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Seen and Unseen teases out and explores how visual mediums construct visual cultures that often create limited perspectives of certain issues and groups. This volume focuses in particular on the representation of Islam and Muslims. It deals with fixed and stereotypical visual representations and explores alternative and challenging visual representations that reconstruct and dismantle existing belief systems. It approaches the topic from a vantage point of diverse multiple perspectives. Covering issues from Brunei, Iran, Egypt, and England and cyberspace, the essays in this volume examine the visual cultures of how Islam and Muslims are understood, misunderstood, misrepresented, or even embraced visually. Scholars in this volume draw on historical paintings, books and their covers, photography, and news to demonstrate the diversity and sometimes contradictory visual cultures that construct and adhere meaning to how Islam and Muslim people are seen.

Contributors: Hoda Afshar, Jared Ahmed, Syed Farid Alatas, Sanaz Fotouhi, Christiane Gruber, Layla Hendow, Raihana M.M., Bruno Starrs and Esmaeil Zeiny.
Unter dem Begriff der Konversionen erkundet dieser kulturwissenschaftliche Band Formen einer Umkehrung, die einsetzt, wenn die Erfahrung des Beobachtetwerdens als zentraler Bestandteil von Fremderfahrungen anerkannt wird. In den versammelten Texten wird ausgeführt, wie diese aus der ethnologischen Feldforschung gewonnene Erinnerung als Vorbild für andere disziplinäre Perspektiven dienen kann.
Die Ethnologie liefert dabei den viel zu lange vernachlässigten Hinweis auf die Wichtigkeit des Blicks des anderen in der Fremderfahrung; die philosophische Perspektive auf interkulturelle Dialoge liefert den Hinweis auf die Wichtigkeit des Sprechens des anderen. Aus diesen Hinweisen ergeben sich Ansprüche an ethnographische und literarische Texte und an andere wissenschaftliche Disziplinen sowie an eine angemessene Lektürepraxis. Die Texte des vorliegenden Bandes versuchen, diese Ansprüche exemplarisch einzulösen. Sie zeigen in einer neuartigen interdisziplinären Zusammenstellung sowohl einzelne Fälle der Umkehrung von Blickrichtungen als auch das Prinzip der Kritik und Erweiterung einer eurozentristischen Philosophie durch die Einführung einer ethnologischen und interkulturellen Perspektive.
Religion, Geography and Postcolonial Literatures
Interweaving the interpretative methods of religious studies, literary criticism and cultural geography, the essays in this volume focus on issues associated with the representation of place and space in the writing and reading of the postcolonial. The collection charts the ways in which contemporary writers extend and deepen our awareness of the ambiguities of economic, social and political relations implicated in “sacred space” - the sense of spiritual significance associated with those concrete locations in which adherents of different religious traditions, past and present, maintain a ritual sense of the sanctity of life and its cycles. Part I, “Land, Religion and Literature after Britain,” explores how postcolonial writers dramatize the contested processes of colonization, resistance and decolonization by which lands and landscapes may be viewed as now sacred, now desacralized, now resacralized. Part II, “Sacred Landscapes and Postcoloniality across International Literatures,” draws upon postcolonial theory to inquire into how contemporary fiction, drama and poetry represent themes of divine dispensation, dispossession and reclamation in regions as diverse as Haiti, Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Arctic, and the North American frontier. A critical “Afterword” considers the implications of such multi-disciplinary approaches to postcolonial literatures for present and future research in the field. Writers discussed in the essays include Russell Banks; James K. Baxter; Ursula Bethell; Erna Brodber; Marcus Clarke; Allen Curnow; Edwidge Danticat; Mak Dizdar; Sara Jeannette Duncan; Zee Edgell; “Grey Owl”; Haruki Murakami; Seamus Heaney; Peter Høeg; Hugh Hood; Janette Turner Hospital; James Houston; Dany Laferrière; B. Kojo Laing; Lee Kok Liang; K.S. Maniam; Mudrooroo; R.K. Narayan; Ngugi wa Thiong'o; Ben Okri; Chava Pinchas-Cohen; Mary Prince; Nancy Prince; Nayantara Sahgal; Ken Saro-Wiwa; Ibrahim Tahir; Amos Tutuola; W.D. Valgardson; Derek Walcott; and Rudy Wiebe. Maps accompany almost every essay.
Spirituality in contemporary Australian women’s fiction
Women are rarely if ever mentioned in commentaries upon Australian Christianity and spirituality. Only exceptional women are recognized as authorities on religious matters. Why is this so? Does it matter? Don't people from the same religious tradition share similar experiences of the divine, regardless of their gender?
Rewriting God asks whether women have been writing about the divine and whether their insights are different from those contained in malestream accounts of Australian Christianity and spirituality. An analysis of the writings of popular theologians and religious commentators over the last twenty years suggests that the most popular form of spirituality among Australian theologians is Desert Spirituality. An analysis of women's autobiographical writings, however, suggests that the desert is irrelevant to many women's spiritual experiences. This book, through a close investigation of the fictions of Thea Astley, Elizabeth Jolley and Barbara Hanrahan, attempts to posit alternative forms of women's spirituality and to signal ways in which this spirituality is already being expressed.
From the evidence gathered here, it becomes obvious that traditional expressions of Australian Christianity and spirituality are gender-specific and that they have functioned to deny women's religious experiences and to silence their claims to equality in the sight and service of the divine. It becomes obvious, too, that women have been developing their own forms of religious expression and that these may be expected to supplant gradually withering images of Desert Spirituality. Whether this new imagery will strengthen Australian Christianity or whether it merely marks a decline in the authority of Christianity remains a moot point.