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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.
Philosophy of Religion Meets Philosophy of Mind
Panpsychism has become a highly attractive position in the philosophy of mind. On panpsychism, both the physi-cal and the mental are inseparable and fundamental features of reality. Panentheism has also become immensely popular in the philosophy of religion. Panentheism strives for a higher reconciliation of an atheistic pantheism, on which the universe itself is causa sui, and the ontological dualism of necessarily existing, eternal creator and contingent, finite creation. Historically and systematically, panpsychism and panentheism often went together as essential parts of an all-embracing metaphysical theory of Being. The present collection of essays analyses the relation between panpsychism and panentheism and provides critical reflections on the significance of panpsychistic and panentheistic thinking for recent debates in philosophy and theology.
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.
Editor: Thomas Magnell
The essays in Explorations of Value are drawn from work first presented at the 20th Conference of Value Inquiry. They are not mere records of conference presentations. The authors have reflected on their initial presentations. They have re-thought arguments in light of discussions at the conference. They have revised their work. All of this has combined to bring fresh ideas on important issues into carefully considered discussions. The nineteen authors of the essays do not share a common viewpoint on all problems of value inquiry. They are certainly not in agreement in their conclusions. Their concerns, however, cluster around a recognizable body of questions. Several of the authors raise fundamental questions on the nature of values and the possibility of giving them an objective status. Some of the authors raise questions about where value inquiry becomes value advocacy. They are also ready to ask whether or not advocacy is in the legitimate purview of philosophers. A number of authors set out to examine conditions of moral practice and of harming or benefiting people in general. Other authors show a concern for juxtaposing moral values and aesthetic values, in some cases to observe similarities, in some, differences. Finally, a few authors focus on particular notions such as forgiveness, intimacy, and love that are central to our lives.
As academic subject African philosophy is predominantly concerned with epistemology. It aims at re-presenting a lost body of authentic African thought. This apparently austere a-historical concern is framed by a grand narrative of liberation that cannot but politicise the quest for epistemological autonomy. By “politicise” I mean that the desire to re-cover an authentic African epistemology in order to establish African philosophy as autonomous subject, ironically re-iterates Western, enlightenment notions of the autonomous subject. Here, in the pursuit of an autonomous subject the terms of historical oppression are necessarily duplicated in the terms of liberation. In this study I use the term disfigurement to refer to the double-bind - peculiar to post-coloniality - in which the African subject finds itself when it has to establish and affirm a sense of apartheid (in order to confirm the assumption of difference) by inventing its own autonomy in a way that ironically conflicts with an African conception of the autonomous subject. The transcendental concern with epistemological authenticity and autonomy - indicative of an oppressive desire for Western style autonomy - necessary as it may be in a post-colonial context, is placed in an ethical framework that seeks to remain faithful to the African dictum of identity and autonomy “I am because we are”. Whereas the first three chapters are concerned with the transcendental question ‘what is African philosophy?’, the fourth and last chapter situates the ethical framework within which this question arises in the context of the recently “completed” South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Contrasting Approaches to Concepts of Forgiveness and Revenge
Demands for forgiveness, even in the face of horrific crimes, were common to the late twentieth century and remain critical aspirations for persons and communities in the early twenty-first century. Research on forgiveness and revenge has nevertheless revealed that many people hold divergent moral and pragmatic beliefs about forgiving, and most survivors express longstanding skepticism about when forgiveness is appropriate and when it is not. By taking an interdisciplinary approach to these issues, the current volume considers the complexities of forgiveness and revenge in the modern world. The chapters address some of the most critical inquiries today: How is forgiveness facilitated or obstructed? What is the role of truth, restitution, reparation or retribution? When is forgiveness without restitution appropriate? Is forgiveness in the true sense of the term even possible? Through empirical, theoretical and literary analyses, this volume addresses the power of revenge and forgiveness in human affairs and offers a unique outlook on the benefits of interdisciplinary discussions for enhancing forgiveness and deterring revenge in multiple aspects of human life.