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Solving Shakespeare’s riddles in The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, King John, 1–2 Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Othello, Macbeth and Cymberline
Author: Steve Sohmer

Knowing William Shakespeare better, we are better equipped to know his plays. Better knowing his plays brings us closer to knowing him. This book suggests that Shakespeare wrote not only for the mass audience, but simultaneously for that stratum of cognoscenti whom Gabriel Harvey dubbed 'the wiser sort.' It identifies many passages in the plays which Shakespeare resolves famous cruces which scholars have never been able to unravel, and casts new light on Shakespeare's mind and method. Shakespeare wrote into Julius Caesar more than one passage intelligible only to that handful of the wiser sort who had read Plutarch and knew their Suetonius. Into Macbeth Shakespeare injected a detail accessible only to the few intrepid souls brave or reckless enough to have cast the horoscope of King James I. We find a poem in Hamlet, where the prince invites his love and bandies matters of cosmology which were burning issues (literally) throughout Shakespeare's lifetime. While Julius Caesar's old Julian calendar prevailed in England its rival, the scientifically correct Gregorian reformed calendar, dominated most of Europe. Shakespeare suffused his plays with references to calendrical anomalies, as seen in Othello. By relating Shakespeare's texts, the Renaissance calendars and the liturgy, the book produces a lexicon apt for parsing the time-riddles in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare handled religious subjects, examined and interrogated the dogmas of the received religions, and parodied the Crucifixion by exploiting Holinshed's account of the persecution and assassination of York.

The debate over the Immaculate Conception
Carol Engelhardt Herringer

Conflict over the Immaculate Conception was one part of the debate about theology among 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, defined a woman who was unchanging in her sinlessness, while Protestants asserted that sinfulness was integral to each human being. This key moment in Victorian religious history, which has been largely overlooked, shows how English Christians reacted to a religious dogma with no direct scriptural evidence. This controversial topic was the one most likely to encourage broad participation from non-Anglican Protestants. Roman Catholics had a generally positive response, especially after some initial hesitation, but Protestants resoundingly rejected it. Advanced Anglicans were ambivalent: many believed the Virgin Mary to be without sin but were hesitant to declare dogmatic a belief with no scriptural basis. This debate also helps illuminate attitudes of Victorian Christians about the relationship between sexual intercourse, the body, and sin.

in Victorians and the Virgin Mary
Rethinking art, media, and the audio-visual contract
Author: Ming-Yuen S. Ma

There is no soundtrack is a specific yet expansive study of sound tactics deployed in experimental media art today. It analyses how audio and visual elements interact and produce meaning, drawing from works by contemporary media artists ranging from Chantal Akerman, to Nam June Paik, to Tanya Tagaq. It then links these analyses to discussions on silence, voice, noise, listening, the soundscape, and other key ideas in sound studies. In making these connections, the book argues that experimental media art – avant-garde film, video art, performance, installation, and hybrid forms – produces radical and new audio-visual relationships that challenge and destabilize the visually-dominated fields of art history, contemporary art criticism, cinema and media studies, and cultural studies as well as the larger area of the human sciences. This book directly addresses what sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne calls ‘visual hegemony’. It joins a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that is collectively sonifying the study of culture while defying the lack of diversity within the field by focusing on practitioners from transnational and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the media artists discussed in this book are of interest to scholars and students who are exploring aurality in related disciplines including gender and feminist studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, environmental analysis, and architecture. As such, There Is No Soundtrack makes meaningful connections between previously disconnected bodies of scholarship to build new, more complex and reverberating frameworks for the study of art, media, and sound.

Author: Lucy Bland

This book recounts the little-known history of the mixed-race children born to black American servicemen and white British women during the Second World War. Of the three million American soldiers stationed in Britain from 1942 to 1945, about 8 per cent (240,000) were African-American; the latter’s relationships with British women resulted in the birth of an estimated 2,000 babies. The African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry their white girlfriends. Up to half of the mothers of these babies, faced with the stigma of illegitimacy and a mixed-race child, gave their children up for adoption. The outcome for these children tended to be long-term residency in children’s homes, sometimes followed by fostering and occasionally adoption, but adoption societies frequently would not take on ‘coloured’ children, who were thought to be ‘too hard to place’. There has been minimal study of these children and the difficulties they faced, such as racism in a (then) very white Britain, lack of family or a clear identity. Accessibly written and illustrated with numerous photographs, this book presents the stories of over forty of these children. While some of the accounts of early childhood are heart-breaking, there are also many uplifting narratives of finding American fathers and gaining a sense of self and of heritage.

A conceptual history 1200–1900

This collection explores how concepts of intellectual or learning disability evolved from a range of influences, gradually developing from earlier and decidedly distinct concepts, including ‘idiocy’ and ‘folly’, which were themselves generated by very specific social and intellectual environments. With essays extending across legal, educational, literary, religious, philosophical, and psychiatric histories, this collection maintains a rigorous distinction between historical and contemporary concepts in demonstrating how intellectual disability and related notions were products of the prevailing social, cultural, and intellectual environments in which they took form, and themselves performed important functions within these environments. Focusing on British and European material from the middle ages to the late nineteenth century, this collection asks ‘How and why did these concepts form?’ ‘How did they connect with one another?’ and ‘What historical circumstances contributed to building these connections?’ While the emphasis is on conceptual history or a history of ideas, these essays also address the consequences of these defining forces for the people who found themselves enclosed by the shifting definitional field.

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Encountering Irigaray
Morny Joy

the principal motivation that has informed my writing of these studies on Irigaray. The questions that intrigue me as a philosopher of religion concern Irigaray’s challenge to traditional religious dogmas and practices. I have selected facets of Irigaray’s oeuvre that have not been treated in great detail elsewhere. It is the theme of love, specifically a love that is divine, that resonates in Irigaray’s ethical and spiritual work. This focus takes it beyond the principally psychoanalytic and secular interests that have been the centre of most of the past attention

in Divine love
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John Lever and Johan Fischer

about kosher than their Danish counterparts. This is most likely due to the fact that kosher markets are large and expanding in the UK, with many Jewish groups 171 172 Re l igi on , r e g ul at i on , c onsumpt ion living in increasingly bounded neighbourhoods, where Jewish identity is to a large extent maintained and developed through increasingly strict forms of kosher supervision and consumption. In Denmark the relatively small Jewish community is more dispersed, and here more of our informants saw kosher as religious dogma. There are many similarities between

in Religion, regulation, consumption
A distinctive politics?
Author: Richard Taylor

English radicalism has been a deep-rooted but minority tradition in the political culture since at least the seventeenth century. The central aim of this book is to examine, in historical and political context, a range of key events and individuals that exemplify English radicalism in the twentieth century. This analysis is preceded by defining precisely what has constituted this tradition; and by the main outline of the development of the tradition from the Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century. Three of the main currents of English radicalism in the twentieth century have been the labour movement, the women’s movement and the peace movement. These are discussed in some detail, as a framework for the detailed consideration of ten key representative figures of the tradition in the twentieth century: Bertrand Russell, Sylvia Pankhurst, Ellen Wilkinson, George Orwell, E.P. Thompson, Michael Foot, Joan Maynard, Stuart Hall, Tony Benn and Nicolas Walter. The question of ‘agency’ – of how to bring about radical change in a predominantly conservative society and culture – has been a fundamental issue for English radicals. It is argued that, in the twentieth century, many of the important achievements in progressive politics have taken place in and through extra-parliamentary movements, as well as through formal political parties and organisations – the Labour Party and other socialist organisations – and on occasion, through libertarian and anarchist politics. The final chapter considers the continuing relevance of this political tradition in the early twenty-first century, and reviews its challenges and prospects.

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Speculations of morality and spirituality in Arthur Conan Doyle’s writings
David Beck

engage in serious religious contemplation, his speculation upon the need for deduction in religious analysis is influenced by Bell’s observational method. Holmes states, ‘[t]here is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion […] It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner’ ( ibid. : 686). This was a key note of Doyle’s early religious questioning, stressing the importance of an un-blinkered study and reflection upon religious dogma. Uncharacteristically, Holmes continues: Our highest assurance of the goodness of

in Tattoos in crime and detective narratives
Exploring gender, anti-racism, and homonormativity in Shamim Sarif ’s The World Unseen (2001) and I Can’t Think Straight (2008)
Alberto Fernández Carbajal

relationship with Hani and is forced to leave Leyla. However, Leyla’s eyes have been opened by her affair with Tala to the inexorability of her same-sex desire and she sees no way back to Ali or to pretending to be heterosexual. She decides to ‘come out’ to her family, and will eventually persuade Tala to do the same, as an immoveable condition of their relationship. Familial responses to their homosexuality constitute a typical assemblage of mainstream religious dogma and internalised Western homophobia. Leyla stuns her mother, Maya, by proclaiming

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film