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Marijan Dović and Jón Karl Helgason

In National Poets, Cultural Saints Marijan Dović and Jón Karl Helgason explore the ways in which certain artists, writers, and poets in Europe have become major figures of cultural memory, emulating the symbolic role formerly played by state rulers and religious saints. The authors develop the concept of cultural sainthood in the context of nationalism as a form of invisible religion, identify major shifts in canonization practices from antiquity to the nationally-motivated commemoration of the nineteenth century, and explore the afterlives of two national poets, Slovenia's France Prešeren and Iceland's Jónas Hallgrímsson. The book presents a useful analytical model of canonization for further studies on cultural sainthood and opens up fruitful perspectives for the understanding of national movements.

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Marie Huber

In Memories of an Impossible Future: Mehdi Akhavān Sāles and the Poetics of Time Marie Huber traces the quest for a modern language of poetry through different figurations of temporality in the works of one of Iran’s foremost poets. Akhavān is placed in dialogue with European thinkers and emerges as an original voice in world literature.

Chapters examine aspects of rhythm and metaphor, messianism and historicity, and functions of time in Akhavān’s lyric and epic poems. Through a range of close readings Huber seeks to understand Akhavān’s texts as crystallisations of a historical moment, both rooted in the Persian tradition and pointing beyond it. Her analyses combine attention to philological detail with meditations on the philosophical significance of Akhavān’s poetics.

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Pavlina Radia

This book traces the artistic trajectories of Djuna Barnes and Jane Bowles, examining their literary representations of the nomadic ethic pervading the twentieth-century expatriate movements in and out of America. The book argues that these authors contribute to the nomadic aesthetic of American modernism: its pastoral ideographies, (post)colonial ecologies, as well as regional and transcultural varieties. Mapping the pastoral moment in different temporalities and spaces (Barnes representing the 1920s expatriation in Europe while Bowles comments on the 1940s exodus to Mexico and North Africa), this book suggests that Barnes and Bowles counter the critical trend associating American modernity primarily with urban spaces, and instead locate the nomadic thrust of their times in the (post)colonial history of the American frontier.

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Tina Marie Boyer

In The Giant Hero in Medieval Literature Tina Boyer counters the monstrous status of giants by arguing that they are more broadly legible than traditionally believed. Building on an initial analysis of St. Augustine’s City of God, Bernard of Clairvaux’s deliberations on monsters and marvels, and readings in Tomasin von Zerclaere’s Welsche Gast provide insights into the spectrum of antagonistic and heroic roles that giants play in the courtly realm. This approach places the figure of the giant within the cultural and religious confines of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and allows an in-depth analysis of epics and romances through political, social, religious, and gender identities tied to the figure of the giant. Sources range from German to French, English, and Iberian works.

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Edited by Larissa Tracy and Kelly DeVries

The spectacle of the wounded body figured prominently in the Middle Ages, from images of Christ’s wounds on the cross, to the ripped and torn bodies of tortured saints who miraculously heal through divine intervention, to graphic accounts of battlefield and tournament wounds—evidence of which survives in the archaeological record—and literary episodes of fatal (or not so fatal) wounds. This volume offers a comprehensive look at the complexity of wounding and wound repair in medieval literature and culture, bringing together essays from a wide range of sources and disciplines including arms and armaments, military history, medical history, literature, art history, hagiography, and archaeology across medieval and early modern Europe.
Contributors are Stephen Atkinson, Debby Banham, Albrecht Classen, Joshua Easterling, Charlene M. Eska, Carmel Ferragud, M.R. Geldof, Elina Gertsman, Barbara A. Goodman, Máire Johnson, Rachel E. Kellett, Ilana Krug, Virginia Langum, Michael Livingston, Iain A. MacInnes, Timothy May, Vibeke Olson, Salvador Ryan, William Sayers, Patricia Skinner, Alicia Spencer-Hall, Wendy J. Turner, Christine Voth, and Robert C. Woosnam-Savage.

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Edited by Lisa Maurice

Greece and Rome have long featured in books for children and teens, whether through the genres of historical fiction, fantasy, mystery stories or mythological compendiums. These depictions and adaptations of the Ancient World have varied at different times, however, in accordance with changes in societies and cultures. This book investigates the varying receptions and ideological manipulations of the classical world in children’s literature. Its subtitle, Heroes and Eagles, reflects the two most common ways in which this reception appears, namely in the forms of the portrayal of the Greek heroic world of classical mythology on the one hand, and of the Roman imperial presence on the other. Both of these are ideologically loaded approaches intended to educate the young reader.

In Good Company

The Body and Divinization in Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ and Daoist Xiao Yingsou

Series:

Bede Benjamin Bidlack

In Good Company answers a question that has confounded Christian theologians: What is the nature of the body that will enjoy resurrection at the end of time? In this exciting work of comparative theology, Bede Benjamin Bidlack derives a theory of the body from the French Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, by putting him in dialogue with the Song Dynasty Daoist Xiao Yingsou. In addition to its contribution to comparative theology, In Good Company offers the first translation of the preface of Xiao’s commentary on the Duren jing in a Western language, as well as a careful explication of the provocative mountain diagram therein. Bidlack presents an original contribution for both scholars of Christian theology and Chinese religion.

“An excellent example of comparative theology, Bede Bidlack’s In Good Company demonstrates how certain lacunae in one tradition may be addressed by drawing on resources from another religion. Having identified a neglect of the body in the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and in much of the Christian tradition of divinization, Bidlack discusses the work of Daoist scholar Xiao Yingsou as a possible source of inspiration and theological imagination.”
– Catherine Cornille,
Newton College Alumnae Chair,
Professor of Comparative Theology,
Boston College

In Good Company takes comparative theology to a new level: it not only places Daoism front and center, but also opens Christian spirituality to a wider dimension. Concerned with the two core themes of the body and personal divinization (or resurrection), the book centers on the work of two influential thinkers in their traditions: Teilhard de Chardin and Xiao Yingsou. Although 800 years apart, their visions of the body as the
means to ultimate fulfillment, in close relation to divinity and the cosmos as a whole, powerfully enhance each other, as do their understanding of the intricate process of personal divinization. The book is challenging in its outlook, unsettling in its destabilization of terms, and brilliant in its interweaving of the two traditions. A must for anyone concerned with the new global environment of religious pluralism and the ongoing process of
interreligious dialogue.”

– Livia Kohn, Professor
Emerita of Religion & East Asian Studies,
Boston University