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Edited by Wim Klooster and Geert Oostindie

From 1795 through 1800, a series of revolts rocked Curaçao, a small but strategically located Dutch colony just off the South American continent. A combination of internal and external factors produced these uprisings, in which free and enslaved islanders particiapted with various objectives. A major slave revolt in August 1795 was the opening salvo for these tumultuous five years. While this revolt is a well-known episode in Curaçao an history, its wider Caribbean and Atlantic context is much less known. Also lacking are studies sketching a clear picture of the turbulent five years that followed. It is in these dark corners that this volume aims to shed light.
The events discussed in this book fall squarely within the Age of Revolutions, the period that began with the onset of the American Revolution in 1775, was punctuated by the demise of the ancien régime in France, saw the establishment of a black state in Haiti, and witnessed the collapse of Spanish rule in mainland America. All of these revolutions seemed to converge by the late eighteenth century in Curaçao.
The seven contributions in this volume provide new insights in the nature of slave resistance in the Age of Revolutions, the remarkable flows of people and ideas in the late eighteenth-century Caribbean, and the unique local history of Curaçao.
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Jon Hoover

The Muslim jurist Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) is famous for polemic against Islamic philosophy, theology and rationalizing mysticism, but his positive theological contribution has not been well understood. This comprehensive study of Ibn Taymiyya’s theodicy helps to rectify this lack. Exposition and analysis of Ibn Taymiyya’s writings on God’s justice and wise purpose, divine determination and human agency, the problem of evil, and juristic method in theological doctrine show that he articulates a theodicy of optimism in which God in His essence perpetually wills the best possible world from eternity. This sets Ibn Taymiyya’s theodicy apart from Ashʿarī divine voluntarism, the free-will theodicy of the Muʿtazilīs, and the essentially timeless God of other optimists like Ibn Sīnā and Ibn ʿArabī.

A World of Water

Rain, Rivers and Seas in Southeast Asian Histories

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Edited by P. Boomgaard

Water, in its many guises, has always played a powerful role in shaping Southeast Asian histories, cultures, societies and economies. This volume, the rewritten results of an international workshop, with participants from eight countries, contains thirteen essays, representing a broad range of approaches to the study of Southeast Asia with water as the central theme. As it was exposed to the sea, the region was more accessible to outside political, economic and cultural influences than many landlocked areas. Easy access through sea routes also stimulated trade from an early age. However, the same easy access made Southeast Asia vulnerable to political control by strong outsiders. The sea is, moreover, a source of food, but also of many hazards. At the same time, Southeast Asian societies and cultures are confronted with and permeated by 'water from heaven' in the form of rain, flash floods, irrigation water, water in rivers, brooks and swaps, water-driven power plants, and pumped or piped water, in addition to water as a carrier of sewage and pollution. Finally, the volume deals with the role of water in classification systems, beliefs, myths, illness and healing.
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Surinaams contrast

Roofbouw en overleven in een Caraïbische plantagekolonie, 1750-1863

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A.A. van Stipriaan

Plantages en slaven vormden meer dan twee eeuwen de kern van de Surinaamse maatschappij. Surinaams contrast biedt op basis van een bijna tienjarig onderzoek van Nederlands, Surinaams en Engels archiefmateriaal over enkele honderden plantages de meest uitvoerige en diepgaande studie over deze tweeëenheid.
De studie schetst een levendig en gedetailleerd beeld van de Surinaamse samenleving in de achttiende en negentiende eeuw. Aangetoond wordt dat er meerdere plantagesectoren waren- koffie, suiker en katoen—die structureel van elkaar verschilden en ieder een geheel eigen geschiedenis hebben gekend. Ook wordt uitvoerig stilgestaan bij de strijd tegen het water die het leven op de meeste Surinaamse plantages verzwaarde. Voor het grootste deel van de Surinaamse bevolking was de plantage behalve werk- ook woonplaats. Daarom wordt niet alleen de arbeid, maar ook de leefwereld van de plantagebewoners beschreven. Dat daarbij de meeste aandacht uitgaat naar de levenswijze en bestaansstrijd van de slaven ligt voor de hand: zij vormden nu eenmaal de overgrote meerderheid van de bevolking en waren van generatie op generatie gebonden aan de plantages. Surinaams contrast toont voorts aan dat de Surinaamse samenleving voortdurend in beweging was en veranderde. Roofbouw en overleven kenmerkten, in wankel evenwicht, de Surinaamse plantagemaatschappij.
In hoeverre Suriname in dit en in andere opzichten afweek van het algemene Caraïbische patroon wordt duidelijk uit de vele vergelijkingen die worden gemaakt met andere plantagekoloniën in de regio.
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