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Edited by Elisa Heinämäki, P.M. Mehtonen and Antti Salminen

The present “turn to religion” has also meant a rekindled interest in transcendence, a concept once deemed a relic of a metaphysical past. This volume approaches transcendence from a particular perspective: that of language and literature seen as a matrix of expression of transcendence and its interplay of immanence. The essays in this volume probe the poetic and literary devices through which transcendence has been solicited, evoked, and generated. This has also meant revisiting the long Christian tradition, not simply to rehabilitate it but as an indispensable source for present writing and thinking.
“Thus, ultimately, the present anthology offers no apology for traditional views of transcendence and religious experience but presents original contributions to the poetics of transcendence that are sensitive to religious as well as a-religious languages in literature. It is argued that, in order to rethink meanings and the value of transcendence, rigorous ontological philosophy must once again face up to the imaginative potential of poetics.” (From the Introduction)

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Meyer Birgit

Focusing on images of evil, this paper explores differences between the modes of looking induced by the exposition All About Evil at the Royal Tropical Museum in Amsterdam on the one hand and the Christian setting in which the items on display feature in Ghana on the other. While images of evil are more or less harmless depictions in the context of the exposition, in the Ghanaian setting they may easily slip into evil images that render present the very force that they depict. Tracing the genesis of Christian attitudes towards images of evil in Ghana, the paper focuses on the continued importance of the image of Satan in popular Ghanaian Christianity. It is argued that Christianity propounds a religious aesthetics that induces particular “looking acts” and attitudes towards evil through which images of evil achieve a reality of themselves.