Divinatory Practices Among Jews Between Qumran and the Modern Period
In Unveiling the Hidden—Anticipating the Future: Divinatory Practices Among Jews Between Qumran and the Modern Period, Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas and Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum collect ten studies based on primary sources ranging from Qumran to the modern period and covering Europe and the Mediterranean basin. The studies show Jews practising divination (astrology, bibliomancy, physiognomy, dream requests, astral magic, etc.) and implementing the study and practice of the prognostic arts in ways that allowed Jews to make them "Jewish," by avoiding any conflict with Jewish law or halakhah. These studies focus on the Jewish components of this divination, providing specific firsthand details about the practices and their practitioners within their cultural and intellectual contexts—as well as their fears, wishes, and anxieties—using ancient scrolls and medieval manuscripts in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Judaeo-Arabic.
Contributors include Michael D. Swartz, Helen R. Jacobus, Alessia Bellusci, Blanca Villuendas Sabaté, Shraga Bar-On, Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas and Amos Geula, Dov Schwartz, Joseph Ziegler, and Charles Burnett.
Climate, Culture, and Conflicts
Volume Editors: Eckart Ehlers and Katajun Amirpur
The volume Middle East and North Africa: Climate, Culture and Conflicts focuses on the intricate interrelationships between nature, culture and society in this ecologically, historically and politically fragile region. As such, it debates ideas of eco-theology from Muslim and Jewish perspectives, followed by mythological interpretations and geo-archeological resp. historical analyses of the interrelationships and impacts of climate and other environmental factors on the development of ancient civilizations and cultures. The section “Present” addresses current conflict scenarios as a result of climate change, i.e. water scarcity, droughts, desertification and similar factors. The final section is concerned with potentials of international cooperation in pursuit of developing and ensuring sustainable energy resources and moves across different scales of environmental and religious education, from awareness raising to perspectives of best practice examples.
Contributors are Katajun Amirpur, Helmut Brückner, Eckart Ehlers, Max Engel, Kerstin Fritzsche, Ursula Kowanda-Yassin, Tobias von Lossow, Ephraim Meir, Rosel Pientka-Hinz, Matthias Schmidt, and Franz Trieb.
Travelling ideas and shared practices of secularism in decolonising South and Southeast Asia.
Author: Clemens Six
To what extent was the evolution of secularism in South and Southeast Asia between the end of the First World War and decolonisation after 1945 a result of transimperial and transnational patterns? To capture the diversity of twentieth-century secularisms, Clemens Six explores similarities resulting from translocal networks of ideas and practices since 1918. Six approaches these networks via a framework of global intellectual history, the history of transnational social networks, and the global history of non-state institutions. Empirically, he illustrates his argument with three case studies: the reception of Atatürk’s reforms across Asia and the Middle East; translocal women’s circles in the interwar period; and private US foundations after 1945.
In: Bandung


The paper underscores the place of theories in organizing social science data and experience. It holds that theories are indispensable to social research (The North-South divide notwithstanding), in view of the fact that the framework of knowledge and experience within which theories are established make a meaningful explanation of the world phenomenon reasonably possible. It delineates political philosophy and history of ideas from theory and thus, takes care of common mistake social scientists make differentiating between them. Furthermore, the paper on one hand, takes on the scientific requisites of theory such as assumption, concepts (and their functions), hypothesis (and its characteristics typology), law, models, paradigm and provides lucid conceptual analysis of each with a view to showing their relatedness to theory but not as synonyms to it. On the other hand, we singled out dependency theory in its emanation from knowledge and experience of underdevelopment of Third World countries, as the first and perhaps most relevant theoretic explanation of Africa’s underdevelopment. The paper posits that a good theory that will serve as a rudder for formulation of research questions, problem statement, as well as sustain the data analysis, and findings must parade some, if not all of the following qualities: precision and testability, empirical validity, parsimony, stimulation, and practicability.

In: African and Asian Studies
Authors: Xiaohui Tao and Yang Li


Venture capital (VC) can promote the innovation of invested enterprises through financial support, social networking, and intellectual capital. Based on data of Chinese listed companies from 2003 to 2016, this study, firstly, compares the impact of government and private VC on enterprise innovation using Possion regression, and applies the ITCV method and Negative Binomial Regression for Robustness Examination, then, explores the relationship between their shareholding percentage and enterprise innovation with threshold test. The results show that: the performance of private VC is significantly positive and in line. With the increasing shareholding percentage of private VC, the innovation of invested enterprises increases. The overall performance of government VC, however, is not significant, and the shareholding percentage of government VC also has no significant impact on the innovation of invested companies. Additional testing revealed that a “threshold effect” however exists in the impact of the shareholding percentage of government VC on innovation: within a certain range, the higher the shareholding percentage, the more significant the impact on innovations becomes, but beyond that range, the percentage is inversely related to innovation.

In: African and Asian Studies