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Anna Seghers

The Challenge of History

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Edited by Helen Fehervary, Christiane Zehl Romero and Amy Kepple Strawser

Anna Seghers: The Challenge of History features essays by leading scholars devoted to this most important German writer whose novels and stories have been read by millions worldwide. The volume is intended for teachers and students of literature and for general readers. The contributions address facets of Seghers’s large body of work which is characterized by reflections on political events shaping world history and written in a highly imaginative array of narrative styles. The first section focuses on the author’s famous novel The Seventh Cross. Articles in the next two sections analyze her reactions to crises that marked the twentieth century and her connections to other relevant thinkers of her time. The last section features new translations of Seghers’s works.

The Citizenship Experiment

Contesting the Limits of Civic Equality and Participation in the Age of Revolutions

René Koekkoek

The Citizenship Experiment explores the fate of citizenship ideals in the Age of Revolutions. While in the early 1790s citizenship ideals in the Atlantic world converged, the twin shocks of the Haitian Revolution and the French Revolutionary Terror led the American, French, and Dutch publics to abandon the notion of a shared, Atlantic, revolutionary vision of citizenship. Instead, they forged conceptions of citizenship that were limited to national contexts, restricted categories of voters, and ‘advanced’ stages of civilization. Weaving together the convergence and divergence of an Atlantic revolutionary discourse, debates on citizenship, and the intellectual repercussions of the Terror and the Haitian Revolution, Koekkoek offers a fresh perspective on the revolutionary 1790s as a turning point in the history of citizenship.

City Intelligible

A Philosophical and Historical Anthropology of Global Commoditisation before Industrialisation

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Frank Perlin

In City Intelligible Perlin marries a transcendental-critical philosophical approach with one historical and empirical in order to penetrate the culture of commodification dominating global societal development over many centuries prior to industrialisation. Commodification represents a dense and abundant global evidence for the essential translatability informing all cultural difference and enabling exchange of cultural goods transiting all settled society.

Perlin investigates the two anthropologies — one universalist and the other particularist — in order to reach an eventual synthesis that reinterprets societal relationship both in detail and in general, leading to a derivation of the universal foundations of human reasoning and formation of culture both logically and empirically (historically), and that in founds a comprehension of human differentiation.

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Edited by Cédric Giraud

The ambition of this Companion to Twelfth-Century Schools is to provide an update on the research regarding a question that has seen many renewals in the last three decades. The discovery of new texts, the progress made in critical attribution, the growing attention given to the conditions surrounding the oral and written dissemination of works, the use of the notion of "community of learning”, the reinterpretation of the relations between the cloister and the urban school, the link between institutional history and social history, in short, the entire contemporary renewal of cultural history within international medieval studies allow to offer a new synthesis on the schools of the 12th century. Contributors are: Alexander Andrée, Irene Caiazzo, Cédric Giraud, Frédéric Goubier, Danielle Jacquart, Thierry Kouamé, Constant Mews, Ken Pennington, Dominique Poirel, Irène Rosier, Sita Steckel, Jacques Verger, and Olga Weijers.

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Edited by Efraim Podoksik

Doing Humanities in Nineteenth-Century Germany, edited by Efraim Podoksik, is a collaborative project by leading scholars in German studies that examines the practices of theorising and researching in the humanities as pursued by German thinkers and scholars during the long nineteenth century, and the relevance of those practices for the humanities today.
Each chapter focuses on a particular branch of the humanities, such as philosophy, history, classical philology, theology, or history of art. The volume both offers a broad overview of the history of German humanities and examines an array of particular cases that illustrate their inner dilemmas, ranging from Ranke’s engagement with the world of poetry to Max Weber’s appropriation of the notion of causality.

Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism

Ontology, Epistemology, Politics

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Cat Moir

In Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics, Cat Moir offers a new interpretation of the philosophy of Ernst Bloch. The reception of Bloch’s work has seen him variously painted as a naïve realist, a romantic nature philosopher, a totalitarian thinker, and an irrationalist whose obscure literary style stands in for a lack of systematic rigour. Moir challenges these conceptions of Bloch by reconstructing the ontological, epistemological, and political dimensions of his speculative materialism. Through a close, historically contextualised reading of Bloch’s major work of ontology, Das Materialismusproblem, seine Geschichte und Substanz (The Materialism Problem, its History and Substance), Moir presents Bloch as one of the twentieth century’s most significant critical thinkers.

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Eric Brandom and Tommaso Giordani

Georges Sorel’s Study on Vico is a revelatory document of the depths and stakes of French social thought at the end of the 19th century. What brought Sorel to the 18th century Neapolitan theorist of history? Acute awareness of the limitations of Marxist thought in his day, a profound concern with the material underpinnings of language, law, and culture, and the imperative to understand the possibilities of revolutionary change. We find here a different Sorel, one who speaks in surprising ways to the 21st century.
The translation is accompanied by an introduction and by a set of notes which situate the text both in Sorel’s overall intellectual trajectory and in the fin de siècle debates from which it emerged.

A Humanist in Reformation Politics

Philipp Melanchthon on Political Philosophy and Natural Law

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Mads L. Jensen

This book is the first contextual account of the political philosophy and natural law theory of the German reformer Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560). Mads Langballe Jensen presents Melanchthon as a significant political thinker in his own right and an engaged scholar drawing on the intellectual arsenal of renaissance humanism to develop a new Protestant political philosophy. As such, he also shows how and why natural law theories first became integral to Protestant political thought in response to the political and religious conflicts of the Reformation. This study offers new, contextual studies of a wide range of Melanchthon's works including his early humanist orations, commentaries on Aristotle's ethics and politics, Melanchthon's own textbooks on moral and political philosophy, and polemical works.

Takfīr im militanten Salafismus

Der Staat als Feind

Justyna Nedza

With this work, Justyna Nedza presents the first comprehensive analysis of the theologically charged legal practice of “declaring someone an unbeliever” ( takfir) in militant Salafist thought. Her investigation zooms in on the role of takfir in the formal legitimization of militant jihad against government institutions. Investigating both the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian case, Nedza demonstrates the importance of the regional context in shaping consistent legal arguments for the legitimacy of takfir of collectives. The careful analysis of the arguments of four selected militant Salafist authors brings out that this contextuality plays also a decisive role for the respective textual references, as well as shaping the conclusions drawn by the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian authors, respectively.

In dieser Arbeit präsentiert Justyna Nedza die erste umfassende Analyse der theologisch aufgeladenen Rechtspraxis des „Apostasievorwurfs“ ( takfīr) im Milieu des militanten „Salafismus“. Dabei liegt ein besonderer Fokus auf der rechtlichen Begründung von gewaltsamen Widerstand ( ǧihād) gegen staatliche Organe in muslimischen Mehrheitsgesellschaften, sowie die hiermit verbundene Ausweitung dieses Rechtsmittels vom Individuum auf Kollektive. Anhand der komparatistischen Untersuchung der Schriften von vier ausgewählten Autoren aus Ägypten und Saudi-Arabien zeigt Nedza, dass deren divergenter nationaler Kontext eine entscheidende Rolle sowohl für ihre jeweiligen textlichen Referenzrahmen als auch ihre entsprechenden Schlussfolgerungen spielt. Damit wird die bisher weithin akzeptierte These vom “Salafismus” als global einheitlichem Phänomen auf den Prüfstand gehoben.

Wouter Druwé

Based on consilia and decisiones, Wouter Druwé studies the multinormative framework on loans and credit in the Golden Ages of Antwerp and Amsterdam (c. 1500-1680). He analyzes the use of a wide variety of legal financial techniques in the Low Countries, such as money lending and the taking of interest, the constitution of annuities, cession and delegation, bearer bonds, bills of exchange, partnerships, and representation in financial affairs, as well as the consequences of monetary fluctuations. Special attention is paid to how the transregional European system of learned Roman and canon law ( ius commune) was applied in daily ‘learned legal practice’. The study also deals with the prohibition against usury and with the impact of moral theology on legal debates.