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Truth, Reconciliation, and Evil analyses evil in a variety of forms—as an unspeakable crime, a discursive or narrative force, a political byproduct, and an inevitable feature of warfare. The collection considers the forms of loss that the workings of evil exact, from the large-scale horror of genocide to the individual grief of a self-destructive homelessness. Finally, taken together, the fourteen essays that comprise this volume affirm that the undoing of evil—the moving beyond it through forgiveness and reconciliation—needs to occur within the context of community broadly defined, wherein individuals and groups can see beyond themselves and recognise in others a shared humanity and common cause.
Truth, Reconciliation, and Evil consists of expanded versions of papers presented at the Fourth International Conference on Evil and Wickedness, held in Prague in March 2003. The essays represent a variety of disciplinary approaches, including those of anthropology, linguistics, literature, philosophy, and psychoanalysis.
Explorations in Contemporary Pluralism
Editor: Avery Plaw
Frontiers of Diversity critically examines the explanatory and normative power of pluralism in contemporary philosophy, politics, economics and culture. Based on the papers presented at the “First Global Conference on Critical Issues in Pluralism” at Mansfield College, Oxford, it brings together for the first time essays examining pluralism’s impact, both positive and negative, in each of these critical domains. These essays exhibit something of the fertility of the concept of pluralism, not only across the spectrum of fields, but at all levels of analysis, from individual to social to national and international, touching on specific cases from around the world. Through their diversity, the essays are intended to both promote cross-pollination between these domains of study and experience, and to encourage reflection on pluralism as a powerful cross-disciplinary approach for understanding the contemporary world.
The Mission of the Church in the Transformation of European Culture
The scope of this volume is how churches experience themselves and their mission in their context. The discussions in this volume provide ample material to substantiate the claim that the church should not be an ecclesia incurvata in se ipsa, (a church curved into itself) but welcoming and directed not only to personal needs but to social needs as well—but not bound to what people often feel the needs are and delving deeper to the real roots of sin and selfishness, be it personal, social or national. Contextualization in itself is part of the mission of the churches, but it is on the edge: should the church adapt to its context and lose both its identity and witness or should it find a way between the Scylla of easy adaptation to the changing contexts of this world that is passing and the Charybdis of a preservation of forms and identities of bygone times that have lost the freshness of the message of liberation of bondage, conversion and freedom, freedom to be what the church is called to be, a sign of hope, peace, reconciliation, justice and love?
Since the fall of communism in 1989 Southeast Europe has been a site of far-reaching societal transformation, much of it marked by political crisis, economic upheaval, ethnic tension, and bitter war. The book comprises articles investigating the history and development of civil society in post-communist Southeast Europe. How is civil society to be grasped, what are the historical factors shaping the civil societies of the region?, what is the function of civil society in the transition to democracy and a market-economy?, and what are the prospects for the future development of the civil societies of the region in an age of globalization?, –these are just a few of the major questions addressed in this collection of articles. Many of the authors are social scientists, philosophers, and activists from the region, offering first-hand critical analysis of the state of civil society in Southeast Europe and suggesting theoretical and practical strategies for the future course of its development. The aim is to provide the reader with insight into the complex challenges that face the civil societies of the region.
Symbolic Excuses on False Pretenses or True Reconciliation out of Sincere Regret?
Since the 1990s we witness a rise in public apologies. Are we living in the ‘Age of Apology’?
Interesting research questions can be raised about the opportunity, the form, the meaning, the effectiveness and the ethical implications of public apologies.
Are they not merely a clever and easy device to escape real and tangible responsibility for mistakes or wrong done? Are they not at risk to become well-rehearsed rituals that claim to express regret but, in fact, avoid doing so?
In a joint interdisciplinary effort, the contributors to this book, combining findings from their specific fields of research (legal, religious, political, linguistic, marketing and communication studies), attempt to articulate this tension between ritual and sincere regret, between the discourse and the content of apologies, between excuses that pretend and regret that seeks reconciliation.
The Challenge to Communities
Editor: Mark L. Perry
Rarely do academics and policymakers have the opportunity to sit down together and contemplate the broadest consequences of war. Our comprehension has traditionally been limited to war’s causes, execution, promotion, opposition, and immediate political and economic ends and aftermath. But just as public health researchers are becoming aware of unexpected, subtle and powerful consequences of human economic action, we are beginning to realize that war has many short- and long-term consequences that we poorly understand but cannot afford to neglect.
These papers contribute to a growing discourse among academics, scholars and lawmakers that is questioning and rethinking the nature and purpose of war. By studying the effects of war on communities we can more readily understand and anticipate the consequences of present and future conflicts. Such an understanding might well enable us to plan and execute military action with a more clearly defined set of post-war goals in mind. Whereas traditionally a government at war seeks the defeat of the adversary as its primary and often sole aim, through a clearer understanding of war’s effects other aims will also become prominent. War, like surgery, could gradually become more refined, could minimize damage in ways that are currently unimaginable, and could involve an increasingly heavy responsibility to prepare for and facilitate reconstruction.
Projects such as this volume are, of course, only the beginning. The more we understand the evolving nature of war, the better prepared we will be to protect communities from its harmful effects.
The Construction of Europe in Serbian Culture
The book examines the discursive construction of the representation of “Europe” in the selected writings of leading Serbian writers and intellectuals in the first half of the twentieth century. In addition to being of particular significance in the process of the genesis of our understanding of Europe across the continent, these several decades were crucial for the discursive construction of “Europe” in Serbian culture: when after the end of the Cold War the debate on Europe became possible again, it was on a discursive level to a large extent determined by the stockpile of images and ideas created between the world wars. The book seeks to answer the following questions: who constructed “Europe”, and with what authority? For whom were these constructions intended? How was this representation validated? What purposes was it meant to serve? Which issues were raised in comparing “Europe” with Serbia, and why? Which textual traditions were the elements of this construction borrowed from? How did the construction of the European other define Serbian self-representation? This volume is of interest for all those working in Slavic or East European studies - especially cultural, intellectual and political history of the Balkans - imagology, and European studies.