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At the center of this book stands a text-critical edition of three chapters of the Gāthās, exemplifying the editorial methodology developed by the “Multimedia Yasna” (MUYA) project and its application to the Old Avestan parts of the Yasna liturgy.
Proceeding from this edition, the book explores aspects of the transmission and ritual embedding of the text, and of its late antique exegetical reception in the Middle Persian (Pahlavi) tradition. Drawing also on a contemporary performance of the Yasna that was filmed by MUYA in Mumbai in 2017, the book aims to convey a sense of the Avestan language in its role as a central element of continuity around which the Zoroastrian tradition has evolved from its prehistoric roots up to the modern era.
The Philosophical Critique of Christianity in Late Antiquity and the Enlightenment
The present study, for the first time, provides a comparative analysis of the objections raised against Christianity by late antique pagan philosophers (esp. Celsus in Alethes logos, Porphyry in Contra Christianos, and Julian the Apostate in Contra Gali-laeos) and Enlightenment philosophers and freethinkers and examines the impact of pagan thinking on the critique of Christianity in the 16th to 18th centuries – in particular, on discussions concerning the authority of the Bible, biblical exegesis, the Christian concept of faith, religious coercion and the uniformity of faith, the belief in miracles, and the Christ-ian understanding of morality.
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Recent decades have seen the publication of several papyri devoted to ancient epigram, one of the most successful poetic forms of antiquity. Of these the most enigmatic is the Yale papyrus codex; its date, authorship and content have been vigorously debated. The codex allows us a glimpse of the wealth of material now lost to us and enriches our perception of the genre’s dynamism, its thematic richness, and the process of anthologisation and dissemination. This volume offers the first collection of essays by experts in the genre dedicated to this fascinating and elusive text of the imperial period.
Volume Editors: and
Documentary texts are vital to our understanding of many aspects of the ancient world, such as its administration, education, and economy. The value of these texts goes even further however: being autographs, they directly testify to ancient communication practices, a field of study which so far has remained underexplored. In this volume, specialists in the field engage with a broad range of documentary sources. They discuss not only how various modes of communication, such as language, handwriting, and lay-out, are employed in specific contexts of writing, but also how these different modes are interrelated. Building on insights from contemporary social-semiotic theory, the volume makes a case for the establishment of historical social semiotics as a discipline.
A Synchronic, Diachronic, and Sociolinguistic Analysis
When I entered her shop, my friend turned to me and said: «Arà, che si dice?» (‘Hey there, how you doing?’). This was not a full-fledged sentence in Italian, as she had thrown a little Sicilian word in – arà. It was a greeting, of course, but also a way of expressing her surprise at seeing me there, and a way of prompting me to start our conversation. The fact she used Sicilian had a clear meaning too: the vernacular indicates a shared social identity.
In a nutshell, this book analyses the cases of Sicilian arà and mentri to understand the complexity of discourse markers: what functions they perform, how they evolve historically, and what their social meaning is in a bilingual speech community.
Often considered as the first phenomenon of mass media in history, the use of books and prints by Protestants has been widely studied and has generated a rich and plentiful bibliography. In contrast, the production and use of these supports by the partisans of the Counter-Reformation have not received the attention they deserve, especially in the context of the Low Countries.

The twelve contributors provide new perspectives on the efficacy of the handpress book industry to support the Catholic strategy of the Spanish Low Countries and underlines the mutually beneficial relationship between proponents of the Counter-Reformation and the typographic world. An important contribution to our understanding of the sociocultural and socioeconomic background of the Catholic Netherlands.
Written by the poet-painter Karel van Mander, who finished it in June 1603, the Grondt der edel, vry schilderconst (Foundation of the Noble, Free Art of Painting) was the first systematic treatise on schilderconst (the art of painting / picturing) to be published in Dutch (Haarlem: Paschier van Wes[t]busch, 1604). This English-language edition of the Grondt, accompanied by an introductory monograph and a full critical apparatus, provides unprecedented access to Van Mander’s crucially important art treatise. The book sheds light on key terms and critical categories such as schilder, manier, uyt zijn selven doen, welstandt, leven and gheest, and wel schilderen, and both exemplifies and explicates the author’s distinctive views on the complementary forms and functions of history and landscape.
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The literary genre of “thumb bibles” belongs to the category of miniature books and is a subtype of children's bibles. Thumb bibles summarize the full bible by paraphrasing selected biblical narratives. Adhering to the Reformation principle of sola scriptura, their aim is to teach children and youth the biblical basics. For this purpose, many of them are illustrated. Popular with collectors, thumb bibles have largely been ignored by researchers. This publication is the first academic study of thumb bibles. For the first time in their centuries-long history, it explores their genesis in Britain, investigates their subsequent development in Germany, and presents their climax in America. What emerges is the theological, literary, pedagogical and pious profile of a fascinating genre.

This book is a translation of Daumen-Bibel: Eine Untersuchung zu Geschichte und Profil einer literarischen Gattung (V&R unipress, 2021).
Accumulated Meaning and Performative Historiography in the First Muslim Civil War
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In The Echoes of Fitna, Aaron M. Hagler engages in a close reading of the fitna narratives of three related texts: al-Ṭabarī’s Taʾrīkh al-rusul wa-l-muluk, Ibn al-Athīr’s al-Kāmil fī al-taʾrīkh, and Ibn Kathīr’s Kitāb al-bidāya wa-l-nihāya. Because the latter two texts’ presentations of the fitna follow al-Ṭabarī’s so closely, moments of divergence in the texts are understood as clear markers of the later historians’ goals, perspectives, and literary-narrative strategies.

The analysis of these changes demonstrates that the desire to reframe the meaning of Karbalāʾ is central to Ibn al-Athīr’s and Ibn Kathīr’s narrative construction, and that—while they left al-Ṭabarī’s versions of key events intact—small, even minute changes to contextual expository moments fundamentally change their meaning.
Volume Editors: and
There are few, if any, other educational philosophers that have left their mark internationally as John Dewey has. Author of 40 books and no less than 700 articles that appeared in over 140 journals, Dewey’s work has been translated into at least 35 languages. His landmark Democracy and Education – published over a century ago in 1916 – is one of the most cited educational texts ever.

Dewey has inspired educators and provoked controversies in his day, and still does so today. This volume sets out to engage with Dewey’s educational thought, especially as it relates to its circulation in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. Authors consider his enduring influence, and reflect on the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ forces that served to anchor progressivism, in its multiple manifestations, in the region. The notion of a unidirectional force – personified by Dewey – that is somehow absorbed by the ‘receiving’ country is problematised by most if not all chapters in this volume. Rather, contributors carefully show how context affects a process marked by active appropriation, re-interpretation, adaptation, as well as resistance.

Sometimes a vibrant presence that still needs to be reckoned with, at other times a ghostly figure nevertheless serving to sustain democratic aspirations in and through education, Dewey and his message resonate, challenge, and demand a response.