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Presenting the Past

Central Issues in Medieval and Early Modern Studies Across the Disciplines

Edited by Nancy van Deusen

Taking on big issues, in historical perspective, leading to their relevance and importance in the present, this series will offer a convening of interests across temporal, geographical, as well as disciplinary boundaries, showing how a given issue can be viewed from many points of view. In this series, medieval studies will be fully expanded to their relevance within major topics of interest today, showing also the uses of historical studies for purposes other than solely for specialized topical research within the historical disciplines. As such, the series will also be of use for teaching purposes, providing as well a link between scholarship, the university student, and the general reader.

The series published two volumes over the last 5 years.

Past, Present, Future

The Deuteronomistic History and the Prophets

Series:

Edited by Johannes de Moor and H.R. van Rooy

In the politico-religious history of the Deuteronomists, past, present and future mingle in an often inextricable way. Long obsolete traditions, which had been unacceptable to the Davidic dynasty, were rediscovered and adapted to the aims of the Deuteronomists. Personages of the past were
condemned and blackened in the light of the new ideology, whereas others were glorified and embellished as heroes of faith because their ideas suited the historians.
This inevitably raises the question whether the Bible can be trusted as a source book for writing a history of Israel. Apparently not, say scholars like T.L. Thompson, P.R. Davies and N.P. Lemche. In this volume a number of authors take up this challenge, stating that the radical rejection of the biblical testimony in favour of a history based mainly on archaeology is ill-advised.
Several contributions to this volume draw instructive parallels between the process of re-writing the history of South Africa and the work of the Deuteronomists.

Series:

Theo Damsteegt

The Present Tense in Modern Hindi Fiction contributes to the interpretation of Hindi prose by analysing the use of the present tense in over 250 texts. While sketching the history of the present tense in Hindi fiction, the book focuses primarily on the narrative techniques that invite its use, such as interior monologue, free indirect discourse, consonant psycho-narration, and camera eye. Moreover, it offers a fresh interpretation of the two types of present tense found in Hindi. The indexes of authors, titles, and analytical concepts provide easy access to the analyses.

The book will also be of interest to scholars studying the use of the present tense in modern fiction worldwide. The present tense is used more widely in Hindi than in languages such as English, and some trends that are also found in the literatures of other languages (such as the occurrence of the present tense in internal sensory focalisation) are more clearly visible in Hindi fiction. More importantly, a new explanation of present-tense passages is proposed which can also be applied elsewhere. Insight into this technique, referred to as Internal Focalisation of Awareness, leads to a better understanding of present-tense texts.

Spinoza Past and Present

Essays on Spinoza, Spinozism, and Spinoza Scholarship

Series:

Wiep van Bunge

Spinoza Past and Present consists of twelve essays on Benedictus de Spinoza’s Jewish background, his views on metaphysics, mathematics, religion and society. Special attention is paid to the various ways in which Spinoza’s works have been interpreted from the late seventeenth century to the present day. In particular, Spinoza’s recent popularity among advocates of the Radical Enlightenment is discussed: Van Bunge proposes a new interpretation of Spinoza’s role in the early Dutch Enlightenment.

Reading the Present in the Qumran Library

The Perception of the Contemporary by Means of Scriptural Interpretations

Series:

Edited by Kristin de Troyer and Armin Lange

How did ancient scribes interpret their own reality by means of scriptural exegesis? The essays in this volume explore this question from various perspectives by examining the earliest known exegetical texts of Jewish origin, namely, the exegetical texts from the Qumran library. Scholars have debated the precise nature of the exegetical techniques used in the Qumran texts. To bring clarity to the discussion, this book analyzes the phenomenon of reading the present in the Qumran library and asks how far comparable phenomena can be observed in authoritative literature in ancient Israel and Judah, in the textual tradition of the Hebrew and Greek Bible, in ancient Judaism, and in early Christian literature.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

Religion Past and Present

Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion

Hans Dieter Betz, Don Browning, Bernd Janowski and Eberhard Jüngel

Religion Past and Present (RPP) is a complete, updated English translation of the 4th edition of the definitive encyclopedia of religion worldwide. the peerless Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (RGG). Including the latest developments in research, Religion Past and Present encompasses a vast range of subjects connected with religion. This great resource, now at last available in English, continues the tradition of deep knowledge and authority relied upon by generations of scholars in religious, theological, and biblical studies. Religion Past and Present indisputably belongs to the small class of essential reference works.

Key Features
• RGG has been a standard reference work since the publication of the first edition in 1908.
• Strongly international, cross-cultural and ecumenical, written by over 3,000 authors from 88 countries
• Covers an unparalleled breadth of subject matter in theological and biblical studies
• Up-to-date research and bibliographies make it an indispensable resource for all levels of users
• Interdisciplinary articles cover a wide range of topics from history, archaeology, liturgy, law, bible, music, visual arts, politics, social sciences, natural sciences, ethics, and philosophy.
• The 4th edition of RGG, the basis of the RPP translation, includes hundreds of new entries on Eastern religions and other religious subjects. The editors of RPP have added a number of articles and revised others for a global English-speaking readership.
• Short definitions and cross-references enable quick and easy searching
• Over 15,000 entries and 8 million words
• 13 volumes and an index

To download the preview please click here.

The series was completed in 2013.

Present-Day Spiritualities

Contrasts and Overlaps

Series:

Edited by Elisabeth Hense, Frans P.M. Jespers and Peter J.A. Nissen

Many forms of present-day Western spirituality contribute to people’s well-being, whereas others have raised criticism. The study of these different forms is, however, complicated by their continuously diverging practices and ideas. By bringing to bear a multidisciplinary approach, the ten specialists of this volume are able to analyze diverse new instances of spirituality, e.g. in religious contexts (Buddhism, Christianity), popular use, organizations and enterprises, (alternative) health service, and works of art. Most contributions also discuss methods and theories. In their editorial chapters, Elisabeth Hense, Frans Jespers and Peter Nissen show the remarkable overlaps in the approaches, definitions and evaluations of the contributions in this volume and provide a theoretical framework. Both the fresh analyses and the theoretical reflections in this volume point the way to new approaches in this field of study.

Contributors include: Jerry Biberman, Mark Elliott, Miguel Farias, Johan Goud, Paul Heelas, Elisabeth Hense, Frans Jespers, Hubert Knoblauch, Peter Nissen, Paul van der Velde

Presented Discourse in Popular Science

Professional Voices in Books for Lay Audiences

Series:

Olga Pilkington

In Presented Discourse in Popular Science, Olga A. Pilkington explores the forms and functions of the voices of scientists in books written for non-professionals. This study confirms the importance of considering presentation of discourse outside of literary fiction: popular science uses presented discourse in ways uncommon for fiction yet not conventional for non-fiction either.

This analysis is an acknowledgement of the social consequences of popularization. Discourse presentation of scientists reconstructs the world of the scientific community as a human space but also projects back into it an image of the scientist the public wants to see. At the same time, Pilkington’s findings strengthen the view of popularization that rejects the notion of a strict divide between professional and popular science.

Series:

Mathias Rohe

Islamic Law in Past and Present, written by the lawyer and Islamicist Mathias Rohe, is the first comprehensive study for decades on Islamic law, legal theory, reform mechanisms and the application of Islamic law in Islamic countries and the Muslim diaspora. It provides information based on an abundance of Oriental and Western sources regarding family and inheritance law, contract and economic law, penal law, constitutional, administrative and international law. The present situation and ‘law in action’ are highlighted particularly. This includes examples collected during field studies on the application of Islamic law in India, Canada and Germany.

The Eternal Present of the Past

Illustration, Theatre, and Reading in the Wanli Period, 1573-1619

Series:

Li-ling Hsiao

This study draws together various elements in late Ming culture – illustration, theater, literature – and examines their interrelation in the context of the publication of drama. It examines a late Ming conception of the stage as a mystical space in which the past was literally reborn within the present. This temporal conflation allowed the past to serve as a vigorous and immediate moral example and was considered a hugely important mechanism by which the continuity of the Confucian tradition could be upheld.
By using theatrical conventions of stage arrangement, acting gesture, and frontal address, drama illustration recreated the mystical character of the stage within the pages of the book, and thus set the conflation of past and present on a broader footing.