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Perspectives on Forgiveness

Contrasting Approaches to Concepts of Forgiveness and Revenge

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Edited by Susie DiVietro and Jordan Kiper

Demands for forgiveness, even in the face of horrific crimes, were common to the late twentieth century and remain critical aspirations for persons and communities in the early twenty-first century. Research on forgiveness and revenge has nevertheless revealed that many people hold divergent moral and pragmatic beliefs about forgiving, and most survivors express longstanding skepticism about when forgiveness is appropriate and when it is not. By taking an interdisciplinary approach to these issues, the current volume considers the complexities of forgiveness and revenge in the modern world. The chapters address some of the most critical inquiries today: How is forgiveness facilitated or obstructed? What is the role of truth, restitution, reparation or retribution? When is forgiveness without restitution appropriate? Is forgiveness in the true sense of the term even possible? Through empirical, theoretical and literary analyses, this volume addresses the power of revenge and forgiveness in human affairs and offers a unique outlook on the benefits of interdisciplinary discussions for enhancing forgiveness and deterring revenge in multiple aspects of human life.
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Timothy T.N. Lim

Ecclesial Recognition proffers a framework for churches to accept the legitimacy and authenticity of each other as the Church in the dialogical process towards fuller communion. Typically, ‘recognition’ and its reception investigate theologically the sufficiency of creeds as ecumenical statements of unity, the agreeability of essential sacramentality of the church, and the recognition of its ministries as the churches’ witness of the gospel. This monograph conceives ecclesial recognition as an intersubjective dynamics of inclusion and exclusion amid identity formation and consensus development, with insights from Hegelian philosophy, group social psychology, and the Frankfurt School Axel Honneth’s political theory. The viability of this interdisciplinary approach is demonstrated from the French Dominican Yves Congar’s oeuvre, with implications for intra-Communion and inter-Church relations.

"Dr Lim examines philosophical recognition theory, group social psychology and political recognition theory to analyse the non-theological impasses confronting the whole ecumenical movement." - Rev Dr Trevor Hoggard, Director English-speaking Ministries, Methodist Church of New Zealand.

"Lim masterfully argues for the viability of an interdisciplinary approach to ecumenical recognition within communities, among churches, and in their common pastoral mission.” - Fr. and Professor Radu Bordeianu, Duquesne University, and Orthodox theologian, Representative of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh, and Assistant Priest of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh.

“This book makes an important contribution to ecumenical ecclesiology.” - Rev. Dr and Professor Sandra Beardsall, St Andrew’s College, Canada and United Church of Canada Ordained Minister.

“I find Dr. Lim's work a solid and necessary contribution to ecumenical work around the world.” - Rev. Dr. and Professor Dominick D. Hanckle, Regent University, and priest of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches.

“With penetrating analysis and creative suggestions, this monograph takes the talk about ecumenical recognition in a new level.” - Professor Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, University of Helsinki.


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Althusser and Theology

Religion, Politics and Philosophy

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Edited by Agon Hamza

Religion has always been an object of philosophical analysis, as well as a platform for political practice. One cannot imagine a form of philosophical thinking without its relation to a religion, whether it negates or affirms the latter. In different philosophical orientations, religion also serves as a condition for philosophy.

Althusser and Theology intends not so much to fill a gap in Althusser scholarship as to make an important contribution to the contemporary radical left movement. In this regard, Althusser and Theology is of significant importance in the current debates on the Left concerning its relation to theology. It will also contribute to the ongoing debate on Althusser, as well as opening up a new perspective on his philosophical project.

Contributors are: Roland Boer, Stanislas Breton, Isa Blumi, Geoff Pfeifer, Agon Hamza, Warren Montag, Vittorio Morfino, Knox Peden, Panagiotis Sotiris, Ted Stolze, Jana Tsoneva, and Gabriel Tupinambá.
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Deliverance from Slavery

Attempting a Biblical Theology in the Service of Liberation

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Dick Boer

‘Delivery from slavery’: these words, taken from a Dutch labour movement song, perfectly map onto the Bible’s central concern. They are also similar to the Torah’s key phrase: ‘I am YHWH, your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage' (Ex 20:2).

The words are invoked here to serve as an axiom to be introduced into the modern period. The watchword ‘delivery from slavery’ translates the biblical message of the exodus from slavery into the theory and practice of a modern liberation movement. The present work argues that biblical theology is the attempt to ‘update’ the ‘language of the message’. It searches for a language that attends to the concerns of today’s world while ‘preserving’ the concerns that originally motivated biblical language.
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Isaiah Berlin

A Value Pluralist and Humanist View of Human Nature and the Meaning of Life

Connie Aarsbergen-Ligtvoet

Value pluralism, a philosophical perspective belonging to the humanist and liberal family, is meeting with increasing attention and support in contemporary political and moral philosophy. Its starting point is that (personal and social) human life is characterized by conflict between the various (good) values and ends that are pursued. Value pluralism takes cultural and moral diversity seriously and thereby also denies the validity of — in their view — potentially dangerous monisms that promise a perfect, tension-free human life. But does value pluralism itself not lead to another danger —that of moral relativism and questioning the meaning of human life itself? This study describes the anthropology of Sir Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997), value pluralism’s founding father. Berlin wants to protect both moral and cultural diversity against monist tendencies but at the same time struggles to avoid moral relativism. This study follows Berlin critically in this dilemma, thereby giving insight into how value pluralism differs from contemporary postmodernist and conventionalist positions.
Through this study profound insight can be gained into the anthropological assumptions behind value pluralism. This study reveals the basic assumptions in Western and liberal thought that often remain implicit and hidden, leading to much misunderstanding and conflict. Berlin’s ideas can enrich existing theories of pluralism and contribute to intercultural and interreligious dialogue. And, last but not least, Berlin’s value pluralism helps us to understand the roots of ideologically and religiously inspired violence.
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Rough Dialectics

Sorokin’s Philosophy of Value

Palmer Talbutt Jr.

This is an exploration in depth of the social theory of the Russian-born thinker Pitirim A. Sorokin, who played a large role in American thought. Sorokin's contributions to theories of culture, social change, modernity, and dialectics are evaluated in this wide-ranging study. The book emphasizes the place of values in the comparative study of civilizations. This volume includes a translationby Lawrence T. Nichols of Sorokin's essay in Russian on Tolstoy as philosopher, as well as a chapter by Nichols on Tolstoy and Sorokin. In this book, Palmer Talbutt, Jr. examines his former teacher, Sorokin, within intellectual, educational, and cultural contexts. The work will be of especial interest to scholars in social philosophy, the philosophy of the social sciences, philosophy of culture, and comparative cultural studies.
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Diskurs und Befreiung

Studien zur philosophischen Ethik von Karl-Otto Apel und Enrique Dussel

Hans Schelkshorn

Die europäische Diskursethik und die lateinamerikanische Philosophie der Befreiung artikulierten Anfang der 70er Jahre das weitverbreitete Bedürfnis nach grundlegenden gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen. Inzwischen stoßen allerdings diskurstheoretische Vernunftmoralen und neomarxistische Befreiungsphilosophien nicht nur im postmodernen Denken auf tiefe Skepsis. Vor dem Hintergrund wachsender sozialer Ungleichheit in Nord und Süd und der zunehmenden Macht populistischer bzw. fundamentalistischer Strömungen scheint es gegenwärtig jedoch durchaus angebracht zu sein, mögliche Errungenschaften der Diskurs- und Befreiungsethik in einer präzisen und zugleich kritischen Auseinandersetzung mit ihren theoretischen Grundlagen zu rekonstruieren und damit vorschnellen Abschiedsreden nochmals ins Wort zufallen. In einer vorsichtigen, die universalistische Orientierung prinzipiell bewahrenden Rekontextualisierung der Moraltheorien von Karl-Otto Apel und Enrique Dussel werden einerseits Möglichkeiten für gegenseitige Korrekturen und Ergänzungen zwischen Diskurs- und Befreiungsethik, andererseits aber auch Perspektiven für eine interkulturell orientierte Ethik als Fundament einer Kritischen Theorie der globalen sozialen Frage analysiert.
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History as the Story of Freedom

Philosophy in Intercultural Context

Clark Butler

The purpose of this book is to advance responsible rehabilitation of the speculative philosophy of history. It challenges the idea popularized by thinkers such as and Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jean-François Lyotard that historical meta-mythology and meta-narrative are philosophically obsolete. As long as humanity, viewed anthropologically, lives by over-arching narrative, the quest for a version that survives rational criticism remains vital. Here human rights serve as the key to unlock such a version. Despite the fact that the Hegelian philosophy of history has often been derided, something very similar currently functions as the official ideology of the world community: the idea of history as the story of freedom. This book does not retell the world-historical story of freedom. Rather, it uncovers it, beginning with the current age of human rights and working backward through the great role-model civilizations of history. Its conclusion is that a forward retelling of the story of freedom as the story of human rights can be justified by dewesternizing the story. The book contains critical responses from specialized scholars and re-presentative of selected world cultures. The volume includes illustrations, and a guest Afterword by Donald Phillip Verene. It is a companion-volume to the author's Hegel's Logic: Between History and Dialectic (North-western University Press, 1996).