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A New Approach to Religious Orientation

The Commitment-Reflectivity Circumplex

Series:

Stephen W. Krauss and Ralph W. Hood Jr.

The Commitment-Reflectivity Circumplex (CRC) model of religious orientation is introduced and the results from a series of model testing experiments are reviewed. The CRC model was developed through a series of studies in the United States and Romania and was created in an effort to reduce the theoretical and empirical difficulties associated with the traditional Allportian religious orientation models and measures. Toward this end, the difficulties associated with the Allportian religious orientation models are reviewed, along with how the CRC model attempts to address them. Next, the CRC model is introduced and a list of its predictions are given and compared to those of the Allportian models. The results of 10 model testing studies using multidimensional scaling are then reviewed. In these studies, the CRC model, which posits that all religious orientation can be located along dimensions of commitment (importance) and reflectivity (complexity), is found to be more accurate than the Allportian models in both the U.S. and Romania. Based on these studies, the meaning and interpretation of the Allportian measures are reviewed and new interpretations are suggested. Lastly, the relationships between religious orientation, mental health, personality, ideology, and prejudice are explored. In every area, the CRC model, and the measures based on it, show superior predictive abilities to traditional approaches in both the United States and Romania.

The Pursuit of Complexity

The Utility of Biodiversity in Evolutionary Perspective

Gerard Jagers

What use is biodiversity, and does it matter if species die out? These controversial questions arouse considerable debate. Most people believe they represent a moral dilemma, but The Pursuit of Complexity shows that it is possible to explore them in a scientific way.
Author Gerard Jagers op Akkerhuis takes us back to the underlying fundamental questions: What actually is usefulness, or utility? What is evolution? What is life? What is biodiversity? And how important are human beings in all this? According to him we have to look at evolution in an entirely different way. If we do that we see that it follows predictable patterns, and that it is possible to anticipate the next stage in the evolutionary process.
His surprising answers and provocative predictions keep the reader in suspense. He invites us to engage in a new type of discussion, one that encompasses not only the scientific and philosophical issues, but also their practical implications for nature conservation.
The Pursuit of Complexity is written in clear terms for a broad audience, from biologists and nature conservationists, philosophers, futurists, researchers and students to politicians, policymakers and anyone with an interest in nature and curious about what constitutes life.

Canonical Texts: Bearers of Absolute Authority – Bible, Koran, Veda, Tipiaka

A Phenomenological Study (Translated by Henry Jansen and Lucy Jansen-Hofland)

Series:

Rein Fernhout

This book introduces a new approach to the comparative study of sacred texts - here the Christian Bible, the Islamic Koran, the Hindu Veda and the Buddhist Tipiaka. The author demonstrates that, in spite of their great differences, these works show a fundamental analogy.Considered as canonical within their own religious context, each text possesses absolute authority in comparison with other authoritative texts from their respective religious traditions. This fundamental analogy allows one to describe the growth and history of these canons, step by step, as a process that takes place in analogous phases that are clearly distinguishable. The author follows a strictly phenomenological method: he tries to understand the development of these canons in terms of a potential that lies within the phenomena themselves, i.e. the texts, while refraining in any way from assessing their claim to absolute authority.
In part I the author describes the development from the 'revelation' of the texts to a climax with respect to reflection on the canons. This climax has been reached in all four cases. Part II investigates the crisis that these canons are currently undergoing as a consequence of the modern intellectual climate. Can we expect that this crisis will be overcome by the canons? And if so, will they be in a position of mutual exclusion or will they form a sort of unity such as, for example, the Old and New Testament in the Christian Bible? Finally the author traces what the religions themselves have postulated about the future of their respective canons. The result is surprising: the current crisis is only faint reflection of what, according to age-old predictions, awaits the canons in the future.

Fostering Scientific Habits of Mind

Pedagogical Knowledge and Best Practices in Science Education

Series:

Edited by Issa M. Saleh and Myint Swe Khine

The history of human development records the courageous efforts made by the generation of teacher educators to train the school leaders who are responsible to implement educational policies. They have endured the burden and challenges of the times and refine the pedagogies and education systems with many innovative approaches. As the world faces increasing uncertainties and shift to knowledge economy, education plays a larger role in creating productive persons. Designing and managing learning school organizations that can sustain a competitive advantage in this fast-changing environment demands transformative leaders who would envision building intellectual capital for the future. Many books on teacher education, educational management and leadership exist in the past. But most books do not keep up with the fast-changing educational scene and only a few include future scenarios. This book presents anticipated trends and demands of the new knowledge economy, achieving goals with the use of various tools, generative and collaborative efforts, increasing leadership capability in dynamic and complex contexts, enculturation of cutting edge knowledge for educational advancement and creation of teams that focus learning organizations.
The book brings together prominent and leading teacher educators and researchers from around the world to present their scholarship, theories and practice, case studies, state-of-the- art approaches and future-oriented predictions. This book embodies collective knowledge inquiry and represents professional conversations. The chapters provides information on recent trends and development in teacher education, the important role of educational management and leadership in educational transformations, promising practices for desired outcomes. The book is a critical and specialized resource that describes how transformative leadership can play an important role in achieving excellence in education. The topics are covered in the book are: educational leadership and effective teaching, research in transformational leadership, and professional development and social capital building in schools.

Transformative Leadership and Educational Excellence

Learning Organizations in the Information Age

Series:

Edited by Myint Swe Khine and Issa M. Saleh

On records, the evolution of human development pays a considerable tribute to the relentless efforts made by generations of teacher educators set out to train academic leaders and teachers committed to the implementation of educational policies parallel to the mental edification of young students. Teacher educators, faced the challenges, overcame the obstacles, and refined the pedagogies of our educational system with many innovative approaches. As the world faces increasing uncertainties and adamant shifts of knowledge economy, it is apparent that education plays an ultimate role in creating adept and geared up citizens, to lead the way to the future. Designing and managing learning school organizations that can sustain a competitive advantage in this fast-changing environment demands transformative leaders primed and ready to the building or our intellectual capital for the future. Many books on teacher education, educational management and leadership have been written in the past, but most of them do not keep up with the fast-changing educational scene and only a few include future scenarios. This book presents the anticipated trends and demands of the new knowledge economy, and it aims to achieve its goals with the use of various tools, generative and collaborative efforts, increasing leadership capability in dynamic and complex contexts, enculturation of cutting edge knowledge for educational advancement and creation of teams that focus learning organizations.
This book brings together prominent and leading teacher educators and researchers from around the world to present their scholarship, theories and practice, case studies, state-of-the- art approaches and upshot predictions. This book embodies collective knowledge inquiry and represents professional conversations. The chapters provides information on recent trends and development in teacher education, the important role of educational management and leadership in educational transformations and promising practices for desired outcomes. The book is a critical and specialized resource that describes how transformative leadership can play an important role in achieving excellence in education. The topics covered are: Educational Leadership and Effective Teaching, Research in Transformational Leadership, and Professional Development and Social Capital Building in Schools.

The Imaginationless Generation

Lessons from Ancient Culture on Regulating New Media

Nachshon Goltz and Tracey Dowdeswell

In the present-day Tower of Babylon—the all-encompassing virtual world built of image layered upon image—children are the most vulnerable users. If we permit them unfettered access to media that promotes corporate and consumer values, while suppressing their cognitive development and creative imagination, then an ‘imaginationless generation’ may be our grim and inevitable future.
This book takes the reader, whether an academic, a parent or an educator, through a startling journey from the harms lurking in the virtual worlds—to children’s health and well-being, to how they deal with representations of violence and sexuality, as well as exposure to cyberbullying, advertising, Internet Addiction Disorder, and even exploitation. The most dangerous harm is unseen, and affects the innermost realm of a child’s psyche: the imagination. The authors discuss the current global regulatory framework that makes the protection of children ever more challenging. They discuss lessons learned from the ways that courts have negotiated free speech issues, as well as the research on parental mediation of children’s Internet use in the home. Finally, they move towards a bold new attempt at understanding regulation, by drawing lessons for new media from ancient culture.
In The Imagionationless Generation, the authors pioneer an attempt to address the real harms that children face in virtual realities by presenting a new and paradigm shifting theory—the Media Engagement. They follow the theory’s insights and predictions to offer a new perspective on a burning question of our time—how to protect children online. This multidisciplinary intellectual voyage and its insights are only possible by standing on the shoulders of scholars who have gone before, such as Ellul, Baudrillard, McLuhan, Postman and Piaget, to name a few.
As academics, parents and concerned human beings, the authors present here the results of more than twenty years of research in a way that should appeal to a wide variety of readers, as they stretch our understanding of the human-machine interface beyond right and wrong. This book shapes our understanding of media in the digital age in much the same way that McLuhan’s Understanding Media did for a previous generation.

Representations of Scientific Rationality

Contemporary Formal Philosophy of Science in Spain

Series:

Edited by Andoni Ibarra and Thomas Mormann

Radical Constructivism

A Relativist Epistemic Approach to Science Education

Andreas Quale

This book addresses the topic of science education, from the viewpoint of the theory of radical constructivism. It takes a closer look at the "image of science" that is projected, in the presentation of it to students and to the general public. This leads into a broad discussion of the notions of learning and knowing, specifically referring to issues of epistemology (the nature of scientific knowledge) and ontology (what science can tell us about the world), and the implications of these issues for science education. In particular, a detailed analysis is given of the dichotomy of relativism vs. realism, and its consequences for the concept of truth in science.

Speculative Evaluations

Essays on a Pluralistic Universe

Series:

Hugh P. McDonald

This book evaluates competing theories on speculative topics, such as nature, technology, space, time, and the relation of mind and matter. The general thesis is the actuality of principles in the form of laws, norms and other general principles in a plastic world, tying together the actualization of “oughts” and other principles. The result is a pluralistic universe, endorsing the pragmatic view of the world. The book examines nature, being, reality and other traditional issues in this light, critically evaluating many historical approaches.

Narrated Communities – Narrated Realities

Narration as Cognitive Processing and Cultural Practice

Series:

Edited by Hermann Blume, Christoph Leitgeb and Michael Rössner

Culture studies try to understand how people assume identities and how they perceive reality. In this perspective narration, as a basic form of cognitive processing, is a fundamental cultural technique. Narrations provide the coherence, temporal organization and semantic integration that are essential for the development and communication of identity, knowledge and orientation in a socio-cultural context.
In essence, Anderson’s “Imagined Communities” need to be thought of as “Narrated Communities” from the beginning. Narration is made up by what people think; and vice versa, narration makes up people's thoughts. What is considered "fictitious" or "real" no longer separates narratives from an "outside" they refer to, but rather represents different narratives.
Narration not only constructs notions of what was “real” in retrospect, but also prospectively creates possible worlds, even in the (supposedly hard) sciences, as in e.g. the imaginative simulation of physical processes. The book’s unique interdisciplinary approach shows how the implications of this fundamental insight go far beyond the sphere of literature and carry weight for both scholarly and scientific disciplines.