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Landscapes, Sources and Intellectual Projects of the West African Past

Essays in Honour of Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias

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Edited by Toby Green and Benedetta Rossi

Landscapes, Sources and Intellectual Projects of the West African Past offers a comprehensive assessment of new directions in the historiography of West Africa. With twenty-four chapters by leading researchers in the study of West African history and cultures, the volume examines the main trends in multiple fields including the critical interpretation of Arabic sources; new archaeological surveys of trans-Saharan trade; the discovery of sources in Latin America relating to pan-Atlantic histories; and the continuing analysis of oral histories. The volume is dedicated to Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias, whose work inspired the intellectual reorientations discussed in its chapters and stands as the clearest formulation of the book’s central focus on the relationship between political conjunctures and the production of sources.

Contributors are: Benjamin Acloque, Karin Barber, Seydou Camara, Mamadou Diawara, Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias, François-Xavier Fauvelle, Nikolas Gestrich, Toby Green, Bruce Hall, Jan Jansen, Shamil Jeppie, Daouda Keita, Murray Last, Robin Law, Camille Lefebvre, Paul Lovejoy, Ghislaine Lydon, Carlos Magnavita, Sonja Magnavita, Kevin MacDonald, Thomas McCaskie, Ann McDougall, Daniela Moreau, Mauro Nobili, Insa Nolte, Abel-Wedoud Ould-Cheikh, Benedetta Rossi, Charles Stewart.

Theory of Religious Cycles

Tradition, Modernity, and the Bahá’í Faith

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Mikhail Sergeev

In Theory of Religious Cycles: Tradition, Modernity and the Bahá’í Faith Mikhail Sergeev offers a new interpretation of the Soviet period of Russian history as a phase within the religious evolution of humankind by developing a theory of religious cycles, which he applies to modernity and to all the major world faiths of Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.

Sergeev argues that in the course of its evolution religion passes through six common phases—formative, orthodox, classical, reformist, critical, and post-critical. Modernity, which was started by the European Enlightenment, represents the critical phase of Christianity, a systemic crisis that could be overcome with the appearance of new religious movements such as the Bahá’í Faith, which offers a spiritual extension of the modern worldview.

Confines of Democracy

Essays on the Philosophy of Richard J. Bernstein

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Edited by Ramón del Castillo, Ángel M. Faerna and Larry A. Hickman

The topics addressed by Richard J. Bernstein in his extensive and illuminating work span the stream of contemporary thought in several directions: ethics, politics, epistemology, philosophy of history, and social theory. In reflecting on them Bernstein has played an intermediary role between the most recognizable product of American philosophical tradition, i.e. Pragmatism, and such central trends in European 20th century thought as Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Critical Theory, and Hermeneutics.
In this volume a host of prominent scholars from the United States, Europe, and Latin America pays tribute to Bernstein’s lifelong reflection on such present human problems as: the achievements and the dilemmas of modern societies, the legitimation crisis of democracy, the uses and abuses of public space, the role of scientific knowledge and technology in shaping the modern life, the ethical and political interplay between identity and community, and the preconditions and limits of understanding in multicultural contexts.
The fifteen essays in this book, accompanied by separate replies by Bernstein, are organized in four sections: “Bernstein, Rorty and American Pragmatism,” “Epistemology and Hermeneutics,” “Good, Evil and Judgment,” and “Democratic Vistas.” As Prof. Bernstein declares in his Preface, these “contributions are expressions of my own commitment to engaged fallibilistic pluralism.”

Anthropocentrism

Humans, Animals, Environments

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Edited by Rob Boddice

Anthropocentrism is a charge of human chauvinism and an acknowledgement of human ontological boundaries. Anthropocentrism has provided order and structure to humans’ understanding of the world, while unavoidably expressing the limits of that understanding. This collection explores the assumptions behind the label ‘anthropocentrism’, critically enquiring into the meaning of ‘human’. It addresses the epistemological and ontological problems of charges of anthropocentrism, questioning whether all human views are inherently anthropocentric. In addition, it examines the potential scope for objective, empathetic, relational, or ‘other’ views that trump anthropocentrism. With a principal focus on ethical questions concerning animals, the environment and the social, the essays ultimately cohere around the question of the non-human, be it animal, ecosystem, god, or machine.

Theorizing Animals

Re-thinking Humanimal Relations

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Edited by Nik Taylor and Tania Signal

Utilising ideas from post-modernism and post-humanism this book challenges current ways of thinking about animals and their relationships with humans. Including contributions from across the social sciences the book encourages readers to reflect upon taken for granted ways of conceptualising human relaitonships with animals. It will be of interest to those in the broad field of human-animal studies as well as those within most social science and humanities disciplines including sociology, anthropology, philosophy and social theory.