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Notions of Europe and the European among Participants in EU Cultural Initiatives
In this book, Tuuli Lähdesmäki, Katja Mäkinen, Viktorija L. A. Čeginskas, and Sigrid Kaasik-Krogerus scrutinize how people who participate in cultural initiatives funded and governed by the European Union understand the idea of Europe. The book focuses on three cultural initiatives: the European Capital of Culture, the European Heritage Label, and a European Citizen Campus project funded through the Creative Europe programme. These initiatives are examined through field studies conducted in 12 countries between 2010 and 2018. The authors describe their approach as ‘ethnography of Europeanization’ and conceptualize the attempts at Europeanization in the European Union’s cultural policy as politics of belonging.
Author: Xuefeng He
Translator: Jingyuan Yuan
Based on an in-depth investigation of different regions of China's vast countryside, Improving Village Governance in Contemporary China vividly describes rural governance mechanisms against the background of China's rapid urbanization. China’s rural areas vary greatly from region to region with respect to the pace and mode of change. Rural governance in China is decided by how the state transfers resources to villages, and by the linkage between the transfer style and the specific situation of each village. Only when grassroots governance is based on rural democracy (with peasants as the core) can villages become more harmonious.
Views of the Cuban Communist Party on the Collapse of Soviet and Eastern European Socialism
In Cuba Was Different, Even Sandvik Underlid explores the views of Cuban authorities, official press, and Party members as they reflect back on the collapse of Soviet and Eastern European socialism. In so doing, he contributes to a better understanding as to why the Cuban system – often associated with Fidel Castro’s leadership – did not itself collapse. Despite the loss of its most important allies, key ideological referents, and even most of its foreign trade, Cuba did not embrace capitalism.

The author critically examines and analyzes the collapse of the USSR and Eastern Europe as reported in the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma, both as they unfolded and subsequently through the lens of additional interviews with individual Party members. This focus on Cuba’s Communist Party provides new perspectives on how these events were seen from Cuba and on the notable resilience of many party members.
Theo-political Reflections on Contemporary Politics in Ecumenical Conversation
Volume Editors: Alexei Bodrov and Stephen M. Garrett
Theology and the Political: Theo-political Reflections on Contemporary Politics in Ecumenical Conversation, edited by Alexei Bodrov and Stephen M. Garrett, is the fruit of Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant conversations from East and West concerning the retrieval of theological discourse for political praxis, theo-political structural analysis of secularity/post-secularity, and distinct political engagement from varying Christian traditions that not only offer political critique but criticism of its particular tradition.

This edited volume is animated by the motif of political action as witness in a missional key and makes a unique interdisciplinary contribution to the field of political theology that invites further reflection on the gospel instantiated in various cultural contexts in light of the boundary-crossing nature of mission and theological discourse.
Author: Paul Zarembka
Marx's oeuvre is vast but there are key elements of his ever evolving, class-based contribution to social theory. Declining usefulness for him of Hegelian philosophy and his deepening confrontation with Ricardian political economy were expressions. While the French edition of Capital is closest to Marx’s mature thought, Engels did not understand how work on Russia related to Marx’s evolution, and Engels distorted the outcome. Accumulation of capital is particularly difficult conceptually, including use of ‘primitive accumulation’, and is carefully addressed, as is composition of capital. After Marx, Luxemburg is the most significant contributor to Marxism and her works on political economy and on nationalism are highlighted here. The modern topic of state conspiracies, too often avoided, concludes the book. Troubling issues, however, remain.
Revolutions and Labour Relations in Global Historical Perspective
This volume offers a bold restatement of the importance of social history for understanding modern revolutions. The essays collected in Worlds of Labour Turned Upside Down provide global case studies examining:
- changes in labour relations as a causal factor in revolutions;
- challenges to existing labour relations as a motivating factor during revolutions;
- the long-term impact of revolutions on the evolution of labour relations.
The volume examines a wide range of revolutions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, covering examples from South-America, Africa, Asia, and Western and Eastern Europe. The volume goes beyond merely examining the place of industrial workers, paying attention to the position of slaves, women working on the front line of civil war, colonial forced labourers, and white collar workers.

Contributors are: Knud Andresen, Zsombor Bódy, Pepijn Brandon, Dimitrii Churakov, Gabriel Di Meglio, Kimmo Elo, Adrian Grama, Renate Hürtgen, Peyman Jafari, Marcel van der Linden, Tiina Lintunen, João Carlos Louçã, Stefan Müller, Raquel Varela, and Felix Wemheuer.
Author: Michael Kirwan

Abstract

As a result of the “apocalyptic turn” of his later thinking, René Girard has publicly asserted that “politics can no longer save us.” For some, this judgement is an echo of Martin Heidegger’s enigmatic declaration that “only a god can save us.” This essay will offer a critical overview of some current thinkers regarding the legitimacy crisis of liberal democracy as well as of its Enlightenment presuppositions regarding statehood and citizenship, assumptions which tacitly or explicitly bracket religious transcendence as a dimension of political reflection and action. The state can no longer “save.” I will ask about the appropriateness of following Girard in describing this post-secularist situation religiously, namely as “apocalyptic.” The advantage of such a usage, I argue, is that it allows for a unitary and cohesive account of specific crises and their interconnections: the dysfunction of the global financial system, the rise of violent religious extremism, world poverty, the migrant/refugee crisis, and anthropogenic climate change. The argument will be supported by critical readings of Giorgio Agamben, René Girard, and other contemporary “Augustinian” approaches to the contemporary political challenge.

In: Theology and the Political

Abstract

The story of American Christianity in the twentieth century is one of in-creasing alignment with the interests of capital, despite earlier affinities with labor and its socialist orientation in the nineteenth century. Although this alignment emerged victorious in the 2016 United States presidential election, that election process also uncovered countervailing trends: for example, Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, mounted a dangerous Democratic Party primary campaign (and did so again in 2019). Demographic studies also show that younger Americans are increasingly suspicious of capitalism and favorably disposed toward socialism. The time is right for Christianity in the United States to rethink its alignment with capital, and dialectical theology represents a valuable resource for that task. Theologians such as Karl Barth, Paul Tillich, and Helmut Gollwitzer offer an important antidote to the gospel’s contemporary political captivity through their affirmation of God’s nonobjectifiability, their analysis of nationalist dynamics and offering of socialism as their antidote, and by articulating the correspondence between democratic socialism and the doctrines of justification by faith and the kingdom of God. Such a vision fundamentally contests contemporary North American political evangelicalism and the authoritarian drift of its alliance with capitalism and nationalism.

In: Theology and the Political
Author: Cyril Hovorun

Abstract

This essay explores fundamentalism from the perspective of the sociology of religion. It begins by tracing the history of the term fundamentalism and then argues that fundamentalism is often caused by proclivities toward secularization. While a key distinction between fundamentalism and normative Christianity is made, the argument specifically examines the fundamentalism occurring in the modern milieu of Eastern Christianity. In the end, a taxonomy of Orthodoxy fundamentalisms is offered based on the institution of elders, on the authority of the church fathers and on liturgical practices.

In: Theology and the Political

Abstract

Based on interviews with Ukrainian students and dialogue with Russian and Ukrainian scholars, this essay aims to investigate the roles of Ukrainian women in contemporary Ukrainian society considering the current “war on gender.” Whereas men and women participated in near equal numbers in the Maidan movement, the recent militarism now seems to sharpen gender dichotomies. Amid the military war with Russia, however, Ukraine also faces a renewed war on gender, led by churches and right-wing organizations. This consists of a well-structured campaign to misrepresent the concept of gender, creating an enemy image of “gender-ideology.” Both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate build upon an enemy image in their political theology based on a divisive ideology of victory and defeat, whereas the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church shows a more ambivalent perspective. It applies to all these churches, however, that in times of military and ideological war, family and nation are represented as patri-archal and sacrosanct institutions, leading to paternalistic, prolife, and homophobic tendencies. In conclusion, this essay seeks to contribute to an Orthodox (and profoundly ecumenical) political theology of reconciliation that goes beyond nationalist, anti-Western, and imperial schemes, proposing several building blocks for a feminist political theology in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

In: Theology and the Political