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Boaz Shoshan

In Damascus Life 1480-1500: A Report of a Local Notary Boaz Shoshan offers a microhistory of the largest Syrian city at the end of the Mamluk period and on the eve of the Ottoman conquest. Mainly based on a partly preserved diary, the earliest available of its kind and written by Ibn Ṭawq, a local notary, it portrays the life of a lower middle class who originated from the countryside and who, through marriage, was able to become a legal clerk and associate with scholars and bureaucrats. His diary does not only provide us with unique information on his family, social circle and the general situation in Damascus, but it also sheds light on subjects of which little is known, such as the functioning of the legal system, marriage and divorce, bourgeois property and the mores of the common people.

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Joseph Drexler-Dreis

This essay develops a response to the historical situation of the North Atlantic world in general and the United States in particular through theological reflection. This essay offers an overview of some decolonial perspectives that theologians can engage and argues for a general perspective for a decolonial theology as a possible response to modern/colonial structures and relations of power, especially in the United States. Decolonial theory holds together a set of critical perspectives that seek the end of the modern/colonial world-system and not merely a democratization of its benefits. A decolonial theology, Drexler-Dreis argues, critiques how the confinement of knowledge to European traditions has closed possibilities for understanding historical encounters with divinity, thus possibilities of critical reflection. A decolonial theology reflects critically in light of faith in a divine reality, the understanding of which is liberated from the monopoly of modern/colonial ways of knowing, in order to catalyze social transformation.

Defending Democracy in Cold War Finland

British and American Propaganda and Cultural Diplomacy in Finland, 1944–1970

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Marek Fields

In Defending Democracy in Cold War Finland, Marek Fields offers a thorough account on the various informational and cultural strategies Britain and the United States used during the early Cold War decades in order to increase their influence and contain communism in Finland. The book shows that by using propaganda and cultural diplomacy in an exceptionally challenging environment, the two Western powers were able to achieve their main objectives in the region, i.e. to defend democracy and strengthen Finland’s attachment to the West, surprisingly well. Making use of a large variety of British, American and Finnish archives, Fields proves that the Western countries’ interest in Finland during the Cold War was stronger than it has previously been realised.

Dispersals and Diversification

Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives on the Early Stages of Indo-European

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Edited by Matilde Serangeli and Thomas Olander

Dispersals and diversification offers linguistic and archaeological perspectives on the disintegration of Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of the Indo-European language family.
Two chapters discuss the early phases of the disintegration of Proto-Indo-European from an archaeological perspective, integrating and interpreting the new evidence from ancient DNA. Six chapters analyse the intricate relationship between the Anatolian branch of Indo-European, probably the first one to separate, and the remaining branches. Three chapters are concerned with the most important unsolved problems of Indo-European subgrouping, namely the status of the postulated Italo-Celtic and Graeco-Armenian subgroups. Two chapters discuss methodological problems with linguistic subgrouping and with the attempt to correlate linguistics and archaeology.

Contributors are David W. Anthony, Rasmus Bjørn, José L. García Ramón, Riccardo Ginevra, Adam Hyllested, James A. Johnson, Kristian Kristiansen, H. Craig Melchert, Matthew Scarborough, Peter Schrijver, Matilde Serangeli, Zsolt Simon, Rasmus Thorsø, Michael Weiss.

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William J. Hoye

Aquinas’ theology can be understood only if one comes to grips with his metaphysics of being. The relevance of this perspective is exhibited in his treatment of topics like creation, goodness, happiness, truth, freedom of the will, the unity of the human being, prayer and providence, God’s personhood, divine love, God and violence, God’s unknowablility, the Incarnation, the Trinity, God’s existence, theological language and even laughter. This book endeavors to treat these questions in a clear and convincing language. Is there a better method for improving one’s own theology than by grappling with the arguments of Thomas Aquinas?

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Edited by Efraim Podoksik

Doing Humanities in Nineteenth-Century Germany, edited by Efraim Podoksik, is a collaborative project by leading scholars in German studies that examines the practices of theorising and researching in the humanities as pursued by German thinkers and scholars during the long nineteenth century, and the relevance of those practices for the humanities today.
Each chapter focuses on a particular branch of the humanities, such as philosophy, history, classical philology, theology, or history of art. The volume both offers a broad overview of the history of German humanities and examines an array of particular cases that illustrate their inner dilemmas, ranging from Ranke’s engagement with the world of poetry to Max Weber’s appropriation of the notion of causality.

Domestic Courts and the Interpretation of International Law

Methods and Reasoning Based on the Swiss Example

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Odile Ammann

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Edited by Kassandra J. Miller and Sarah Symons

"Clock time", with all its benefits and anxieties, is often viewed as a "modern" phenomenon, but ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures also had tools for marking and measuring time within the day and wrestled with challenges of daily time management. This book brings together for the first time perspectives on the interplay between short-term timekeeping technologies and their social contexts in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece, and Rome. Its contributions denaturalize modern-day concepts of clocks, hours, and temporal frameworks; describe some of the timekeeping solutions used in antiquity; and illuminate the diverse factors that affected how individuals and communities structured their time.

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Edited by Egbert Fortuin, Peter Houtzagers and Janneke Kalsbeek

Every five years, on the occasion of the International Congress of Slavists, a volume appears that presents a comprehensive overview of current Slavic linguistic research in the Netherlands. Like its predecessors, the present collection covers a variety of topics: Bulgarian and Polish aspectology (Barentsen, Genis), Slavic historical linguistics (Kortlandt, Vermeer), pragmatics of tense usage in Old Russian (Dekker), dialect description (Houtzagers), L2 acquisition (Tribushinina & Mak), Russian foreigners’ speech imitation (Peeters & Arkema), corpus-based semantics (Fortuin & Davids) and theoretical work on negation (Keijsper, Van Helden). As can be seen from this list, the majority of the contributions in this peer-reviewed volume displays the data-oriented tradition of Dutch Slavic linguistics, but studies of a more theoretical nature are also represented.

The Economics of Friendship

Conceptions of Reciprocity in Classical Greece

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Tazuko van Berkel

In The Economics of Friendship, Tazuko Angela van Berkel offers an account of the notion of reciprocity in 5th- and 4th-century Greek incepting social theory. The preoccupation with the norms of philia and charis conspicuous in sources from the Classical Period, is a symptom of changes in the shape of ancient economic activities: the ubiquitous norm that one should reciprocate benefit with benefit becomes a source of conceptual confusion in the Classical Period, where other forms of exchange become conceptually available. This confusion and tension between different models of mutuality, is productive: it is the impetus for folk theory in comedy, tragedy and oratory, as well as philosophical reflection (Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle) on what it is that binds people together.