a blank; the best there ever was, its protagonists conclude, is the memory of the adolescent visit to the local bordello – a visit, we

in The new aestheticism