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Author: Barbara Baert
Translator: Lee Preedy
In the fourth century the idea arose that the Cross on which Christ was crucified had been found by Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine. Thus began a legend that would grow and flourish throughout the Middle Ages and cause the diffusion of countless splinters of holy wood. And where there is wood, there was once a tree. Could it be that the Cross was made from that most noble species, the Tree of Life? So, gathering characters along the way, the legend evolved into a tale that stretches from the Creation to the End of Time.
A Heritage of Holy Wood is the first reconstruction of the iconographic and literary tradition of the Legend of the True Cross. Its broad scope encompasses relic cults, pilgrimages, travellers’ tales and the Tree of Life and involves Church Fathers, crusader kings, Teutonic Knights and mendicant orders, all of which influenced the legend’s depiction from its earliest representation in manuscripts, reliquaries and altarpieces, to the great monumental cycles of the high Middle Ages. If the holy wood was the medium of medieval memory, A Heritage of Holy Wood reveals the growth rings of fifteen centuries of imagery.
Editors: Marcel Sarot and W. Stoker
Studies in Theology and Religion,10

In this volume, fourteen philosophers of religion reflect on religious views of the good life. Some authors focus on positive religion and its specific religious representations of the good life, while others abstract from these and focus on philosophical religion and its conceptual articulations of the good life. The tension between positive religion and philosophical religion, between representation and concept, is itself also analyzed.

This volume is a result of the co-operation of the philosophers of religion who are senior members of the Netherlands School for Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion NOSTER.

Religion and the Good Life

Religion and the Good Life: Introduction - Marcel Sarot (Utrecht) and Wessel Stoker (Amsterdam)

PART I – THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN REPRESENTATION AND CONCEPT

The Tension between Representation and Concept as a Challenge for Philosophy of Religion - Peter Jonkers (Utrecht)
Beyond Representation and Concept: The Language of Testimony - R.D.N. van Riessen (Kampen)

PART II – THE TENSION BETWEEN REPRESENTATION AND CONCEPT
Seduction and Guidance: Some Remarks on the Ambiguities of Reason and Reflective Thought in Connection with Religion and
the Good Life - W. Dupré (Nijmegen)

The Good Life is Historical - Ben Vedder (Nijmegen)

The Quality of Life: Comic Vision in Charles Dickens and Iris Murdoch - Henry Jansen (Amsterdam)

Narrative, Atonement, and the Christian Conception of the Good Life - Gijsbert van den Brink (Leyden)

Myths and the Good Life: Ricoeur’s Hermeneutical Approach to Myth - Wessel Stoker (Amsterdam)

Bhajans and their Symbols: Religious Hermeneutics of “the Good Life” - Hendrik M. Vroom (Amsterdam)

PART III – REPRESENTATIONS OF THE GOOD LIFE

Models of the Good Life - Marcel Sarot (Utrecht)

The Highest Good and the Kingdom of God in the Philosophy of Kant: A Moral Concept and a Religious Metaphor of the Good Life - Donald Loose (Tilburg-Rotterdam)

Jacques Derrida and Messianity - Victor Kal (Amsterdam)

Skepticism and the Meaning of Life - Michael Scott (Manchester)

Ultimate Happiness and the Love of God - Vincent Brümmer (Utrecht)

Human Being and the Natural Desire for God: Reflections on the Natural and the Supernatural - Eef Dekker (Utrecht)
Violence, Non-Violence and the Rationalization of Violence in South Asian Cultural History
In the course of millennia of dealing with problems of violence, South Asia has not only elaborated the ideal of total avoidance of violence in a unique manner, it also developed arguments justifying and rationalizing its employment under certain circumstances. Some of these arguments seemingly transform all sorts of ‘violence’ into ‘non-violence’.
Historical and cultural aspects of the tensions between violence and its denial and rationalization in South Asia are taken up in the contributions of this volume which deal with topics ranging from the origins of the concept of ahiṃsā, to the iconography and interpretation of a self-beheading goddess, and violent heroines in Ajñeya’s Hindi short stories.
Towards an Anthropological Approach to Aesthetics
This is the first study to survey the field of the anthropology of aesthetics, which during the last few decades has emerged on the cross-roads between anthropology and non-Western art scholarship.
While critically examining the available literature, thereby addressing such basic issues as the existence of aesthetic universals, the author elaborates on a central thesis which concerns the relationship between aesthetic preference and sociocultural ideals. Drawing on empirical data from several African cultures, he demonstrates that varying notions of beauty are inspired by varying sociocultural ideals, thus shedding light on the phenomenon of cultural relativism in aesthetic preference.
Emphasizing unity within diversity, the systematic anthropological approach offered in this volume invites the reader to reconsider aesthetic preference from an empirical, cross-cultural, and contextual perspective.
At the climax of one of his most important and comprehensive works, De cessatione legalium, the thirteenth-century theologian and natural philosopher, Robert Grosseteste, uses a musical example to make a point fundamental to the treatise. Music, using time as its material, located between the abstract and the concrete, served as an analogy, thus making a difficult philosophical concept perceptible. In using music as an analogy, Gorsseteste drew upon a long tradition established by Augustine, confirmed within the new Aristotelian reception, and a newly-translated Platonic dialogue. But the first rector of the University of Oxford was also demonstrating music's place within the curriculum of the early university, namely, as a ministry discipline, efficiently and efficaciously exemplifying traditional Augustinian, as well as new Aristotelian principles.
This book unites the most important theological-philosophical subjects discussed by Robert Grosseteste throughout his prodigious output, with those exemplified by an anonymous contemporary English writer on music. The work shows how music collaborated with the other liberal arts, operating within the early university curriculum as a ministry discipline. Music made accessible through the figurae of its notation, and through sound, otherwise nearly unapproachable, new Aristotelian concepts. The influence was reciprocal in that new Aristotelian tools and conceptualization greatly influenced music notation and style. Music theory has been studied in isolation, as pertaining only to music. This study is the first to relate music of the early thirteenth century to its intellectual context, overturning dogma, uncritically accepted since the beginning of this century, concerning so-called “modal rhythm,” and showing how “contrary motion,” rather than forming a musical convention, demonstrated a key Aristotelian concept.
A Study of Three Seventeenth-Century English Aristotelians
This book presents an account of the essentially Aristotelian philosophy of John Sergeant (1623-1707) and his Blackloist colleagues, Kenelm Digby and Thomas White. Despite their notoriety as Catholic controversialists in the mid-seventeenth century, Sergeant and his circle have long suffered from historical neglect, and Professor Krook's work provides a useful corrective to conventional historiography.
Digby, White and Sergeant were all concerned to present a coherent philosophical and theological framework, which would provide some certainty in the face of the contemporary sceptical challenge, and the author shows how their work was securely based on traditional Aristotelian foundations. Through a detailed discussion of Aristotelian methodology, she shows how, in the face of Protestant misunderstanding, they justified their own claims for certainty.
This study restores Sergeant and his circle to their proper historical importance and provides an original and illuminating study of late seventeenth-century Aristotelian philosophy.
Author: Dales
This work presents a connected account of western European thought from the Patristic age to the mid-fourteenth century. Dales aims to keep his reader close to the sense of the texts, which he translates, frequently at some length, or summarizes in his exposition.
He attempts to include important matters which are generally omitted in broad treatments — the chapter on the tenth century is the longest in the book — but the author's choice of topics is fully justified by his special intimacy with what he elects to discuss, particularly the hexameral tradition (ancient and medieval), the scientific tradition, twelfth-century treatises on nature and cosmology, discussions of the eternity of the world, and the thought of Robert Grosseteste. This adds a personal and distinctive character to the word.
Dales stresses throughout the diversity and vigor of medieval thought, qualities which he illustrates widely from Latin and vernacular poetry and literature of various kinds as well as from philosophical and theological texts.
Eighteenth-century Rosicrucianism in Central Europe and its Relationship to the Enlightenment
The Rose Cross deals with the interaction between two movements of thought in eighteenth-century Germany: the philosophy of the Enlightenment, and the complex of ideas known as Rosicrucian. Dating from the early seventeenth century and drawing on Pietism, Freemasonry, Kabbalah and alchemy, the Rosicrucianism movement enjoyed a revival in Germany during the eighteenth century.
Historians have often depicted this neo-Rosicrucianism as a Counter-Enlightenment force. Dr. McIntosh argues rather that it was part of a "third force", which allied itself sometimes with the Enlightenment, sometimes with the Counter-Enlightenment.
This book is the first in-depth, comprehensive study of the German Rosicrucian revival and in particular of the order known as the Golden and Rosy Cross (Gold und Rosenkreuz). Drawing on hitherto unpublished material, Dr. McIntosh shows how the order exerted a significant influence on the cultural, political and religious life of its age.
Author: Kenneth Craven
Casting aside critical shibboleths in place for centuries, Kenneth Craven's Jonathan Swift and the Millennium of Madness proposes a new view of intellectual history. This revisionary study documents Swift's intimate knowledge of seventeenth-century science from Bacon and the Invisible College at Oxford to the Newtonian synthesis within the context of Paracelsian medicine and the chemical-mechanical split. Craven shows that Swift joins the philosophies of a neoplatonic divine order, Epicurean atomism, the Reformation, and scientific millenarianism as permeating his time with millennial myths sure eventually to detonate the sense of composure of individuals and societies. In contradistinction, Swift elucidates links between the humors traditions in medicine and literature, saturnine melancholy and the dreaming god Kronos. He proposes the somber realism of the Kronos myth as providing awareness of the self-imposed restraints on ego needed to preclude the proliferation of modern information systems into trivialization of the human enterprise to meaninglessness.
This fresh and exhaustive examination of the Anglo-Irish writer's first masterpiece, A Tale of a Tub (1704) unlocks barriers to seeing the nature of Swift's complex integrity, passion, and literary achievements throughout a career studded with disappointments. Specifically, this study authoritatively reveals the identity of unnamed victims of Swift's satire as the deist John Toland and his republican hero, John Milton, for their advocacy of the Puritan Revolution and regicide; Toland's mentor John Locke and another Lockean disciple, Lord Shaftesbury, who confused happiness and self-interest with delusion and the public weal; and his tormentors in the Church of Ireland, Narcissus Marsh and Peter Browne.
Editor: M.A. Notturno