Texts and Studies Series
Editor: David Marsh
This peer-reviewed series has as its focus the authors and the Latin and vernacular literatures of late medieval and early modern Europe (ca. thirteenth through seventeenth centuries), including those less common literatures that arose within the European cultural sphere. The series publishes editions of primary sources, translations in combination with critical editions, and reference works of enduring value.
Editors: Armer and Marsh
Author: Robert Marsh

Abstract

A classic version of convergence theory was proposed by Marion Levy (1966) as part of his theory of modernization: if and as the level of modernization increases (defined as a higher ratio of reliance upon inanimate energy and tools, relative to animate energy), the level of structural uniformity among relatively modernized societies continually increases. This hypothesis that there is more uniformity among modernized than among non-modernized societies is tested here with cross-national data from 148 non-modernized and 52 modernized societies. Using the coefficient of variation (V) as the measure of convergence, I analyze a wide range of variables: level of economic development, capitalist market economy, demographic variables, technology, the state and political democracy, cognitive modernization, health, income inequality and poverty, gender particularism-universalism, and information and communications. I find that the modernized societies do show more convergence (lower V scores) than the non-modernized societies on 49 of the 51 variables tested. Among the 21 societies that were already modernized in 1965, as they became more modernized during the period from1965 to the present, they also became more convergent on 32 of the 45 variables analyzed. Thus, variation in social structure is greater among less modernized than among more modernized societies, and this has implications for theories of globalization.

In: Comparative Sociology
Author: Robert Marsh

Abstract

The reunification of Taiwan with China is one possible future development. Value differences can make the merging of two previously divided societies more difficult. How similar are the values – conceptions of the desirable – of the people now living in China and Taiwan? Representative national sample data from the World Values Surveys for both countries enable us to compare values in eleven domains. There are statistically significant differences on most values between respondents in the two societies, but the degree of difference varies among domains. The largest differences are found in religious values; lesser differences exist in trust and confidence, economic values, and values concerning the environment and science. Value similarities are greatest in the domains of family values, personal satisfaction, social stratification, and gender. The bearing of social structural conditions in China and Taiwan on these value differences and similarities is shown.

In: Comparative Sociology
Author: Robert Marsh

Abstract

Values concerning religion, family and gender are conceptions of the desirable in these domains of life. Studies of development have shown that, instead of eagerly adopting modernity, people may resist it and adhere to traditional religious, family and gender values. Although Western societies increasingly move in the direction of modern values, the proportion of people in the world with traditional values may be increasing – given the higher fertility rates in less developed societies where traditional values are more common. This study develops a causal model of the social bases of support for traditional values: the individual's sex, age, education, occupational status and income; the level of socio-economic development of one's society; and the civilization of which one's society is a part. Multivariate regression analysis of data from representative samples of the populations of eighty societies in the 2000 (fourth) wave of the World Values Surveys confirms the hypotheses. Around the world, women are more traditional than men in religious values, but more modern in family and gender values. Traditional values are most often supported by older people, those of lower socio-economic status, living in less developed societies, in Islamic, Sub-Saharan African and Latin American civilizations.

In: Comparative Sociology
Author: Clive Marsh

Abstract

This article looks at the way that the so-called Third Quest relates to past versions of the Quest of the Historical Jesus. Nine different forms of the Quest are uncovered. The history of the Quest is then re-examined in the light of this mapping exercise, drawing on New Historicist insights. Five themes are taken up: the dominance of white, male European/North American contributors to the Quest; its close alliance with Western bourgeous capitalism and individualism; issues surroundings the Quest's marketability and popularity; the consequences of reading the Quest less as a single narrative than as a collection of local ideological explorations; the necessity and dangers of re-writing the Quest's own history. In conclusion, it is suggested that the future of the Quest lies with greater attention to ideology, not less. This in turn invites a reconsideration of the christological framework within which Jesus Research must inevitably be placed.

In: Biblical Interpretation
Author: Marsh Clive

Abstract

This study examines the content and context of production of Rembrandt's etching Christ Preaching. After an exposition of the etching's key features, consideration is given to the place of the etching in Rembrandt's life and work. Particular attention is paid to Rembrandt's own religious outlook, to the level of his awareness as to the artistic and theological traditions within which he stood, and to the impact upon his work of the dynamics of commissioning and selling the results of his efforts. The study suggests a possible religious dimension to his choice of an etching for this particular image. The significance of the exploration of this "biblical" etching by Rembrandt for the contemporary task of the interpretation of the Gospels is then drawn out in a series of nine points: the relationship between single texts and the "big picture" of Jesus which an interpreter carries; the impact of a variety of interpretative frameworks within which interpreters work; acknowledgement of the inevitability of working with a "canon within the canon"; attention to the specific communities within which one interprets; recognition of a present interest at work; respect for the rhetorical strategies which are operative in the interpretation (as well as the text being interpreted); the need to examine the reasons for the choice of medium through which an interpretation of a text is conveyed; acknowledgement that interpretations are sometimes affected by factors beyond the control of those who fashion them; and consideration of the place of fiction in biblical interpretation.

In: Biblical Interpretation
Author: Michael Marsh

Abstract

After defining various aspects of memory, this paper has sought to outline the phenomenology of memory developed by Erwin Straus and his effort to refute the trace or engram theory of memory storage. We found Straus proposing some major insights : that human experience has its own structure of lived time, that this experience transcends the realm of physical events, and that the suchness of past experiences is preserved, and can be reactivated, in lived time. Straus's approach repudiates the conventional reductionistic wisdom about memory. That wisdom has some powerful support, both ideological and experimental. However, other evidence taken from physiological, neurological, clinical and psychological observations lends weight to Straus's views. The final answer is not in, but it seems plausible that Straus was on the right track toward a framework for human memory. We concluded with a brief broadening out of the Straus framework into the whole realm of lived time or temporality.

In: Journal of Phenomenological Psychology