Whig as well as the Tory part
of them’.12 There were longstanding rumours that Rundle was an Arian,
something neither Rundle nor his supporters publicly denied and something
to which his friendships with heterodox figures lent credibility.13 Moreover,
Richard Venn, a hyper-orthodox and politically well-connected London priest,
recounted to Gibson a long-ago conversation in which Rundle had argued
that Abraham’s almost-sacrifice of Isaac was ‘an action unjust and unnatural,
that it was the remains of his Idolatrous Education and proceeded from a vain
For over four decades, events in Palestine-Israel have provoked raging conflicts between members of British universities, giving rise to controversies around free speech, ‘extremism’, antisemitism and Islamophobia within higher education, which have been widely reported in the media and subject to repeated interventions by politicians. But why is this conflict so significant for student activists living at such a geographical distance from the region itself? And what role do emotive, polarised communications around Palestine-Israel play in the life of British academic institutions committed to the ideal of free expression? This book invites students, academics and members of the public who feel concerned with this issue to explore the sources of these visceral encounters on campus. Drawing on original ethnographic research with conflicting groups of activists, it explores what is at stake for students who are drawn into struggles around Palestine-Israel within changing university spaces facing pressures associated with neoliberalism and the ‘War on Terror’. It begins from this case study to argue that, in an increasingly globalised world that is shaped by entangled histories of the Nazi Holocaust and colonial violence, members of universities must develop creative and ethical ways of approaching questions of justice. Tragic Encounters and Ordinary Ethics curates an ethnographic imagination in response to the political tensions arising out of the continuing violence in Palestine-Israel. It invites students and academics to attend to lived experiences within our own university institutions in order to cultivate ethical forms of communication in response to conflicts of justice.
is fine,’ Aziz replies.
‘Christian is doing a research project and film about healing and Islam. About how Muslims understand healing and illness.’
I explain my project to Aziz. I am interested in understanding how people can be attacked by magic, the evil eye, or become possessed by jinn, and how it is possible to cure these forms of illnesses. Aziz immediately takes over the conversation:
‘They give me these pills, they say I have to take pills, but the pills do not help anything. I
Interfering where they shouldn’t:
interaction with republicans
When Dean Daniel O’Connor, parish priest of Carrickmacross,
County Monaghan, preached a sermon in August 1919 condemning the killing of policemen and defending the character of the constabulary, one member of the congregation stood up and walked
out, while another interrupted him and started an argument.1 This
incident demonstrates that pulpit condemnations were part of a
conversation with the flock rather than authoritative monologues.
Priests did not operate in isolation from lay Catholics and
creative writing could be conflated with feminist theology its connection to male
literature did not need to become the focus of attention. Nor did we need to ask
whether feminist theology was repeating, in its own uses of literary texts, gestures
established by male theologians in the past. If its literary status is reasserted, then
religious feminists can begin to make their own contributions to conversations
concerning the proper relations of literature and theology. This is the concern of
The uses of literature
The recognition of a female subject is relatively recent in Western philosophy, through Western intellectual history, it has been assumed to be normatively male. This book provides the first English commentary on Luce Irigaray's poetic text, Elemental Passions, setting it within its context within continental thought. It explores Irigaray's images and intentions, developing the gender drama that takes place within her book, and draws the reader into the conversation in the text between 'I-woman' and 'you-man'. In Irigaray's philosophy of sexual difference love is of ultimate significance for the development and mutual relationship of two subjects. The book explains how the lack of a subject position for women is related to the emergence of rigid binaries, and catches a hint of how subversive attention to fluidity is to the masculinist pattern. This emphasis on desire and sexual difference obviously intersects with the psychoanalytic theories of S. Freud and J. Lacan, theories which had enormous impact on French philosophers of the time. Irigaray has used vivid imagery from the very beginning of her writings. A few of her images, in particular that of the lips, have become famous in feminist writings. The development of mutually affirming sexual subjects, different but not oppositional, and thereby the destabilizing of traditional binary categories of oppositional logic, is simultaneously highly innovative and has far-reaching consequences. The book presents a critique of Irigaray's methods and contentions to critical scrutiny, revisiting the idea of fluidity in relation to logic.
Victorian Christians; it was also an aspect of the
conversation about the nature of woman. Roman Catholics, who were
required to believe in the Immaculate Conception once it had been made
dogmatic, defined a woman who was unchanging in her sinlessness, while
Protestants asserted that sinfulness was integral to each human being.
Advanced Anglicans were very hesitant about the dogma; they generally preferred to describe a woman who was born, but not conceived,
without sin. Besides marking a distinction (although not always a sharp
one) between the Roman Catholic and
This chapter examines the journeys of the women in studies from Christianity into the organised Freethought movement and examines their attempts to carve out a ‘public’ role as prominent lecturers, journalists and authors. It positions the struggle of Freethinking feminists to access male-dominated intellectual and religious domains in relation to wider attempts by women to intervene in the public sphere. The chapter argues that the Freethinking emphasis on freedom of discussion opened the way for women to participate in conversations on science and reason while simultaneously marginalising the ‘feminine’ from this discourse.
, and at times incoherent, claims for community
within their relationships. This focus has brought into view improvised forms of
communication and new vocabularies, exposing creative ethical openings towards
more expansive forms of political community.
This study has therefore brought Fraser’s critical theory into conversation
with an emerging body of scholarship which has taken relational ethics as an
ethnographic object (Das 2007; Lambek 2010). While normative codes and routines have long been the focus of social scientific study and ethical concerns
Postscript: unfinished conversations
In the summer of 2013, after I had begun to draft this book, I started to reflect on
the ethics of my writing process. How did my commitment to responsive ethnography relate to questions about the ethics of ethnographic representation? Was the
process through which I produced these representations of students itself dialogical? How did the ways in which I imagined students’ responses shape what I had
written about them? Were the people I was writing about invited to reflect on and
respond to my representations of them?