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American History in Transition

From Religion to Science

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Yoshinari Yamaguchi

In American History in Transition, Yoshinari Yamaguchi provides fresh insights into early efforts in American history writing, ranging from Jeremy Belknap’s Massachusetts Historical Society to Emma Willard’s geographic history and Francis Parkman’s history of deep time to Henry Adams’s thermodynamic history. Although not a well-organized set of professional researchers, these historians shared the same concern: the problems of temporalization and secularization in history writing.
As the time-honored framework of sacred history was gradually outdated, American historians at that time turned to individual facts as possible evidence for a new generalization, and tried different “scientific” theories to give coherency to their writings. History writing was in its transitional phase, shifting from religion to science, deduction to induction, and static to dynamic worldview.

The Radical Enlightenment in Germany

A Cultural Perspective

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Edited by Carl Niekerk

This volume investigates the impact of the Radical Enlightenment on German culture during the eighteenth century, taking recent work by Jonathan Israel as its point of departure. The collection documents the cultural dimension of the debate on the Radical Enlightenment. In a series of readings of known and lesser-known fictional and essayistic texts, individual contributors show that these can be read not only as articulating a conflict between Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment, but also as documents of a debate about the precise nature of Enlightenment. At stake is the question whether the Enlightenment should aim to be an atheist, materialist, and political movement that wants to change society, or, in spite of its belief in rationality, should respect monarchy, aristocracy, and established religion.

Contributors are: Mary Helen Dupree, Sean Franzel, Peter Höyng, John A. McCarthy, Monika Nenon, Carl Niekerk, Daniel Purdy, William Rasch, Ann Schmiesing, Paul S. Spalding, Gabriela Stoicea, Birgit Tautz, Andrew Weeks, Chunjie Zhang

Machiavelliana

The Living Machiavelli in Modern Mythologies

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Michael Jackson and Damian Grace

In Machiavelliana Michael Jackson and Damian Grace offer a comprehensive study of the uses and abuses of Niccolò Machiavelli’s name in society generally and in academic fields distant from his intellectual origins. It assesses the appropriation of Machiavelli in didactic works in management, social psychology, and primatology, scholarly texts in leaderships studies, as well as novels, plays, commercial enterprises, television dramas, operas, rap music, Mach IV scales, children’s books, and more. The book audits, surveys, examines, and evaluates this Machiavelliana against wider claims about Machiavelli. It explains the origins of Machiavelli’s reputation and the spread of his fame as the foundation for the many uses and misuses of his name. They conclude by redressing the most persistent distortions of Machiavelli.

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Edited by Charles Padrón and Krzysztof Piotr Skowroński

With The Life of Reason in an Age of Terrorism, Charles Padrón and Kris Skowroński (editors) gather together a broad assortment of contributions that address the germaneness of George Santayana’s (1863-1952) social and political thought to the world of the early twenty-first century in general, and specifically to the phenomenon of terrorism.

The essays treat a broad range of philosophical and historical concerns: the life of reason, the philosophy of the everyday, fanaticism, liberalism, barbarism, egoism, and relativism. The essays reflect a wide range of viewpoints and perspectives, but all coalesce around discussions of how Santayana’s thought fits in with and enhances an understanding of both our challenging times, and our uncertain future.

Contributors are: Cayetano Estébanez, Matthew Caleb Flamm, Nóra Horváth, Jacquelyn Ann Kegley, Till Kinzel, Katarzyna Kremplewska, John Lachs, José Beltrán Llavador, Eduardo Mendieta, Daniel Moreno Moreno, Luka Nikolic, Charles Padrón, Giuseppe Patella, Daniel Pinkas, Herman Saatkamp, Jr., Matteo Santarelli, Krzysztof Piotr Skowroński and Andrés Tutor.

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Edited by Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu and Takayuki Yokota-Murakami

The present age of omnipresent terrorism is also an era of ever-expanding policing. What is the meaning — and the consequences — of this situation for literature and literary criticism? Policing Literary Theory attempts to answer these questions presenting intriguing and critical analyses of the interplays between police/policing and literature/literary criticism in a variety of linguistic milieus and literary traditions: American, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and others. The volume explores the mechanisms of formulation of knowledge about literature, theory, or culture in general in the post-Foucauldian surveillance society. Topics include North Korean dictatorship, spy narratives, censorship in literature and scholarship, Russian and Soviet authoritarianism, Eastern European cultures during communism, and Kafka’s work.

Contributors: Vladimir Biti, Reingard Nethersole, Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu, Sowon Park, Marko Juvan, Kyohei Norimatsu, Péter Hajdu, Norio Sakanaka, John Zilcosky, Yvonne Howell, and Takayuki Yokota-Murakami.

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.

Antanas Smetona and His Lithuania

From the National Liberation Movement to an Authoritarian Regime (1893-1940)

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Alfonsas Eidintas

This biographical overview of the life of Antanas Smetona (1874-1944), his importance in the Lithuanian national movement, his central role in the emergence of modern Lithuania (1918-1920), and the development of the various groups of nationalists in Lithuania, offers a picture of the creation of a national state in XXth century Europe. Twice the president of Lithuania (1919-20 and 1926-40), the authoritarian ruler of the state from 1926-1940, Smetona established his role as a capable and needed politician in Lithuania’s political life, a middle person between the political left and right. The study characterizes Smetona’s closest and most important associates, who helped him to formulate legislation for his model of presidential regime, the nationalistic ideology, and the development of national economy. Despite its authoritarian tendencies Smetona’s rule surprisingly continued to be for many Lithuanians a symbol of Lithuanian independence and national freedom through the years of Soviet occupation.

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.”