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"Origins", Transmissions, and Metamorphoses of Adab literature
The notion of adab is at the very heart of the Islamicate cultures. Born in the crucible of the Arabic and Persian civilisations of the Late Antiquity period, nourished by Greek, Syriac and Indian influences, this polysemic notion could cover a variegated range of meanings, ranging from good behaviour, good manners, etiquette, proper knowledge of the rules, to belles-lettres, and finally, literature. This volume addresses the notion of adab through four perspectives, which correspond to the four parts into which it is divided: “Origins”; “Transmissions”; “Metamorphosis” of the “Origins” and finally “Origins” through the lens of modernity.
Peter Abelard and the Mental Architecture of the Paraclete
The Paraclete was founded in 1129. Out of necessity to find a new place to shelter a group of nuns, this female community was created by Peter Abelard (1079–1142) for Heloise of Argenteuil (1090–1164). Varieties of the Self shows how this community was dependent on a network of monasteries, while also representing a formative driving force in the twelfth-century reform, the period of flourishing to which it clearly belonged. The anthropological approach connects different works written by Peter Abelard (hymns, life-rules, letters, biblical commentaries) to views on the female self. What is the perspective on identity, sacrifice, and intentionality within these sources, and how do views on pollution, purity, and sacredness reflect on ethics of body and soul?
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Global capitalism is effecting changes in human life as momentous as those that occurred during the Neolithic Revolution, the Axial Age (700-300 BC), and the modern era post-1500, when industrial capitalism, state power, and science reshaped the civilized world. The transformation is paradoxical, however. Science and technology ensure material progress but the market promotes cultural obsolescence and erodes belief in the Enlightenment ideals that inspired the quest for progress. In Western democracies, liberty and equality are proving irreconcilable, citizens becoming demoralized, fraternity fractured; meanwhile despotic Eurasian states are recycling old faiths and concocting neo-imperialist ideologies. These contradictions must be confronted if the cultural values that sustain civilized life are to be conserved.
This first in-depth study of Valerius Flaccus’ animals reveals their role in his poetic programme and the manifold ways in which he establishes their subjectivity. In one encounter, a trapped bird becomes a tragic victim, while the trapper is dehumanized. Elsewhere there are touching portrayals of animal/human camaraderie and friendship. Furthermore, Valerius’ provocative consideration of the ‘monstrous’ challenges simplistic definitions of any being’s nature, or the nature of relationships across species. His challenge entails profound ethical implications for his Roman readership, which resonate with us as we assess our own relationship to animals and the natural world today.
Aristotle for Lay Princes in Medieval Spain
In Alfonso de Cartagena’s 'Memoriale virtutum' (1422), María Morrás and Jeremy Lawrance offer a critical edition of an anthology of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, compiled and significantly altered by the major Castilian intellectual of the day, Bishop Alfonso de Cartagena, and addressed to the heir to the throne of Portugal, Crown Prince Duarte.
The work is a speculum principis, an education of a future king in the virtues suitable to a statesman. Cartagena’s choice of Aristotle was a harbinger of Renaissance ideas. The “memorial” sheds light on a society in transition, setting new ethical guidelines for the ruling class at the crossroads between medieval feudalism and Renaissance absolutism.
How Frameworks of Communication, Care, Politics and Power Reveal and Conceal Equine Selves
Human-horse relationships take the central place in this edited collection examining the horse’s perspective by asking: How are human-equine relationships communicated, enacted, understood, encouraged, and restricted? The contributors apply varied disciplinary methods as they emphasize comprehending horses not solely in terms of their functional uses, but also as impactful participants in relationships, whether more—or less—equally. By exploring the “who” of horses, The Relational Horse offers a better understanding of horses’ lived experiences and interests within the worlds they share with humans, and a way forward for human-equine studies that more equitably represents the horse in those shared worlds.
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In Pride, Manners, and Morals: Bernard Mandeville’s Anatomy of Honour Andrea Branchi offers a reading of the Anglo-Dutch physician and thinker’s philosophical project from the hitherto neglected perspective of his lifelong interest in the theme of honour. Through an examination of Mandeville’s anatomy of early eighteenth-century beliefs, practices and manners in terms of motivating passions, the book traces the development of his thought on human nature and the origin of sociability.

By making honour and its roots in the desire for recognition the central thread of Mandeville’s theory of society, Andrea Branchi offers a unified reading of his work and highlights his relevance as a thinker far beyond the moral problem of commercial societies, opening up new perspectives in Mandeville’s studies.
Anthropology, Epistemology, Ethics, Space
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An Indian Bengali by birth, Amitav Ghosh has established himself as a major voice in what is often called world literature, addressing issues such as the post-colonial and neo-colonial predicaments, the plight of the subalterns, the origin of globalisation and capitalism, and lately ecology and migration. The volume is therefore divided according to the four domains that lie at the heart of Ghosh’s writing practice: anthropology, epistemology, ethics and space. In this volume, a number of scholars from all over the world have come together to shed new light on the works and poetics of Amitav Ghosh according to the epistemic frameworks that form the bedrock of his fiction.

Contributors: Safoora Arbab, Carlotta Beretta, Lucio De Capitani, Asis De, Lenka Filipova, Letizia Garofalo, Swapna Gopinath, Evelyne Hanquart-Turner, Sabine Lauret-Taft, Carol Leon, Kuldeep Mathur, Fiona Moolla, Sambit Panigrahi, Madhsumita Pati, Murari Prasad, Luca Raimondi, Pabitra Kumar Rana, Ilaria Rigoli, Sneharika Roy, John Thieme, Alessandro Vescovi.