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From pious subjects to critical participants
Author: John Anderson

This book examines the contribution of different Christian traditions to the waves of democratisation that have swept various parts of the world in recent decades, offering an historical overview of Christianity's engagement with the development of democracy, before focusing in detail on the period since the 1970s. Successive chapters deal with: the Roman Catholic conversion to democracy and the contribution of that church to democratisation; the Eastern Orthodox ‘hesitation’ about democracy; the alleged threat to American democracy posed by the politicisation of conservative Protestantism; and the likely impact on democratic development of the global expansion of Pentecostalism. The author draws out several common themes from the analysis of these case studies, the most important of which is the ‘liberal-democracy paradox’. This ensures that there will always be tensions between faiths which proclaim some notion of absolute truth and political order, and which are also rooted in the ideas of compromise, negotiation and bargaining.

A Congolese Experience
Justine Brabant

, as perceived by the embassy. That didn’t mean that it was the absolute truth, but it was a form of analysis. The frames of reference offered by diplomatic actors – like the ones imported from the humanitarian and international criminal justice fields – are even more likely to find an enduring place in journalistic reporting, because for many reporters some of the favourite sources for gathering information before leaving for a country

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
David Archibald

’t forget you.’ Her following words, ‘I won’t let them forget you’, suggest, moreover, a collective rather than individual approach. Truth Lola’s inability to uncover all the evidence in the Sánchez Mazas case highlights some of the difficulties in attempting to represent the past. Her decision to start work on a new book in the concluding scenes, however, indicates that although her search does not finish with her accessing the absolute truth of even this one small episode, that does not prevent her from constructing narratives about the past. It does, however, have

in The war that won't die
Pragmatism between rationalism and sentimentality 
Robert W. Lake

Insecurity generates the quest for certainty. (John Dewey, 1929 [1988] , 203) Anyone claiming to tell me the absolute truth is demanding from me unquestioning submission. (Gianni Vattimo, 2014 , 77) Indignation is not yet politics. (Graham Harman, 2014 , 31) Introduction Anyone engaged in the pursuit of knowledge confronts daunting challenges posed by incommensurable definitions of truth, the destabilising threat of uncertainty, the lure of dogmatism and authoritarianism, and the seductive power of sentimentality

in The power of pragmatism
On the origins of a permanent conflict
Ian Hunter

internecine destruction by recognizing and entrenching them in a multi-confessional religious constitution, the resulting constitutional order wore a distinctive Janus face: it consisted of a relativistic (and in this limited sense) ‘secular’ 16 the contested persona of the historian juridical framework, inside which plural religions were free to teach their confessions as absolute truths.3 By excluding theological and philosophical truths from the constitutional framework, the disciplines and institutions of public law gave rise to a remarkable, unintended consequence

in How to be a historian
Abstract only
Derek Robbins

, reprimands Gregers, commenting: ‘Take the saving lie from the average man and you take his happiness away, too’ (Ibsen, 1964, 244). Perhaps this is an absolute truth or perhaps it is indicative of the continuing potency of a late nineteenth century bourgeois inclination to disparage average people. There is, finally, a third possibility. The world is already very different from the one with which Bourdieu tried to deal in the 1990s. Facebook, for instance, was established in 2004, two years after his death. Social media have, perhaps, eclipsed ‘incorporated’ cultural

in The Bourdieu paradigm
Sarah Alyn Stacey

remain remote, never seized in their entirety, only partially glimpsed and understood,11 and largely eclipsed by the interpreter’s subjective reconstruction of them. However, Desarthe’s universe is not relentlessly bleak and continually self-deconstructing because at the centre of it is an absolute truth which humankind may grasp through intuition. This absolute truth is that life and death are the only certainties, and so, as nothing may be accurately comprehended by man and his interpretative rationalising methods, he should live according to nature’s law which

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
Staring at the Sun
Peter Childs

known to people’ the Computer finally goes on-line in 2003 and is accessible from municipal GPCHQs: ‘You keyed in your social security number, and output was modified to your level of understanding’ (SS, p. 147). As from 2008, a new level that can be requested is The Absolute Truth (TAT), and this is what Gregory asks permission for in the central pages of Part Three. TAT’s answers are said to be clearly but poetically expressed, and they give an existential truth. Jean is sceptical about the machine and believes the ‘serious questions always

in Julian Barnes

This book explores contemporary urban experiences connected to practices of sharing and collaboration. Part of a growing discussion on the cultural meaning and the politics of urban commons, it uses examples from Europe and Latin America to support the view that a world of mutual support and urban solidarity is emerging today in, against, and beyond existing societies of inequality. In such a world, people experience the potentialities of emancipation activated by concrete forms of space commoning. By focusing on concrete collective experiences of urban space appropriation and participatory design experiments this book traces differing, but potentially compatible, trajectories through which common space (or space-as-commons) becomes an important factor in social change. In the everydayness of self-organized neighborhoods, in the struggles for justice in occupied public spaces, in the emergence of “territories in resistance,” and in dissident artistic practices of collaborative creation, collective inventiveness produces fragments of an emancipated society.

Space, identity and power

This volume aims to disclose the political, social and cultural factors that influenced the sanitary measures against epidemics developed in the Mediterranean during the long nineteenth century. The contributions to the book provide new interdisciplinary insights to the booming field of ‘quarantine studies’ through a systematic use of the analytic categories of space, identity and power. The ultimate goal is to show the multidimensional nature of quarantine, the intimate links that sanitary administrations and institutions had with the territorial organization of states, international trade, the construction of national, colonial, religious and professional identities or the configuration of political regimes. The circum-Mediterranean geographical spread of the case studies contained in this volume illuminates the similarities and differences around and across this sea, on the southern and northern shores, in Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Italian, English and French-speaking domains. At the same time, it is highly interested in engaging in the global English-speaking community, offering a wide range of terms, sources, bibliography, interpretative tools and views produced and elaborated in various Mediterranean countries. The historical approach will be useful to recognize the secular tensions that still lie behind present-day issues such as the return of epidemics or the global flows of migrants and refugees.