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Anna Seghers

The Challenge of History

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Edited by Helen Fehervary, Christiane Zehl Romero and Amy Kepple Strawser

Anna Seghers: The Challenge of History features essays by leading scholars devoted to this most important German writer whose novels and stories have been read by millions worldwide. The volume is intended for teachers and students of literature and for general readers. The contributions address facets of Seghers’s large body of work which is characterized by reflections on political events shaping world history and written in a highly imaginative array of narrative styles. The first section focuses on the author’s famous novel The Seventh Cross. Articles in the next two sections analyze her reactions to crises that marked the twentieth century and her connections to other relevant thinkers of her time. The last section features new translations of Seghers’s works.

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Edited by Cédric Giraud

The ambition of this Companion to Twelfth-Century Schools is to provide an update on the research regarding a question that has seen many renewals in the last three decades. The discovery of new texts, the progress made in critical attribution, the growing attention given to the conditions surrounding the oral and written dissemination of works, the use of the notion of "community of learning”, the reinterpretation of the relations between the cloister and the urban school, the link between institutional history and social history, in short, the entire contemporary renewal of cultural history within international medieval studies allow to offer a new synthesis on the schools of the 12th century. Contributors are: Alexander Andrée, Irene Caiazzo, Cédric Giraud, Frédéric Goubier, Danielle Jacquart, Thierry Kouamé, Constant Mews, Ken Pennington, Dominique Poirel, Irène Rosier, Sita Steckel, Jacques Verger, and Olga Weijers.

Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism

Ontology, Epistemology, Politics

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Cat Moir

In Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics, Cat Moir offers a new interpretation of the philosophy of Ernst Bloch. The reception of Bloch’s work has seen him variously painted as a naïve realist, a romantic nature philosopher, a totalitarian thinker, and an irrationalist whose obscure literary style stands in for a lack of systematic rigour. Moir challenges these conceptions of Bloch by reconstructing the ontological, epistemological, and political dimensions of his speculative materialism. Through a close, historically contextualised reading of Bloch’s major work of ontology, Das Materialismusproblem, seine Geschichte und Substanz (The Materialism Problem, its History and Substance), Moir presents Bloch as one of the twentieth century’s most significant critical thinkers.

A Humanist in Reformation Politics

Philipp Melanchthon on Political Philosophy and Natural Law

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Mads L. Jensen

This book is the first contextual account of the political philosophy and natural law theory of the German reformer Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560). Mads Langballe Jensen presents Melanchthon as a significant political thinker in his own right and an engaged scholar drawing on the intellectual arsenal of renaissance humanism to develop a new Protestant political philosophy. As such, he also shows how and why natural law theories first became integral to Protestant political thought in response to the political and religious conflicts of the Reformation. This study offers new, contextual studies of a wide range of Melanchthon's works including his early humanist orations, commentaries on Aristotle's ethics and politics, Melanchthon's own textbooks on moral and political philosophy, and polemical works.

Takfīr im militanten Salafismus

Der Staat als Feind

Justyna Nedza

With this work, Justyna Nedza presents the first comprehensive analysis of the theologically charged legal practice of “declaring someone an unbeliever” ( takfir) in militant Salafist thought. Her investigation zooms in on the role of takfir in the formal legitimization of militant jihad against government institutions. Investigating both the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian case, Nedza demonstrates the importance of the regional context in shaping consistent legal arguments for the legitimacy of takfir of collectives. The careful analysis of the arguments of four selected militant Salafist authors brings out that this contextuality plays also a decisive role for the respective textual references, as well as shaping the conclusions drawn by the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian authors, respectively.

In dieser Arbeit präsentiert Justyna Nedza die erste umfassende Analyse der theologisch aufgeladenen Rechtspraxis des „Apostasievorwurfs“ ( takfīr) im Milieu des militanten „Salafismus“. Dabei liegt ein besonderer Fokus auf der rechtlichen Begründung von gewaltsamen Widerstand ( ǧihād) gegen staatliche Organe in muslimischen Mehrheitsgesellschaften, sowie die hiermit verbundene Ausweitung dieses Rechtsmittels vom Individuum auf Kollektive. Anhand der komparatistischen Untersuchung der Schriften von vier ausgewählten Autoren aus Ägypten und Saudi-Arabien zeigt Nedza, dass deren divergenter nationaler Kontext eine entscheidende Rolle sowohl für ihre jeweiligen textlichen Referenzrahmen als auch ihre entsprechenden Schlussfolgerungen spielt. Damit wird die bisher weithin akzeptierte These vom “Salafismus” als global einheitlichem Phänomen auf den Prüfstand gehoben.

Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa

A Contextual Analysis of the Pre-baptismal Sermons attributed to Quodvultdeus of Carthage

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David Vopřada

In Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa, David Vopřada presents the pre-baptismal catecheses of the fifth-century bishop of Carthage, delivered to the new believers in extremely difficult period of barbaric incursions. Quodvultdeus is generally not appraised as an original philosopher or theologian as his master Augustine was, in this book his qualities of a bishop who was entrusted with the care of his flock come forward. Making interdisciplinary use of the ancient and ecclesiastical history, philosophy, theology, archaeology, exegesis, liturgy science, homiletics, and rhetorics, the book offers a new and most innovative contribution to the life, work, and theology of Quodvultdeus.

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Mark A. Lotito

In The Reformation of Historical Thought, Mark Lotito re-examines the development of Western historiography by concentrating on Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560) and his universal history, Carion’s Chronicle (1532). With the Chronicle, Melanchthon overturned the medieval papal view of history, and he offered a distinctly Wittenberg perspective on the foundations of the “modern” European world. Through its immense popularity, the Chronicle assumed extraordinary significance across the divides of language, geography and confession. Indeed, Melanchthon’s intervention would become the point of departure for theologians, historians and jurists to debate the past, present and future of the Holy Roman Empire. Through the Chronicle, the Wittenberg reformation of historical thought became an integral aspect of European intellectual culture for the centuries that followed.

Waiting for the End of the World

European Dimensions, 950–1200

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Tsvetelin Stepanov

The French president Charles de Gaulle spoke of a Europe “from the Atlantic to the Urals”. Europe was spatially formed with these topographic parameters from the late 10th century onwards, with the massive Christianization of its inhabitants. At that time, however, all three monotheistic religions already had a steady presence there. Could such a macro-space be thought-and-narrated from a macro-perspective, in view of its medieval past? This has already been done through common ʻdenominatorsʻ such as the Migration Period, wars, trade, spread of Christianity. Could it also be seen through a common religious-philosophical and spiritual phenomenon – the Anticipation of the End of the world among Christians, Muslims, and Jews? This book gives a positive answer to the last question.

Contemporary Russian Conservatism

Problems, Paradoxes, and Perspectives

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Edited by Mikhail Suslov and Dmitry Uzlaner

This volume is the first comprehensive study of the “conservative turn” in Russia under Putin. Its fifteen chapters, written by renowned specialists in the field, provide a focused examination of what Russian conservatism is and how it works. The book features in-depth discussions of the historical dimensions of conservatism, the contemporary international context, the theoretical conceptualization of conservatism, and empirical case studies. Among various issues covered by the volume are the geopolitical and religious dimensions of conservatism and the conservative perspective on Russian history and the politics of memory. The authors show that conservative ideology condenses and reworks a number of discussions about Russia’s identity and its place in the world.

Contributors include: Katharina Bluhm, Per-Arne Bodin, Alicja Curanović, Ekaterina Grishaeva, Caroline Hill, Irina Karlsohn, Marlene Laruelle, Mikhail N. Lukianov, Kåre Johan Mjør, Alexander Pavlov, Susanna Rabow-Edling, Andrey Shishkov, Victor Shnirelman, Mikhail Suslov, and Dmitry Uzlaner

Distinctions of Reason and Reasonable Distinctions

The Academic Life of John Wallis (1616–1703)

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Jason M. Rampelt

Distinctions of Reason and Reasonable Distinctions is an intellectual biography of John Wallis (1616-1703), professor of mathematics at Oxford for over half a century. His career spans the political tumult of the English Civil Wars, the religious upheaval of the Church of England, and the fascinating developments in mathematics and natural philosophy. His ability to navigate this terrain and advance human learning in the academic world was facilitated by his use of the Jesuit Francisco Suarez’s theory of distinctions. This Roman Catholic’s philosophy in the hands of a Protestant divine fostered an instrumentalism necessary to bridge the old and new. With this tool, Wallis brought modern science into the university and helped form the Royal Society.