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Omid Ghaemmaghami

The history of what has come to be known as Twelver Shīʿī Islam is a history of attempts to ‎deal with the ‎abrupt loss of the Imam. In Encounters with the Hidden Imam in Early and Pre-‎Modern Twelver Shīʿī Islam, ‎Omid Ghaemmaghami demonstrates that in the early years of the so-called Greater Occultation, Shīʿī ‎authorities maintained that all contact with the Imam had been sundered, forcing him to remain incommunicado ‎until his (re)appearance‎. This position, however, proved ‎untenable to maintain. Almost a ‎century after the start of the Greater Occultation, prominent scholars ‎began to concede the ‎possibility that some Shīʿa can meet the Hidden Imam. Accounts of alleged ‎encounters with the ‎Imam soon began to appear, grow in number and become increasingly embellished.‎

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.

Essay on Islamization

Changes in Religious Practice in Muslim Societies

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Mohamed Cherkaoui

Essay on Islamization is a study of the Islamization of all Muslim societies, their conversion to orthodox Islam which, with its chapels, soldier monks and holy war, leads to fundamentalism as well as to a moral puritanism. Cherkaoui gauges the importance of this global phenomenon by analyzing the empirical data of some sixty Muslim and non-Muslim societies. He also conducts two ethnographic surveys to identify the metamorphoses of Muslim religious practices and their causes.

Among the dozen theories put forward to explain these planetary phenomena, he cites those of secularization, modernization, the religious market, the influence of the media and the policy of donors of unlimited financial resources, social mobility, geopolitical causes, the emergence of fundamentalism and the role of "proletarian" intellectuals who promote Messianism, and social pressure.

Aryo Makko

In European Small States and the Role of Consuls in the Age of Empire Aryo Makko argues that Sweden and Norway participated in the New Imperialism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries through consular services. Usually portrayed as nations without an imperial past, Makko demonstrates that their role in the processes of imperialism and colonialism during that period can be understood by including consular afairs and practices of informal imperialism into the analysis. With this, he contributes to our understanding of the role of smaller states in the so-called Age of Empire.

Aryo Makko, Ph.D. (2012), Stockholm University, is Associate Professor of History at that university and a Pro Futura Scientia Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS). He is also a member of the Young Academy of Sweden.

The European Union Returns Directive and its Compatibility with International Human Rights Law

Analysis of Return Decision, Entry Ban, Detention, and Removal

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Izabella Majcher

The book undertakes a throughout human rights assessment of the EU Returns Directive. The overarching human rights framework which circumscribes states’ prerogatives in the context of expulsion builds upon obligations derived from the principle of non-refoulement; the right to life, respect for family and private life, effective remedy, basic social rights; the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment; and protection against arbitrary detention and collective expulsion. Based on the assessment of the Directive against this human rights framework, Izabella Majcher discusses several protection gaps in the Directive’s provisions which may result in violations of migrants’ rights and highlights how the Directive’s rules should be implemented to comply with member states’ human rights obligations. Informed by this assessment, the book discusses draft amendments to the Directive, proposed by the European Commission in September 2018.

“By examining the European Union (EU) Returns Directive in the light of international and European human rights law, Izabella Majcher thoroughly explores and analyses the requirements the EU member states’ authorities must guarantee migrants in an irregular situation when they adopt and implement return decisions, entry bans, pre-removal detention, and removal.” Marie-Laure Basilien-Gainche, Professor of public international law, University Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Honorary member of the Institut universitaire de France

Excavations at Tall Jawa, Jordan

Volume 3: The Iron Age Pottery

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Michèle Daviau

In Excavations at Tall Jawa, Jordan: Volume 3, the Iron Age Pottery, Michèle Daviau presents a detailed typology of the Iron Age pottery excavated from 1989–1995. She looks beyond the formal changes to an in-depth analysis of the forming techniques employed to make each type of vessel from bowls to colanders, cooking pots to pithoi. The changes in fabric composition from Iron I to Iron II were more significant than those from Iron IIB to IIC, although changes in surface treatment, especially slip color, were noticeable. Petrographic analysis of Iron I pottery by Klassen contributes to our growing corpus of fabric types, while Epler documents typical Ammonite painted patterns and Kirby and Kraft present a typology of potters’ marks.

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Edited by Kerry Muhlestein, Krystal V.L. Pierce and Bethany Jensen

In Excavations at the Seila Pyramid and Fag el-Gamous Cemetery, the excavation team provides crucial information about the Old Kingdom and Graeco-Roman Egypt. While both periods have been heavily studied, Kerry Muhlestein and his contributors provide new archaeological information that will help shape thinking about these eras. The construction and ritual features of the early Fourth Dynasty Seila Pyramid represents innovations that would influence royal funerary cult for hundreds of years. Similarly, as one of the largest excavated cemeteries of Egypt, Fag el-Gamous helps paint a picture of multi-cultural life in the Fayoum of Egypt during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Excavations there provide a statistically impactful understanding of funerary customs under the influence of new cultures and religion.

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Pauline Melin

In The External Dimension of EU Social Security Coordination: Towards a Common EU Approach, Pauline Melin provides a detailed legal analysis of the framework on social security coordination with third countries and offers alternative policy solutions to the current fragmented approach.

The analysis comprises a complete overview of the EU approach to social security coordination with third countries, 9 bilateral agreements (between Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, with respectively India, Turkey, and USA) and international standards. Based on this analysis, the author explores the possibility from an institutional perspective to develop a common EU approach through the conclusion of EU agreements. The author concludes by favouring an alternative softer solution through an EU model agreement and proposes that the content of that model agreement be based on the best practices of the current framework.

Faith in African Lived Christianity

Bridging Anthropological and Theological Perspectives

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Edited by Karen Lauterbach and Mika Vähäkangas

Faith in African Lived Christianity – Bridging Anthropological and Theological Perspectives offers a comprehensive, empirically rich and interdisciplinary approach to the study of faith in African Christianity. The book brings together anthropology and theology in the study of how faith and religious experiences shape the understanding of social life in Africa. The volume is a collection of chapters by prominent Africanist theologians, anthropologists and social scientists, who take people’s faith as their starting point and analyze it in a contextually sensitive way. It covers discussions of positionality in the study of African Christianity, interdisciplinary methods and approaches and a number of case studies on political, social and ecological aspects of African Christian spirituality.

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Edited by Marc Maufort and Jessica Maufort

In the years that followed the end of Apartheid, South African theatre was characterized by a remarkable productivity, which resulted in a process of constant aesthetic reinvention. After 1994, the “protest” theatre template of the Apartheid years morphed into a wealth of diverse forms of stage idioms, detectable in the works of Greg Homann, Mike van Graan, Craig Higginson, Lara Foot, Omphile Molusi, Nadia Davids, Magnet Theatre, Rehane Abrahams, Amy Jephta, and Reza de Wet, to cite only a few prominent examples. Marc and Jessica Maufort’s multivocal edited volume documents some of the various ways in which the “rainbow” nation has forged these innovative stage idioms. This book’s underlying assumption is that creolization reflects the processes of identity renegotiation in contemporary South Africa and their multi-faceted theatrical representations.

Contributors: Veronica Baxter, Marcia Blumberg, Vicki Briault Manus, Petrus du Preez, Paula Fourie, Craig Higginson, Greg Homann, Jessica Maufort, Marc Maufort, Omphile Molusi, Jessica Murray, Jill Planche, Ksenia Robbe, Mathilde Rogez, Chris Thurman, Mike van Graan, and Ralph Yarrow