The 1676 killing of Metacomet, the tribal leader dubbed "King Philip" by colonists, is commonly seen as a watershed event, marking the end of a bloody war, dissolution of Indian society in New England, and even the disappearance of Native peoples from the region. This collection challenges that assumption, showing that Indians adapted and survived, existing quietly on the fringes of Yankee society, less visible than before but nonetheless retaining a distinct identity and heritage. While confinement on tiny reservations, subjection to increasing state regulation, enforced abandonment of traditional dress and means of support, and racist policies did cause dramatic changes, Natives nonetheless managed to maintain their Indianness through customs, kinship, and community.
Examining “the moment” as one of the primary motifs of Beat writing, Erik Mortenson offers the first book to investigate immediacy and its presence and importance in Beat writing. Capturing the Beat Moment: Cultural Politics and the Poetics of Presence places an expanded canon of Beat writers in an early postmodern context that highlights their importance in American poetics and provides an account of Beat practices that reveal how gender and race affect Beat politics of the moment.
Mortenson argues that Beat writers focused on action, desire, and spontaneity to establish an authentic connection to the world around them and believed that “living in the moment” was the only way in which they might establish the kind of life that led to good writing. With this in mind, he explores the possibility that, far from being the antithesis of their times, the Beats actually were a product of them. Mortenson outlines the effects of gender and race on Beat writing in the postwar years, as well as the Beats’ attempts to break free of the constrictive notions of time and space prevalent during the 1950s.
Mortenson discusses such topics as the importance of personal visionary experiences; the embodiment of sexuality and the moment of ecstasy in Beat writing; how the Beats used photographs to evoke the past; and the ways that Beat culture was designed to offer alternatives to existing political and social structures. Throughout the volume, Mortenson moves beyond the Kerouac-Ginsberg-Burroughs triumvirate commonly associated with Beat literature, discussing women—such as Diane di Prima, Janine Pommy Vega, and Joyce Johnson—and African American writers, including Bob Kaufman and Amiri Baraka. With the inclusion of these authors comes a richer understanding of the Beat writers’ value and influence in American literary history.
Unlike William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and other great authors who have enjoyed continued success in Hollywood, Geoffrey Chaucer has largely been shunted to the margins of the cinematic world. Chaucer on Screen: Absence, Presence, and Adapting the Canterbury Tales, edited by Kathleen Coyne Kelly and Tison Pugh, investigates the various translations of Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales to film and television, tracing out how the legacies of the great fourteenth-century English poet have been revisited and reinterpreted through visual media. Contributors to this volume address the question of why Chaucer is so rarely adapted to the screen, and then turn to the occasional, often awkward, attempts to adapt his narratives, including such works as Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s lyrical A Canterbury Tale (1944), Pier Paolo Pasolini’s still-controversial I racconti di Canterbury (1972), Bud Lee’s soft-core The Ribald Tales of Canterbury (1985), Brian Helgeland’s A Knight’s Tale (2001), and BBC television productions, among others. Chaucer on Screen aims to rethink some of the premises of adaptation studies and to erase the ideological lines between textual sources and visual reimaginings in the certainty that many pleasures, scholarly and otherwise, can found in multiple media across disparate eras.
Although she died cruelly at Auschwitz at the age of twenty-nine, Etty Hillesum left a lasting legacy of mystical thought in her letters and diaries. Hillesum was a complex and powerful witness to the openness of the human spirit to the call of God, even under the most harrowing circumstances. Her life was as much shaped by Hitler’s regime as was that of philosopher Eric Voegelin, and as Meins Coetsier reveals, her thought lends itself to interpretation from a uniquely Voegelinian perspective.
Etty Hillesum and the Flow of Presence analyzes the life and writings of Hillesum from the standpoint of Voegelin’s views on consciousness—especially his philosophy of luminous participation in the transcendent ground of being. Through a careful reading of her letters and diaries, Coetsier reveals the inner development of Hillesum’s mystically grounded resistance to Nazism as he guides readers through the symbolism of her spiritual journey, making effective use of Voegelin’s analytics of experience and symbolization to trace her path to spiritual truth.
Intertwining the lives, works, and visions of these two mystical thinkers, Coetsier demonstrates his mastery of both Voegelin’s philosophy and Hillesum’s Dutch-language materials. He shows how mystical attunement to the “flow of presence”—Voegelin’s designation for human responsiveness to the divine—is the key to the development of Hillesum’s life and writings. He displays a special affinity for the suffering and grace-filled transformation that she underwent as she approached the end of her life and gained insight into the ultimate purpose of each individual’s contribution to the well-being and maintenance of the human spirit.
Retrieving one of the lesser-known but most compelling figures of the Holocaust, Etty Hillesum and the Flow of Presence is an original contribution to both Voegelin and Hillesum scholarship that reflects these writers’ strong valuation of the human person. It presents Hillesum’s life and work in an original and provocative context, shedding new light on her experiences and their symbolizations while further broadening the application of Voegelin’s thought
Jan-Heiner Tück presents a work that explores the sacramental theology, lived spirituality, and Eucharistic poetry of the Church’s doctor communis, St. Thomas Aquinas. Although Aquinas’ Eucharistic poetry has long occupied an important place in the Church’s liturgical prayer and her repertoire of sacred music, the depth of these poems remains hidden until one grasps the rich sacramental theology underlying it. Consequently, Tück first offers a detailed but approachable primer of Aquinas’ theology of the sacraments, before diving deeply into the Angelic Doctor’s theology and poetry of the Eucharist. The Scriptural accounts stand at the heart of the systematic framework developed by Aquinas, and thus significant attention is devoted to showing the harmony between the accounts of Christ’s passion and the detailed exposition of the Summa theologiae. Moreover, the Eucharistic controversies of the ninth and eleventh centuries provide the contrapuntal context in which Aquinas did his thinking, praying, and writing. Not surprisingly, therefore, the response he crafts to these controversies draws upon both speculative powers and contemplative prayer, brought together in the unity of Aquinas’ theology and spirituality. The net result is a twofold treasure for the Church: a careful systematic presentation of Eucharistic theology and the lived devotional expression of the same in the carefully constructed—and now much beloved—stanzas of Pange lingua gloriosi, Lauda Sion, Adoro te devote, etc. By revealing the lively interplay of the saint’s powerful speculative intellect and a heart steeped in love for the Eucharistic Lord, Tück offers a sophisticated exposition of Aquinas’ Eucharistic poetry and the roots it sinks into a wider theological framework. Finally, the contemporary significance and power of Aquinas’ work is drawn out, not only in the rarefied realm of intellectual inquiry but also in the everyday expanse of ordinary life.
History and Presence:
Robert A. Orsi Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress BV825.3.O76 2016 | Dewey Decimal 234.163
Honorable Mention, PROSE Award
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year
A Junto Favorite Book of the Year
Beginning with metaphysical debates in the sixteenth century over the nature of Christ’s presence in the host, the distinguished historian and scholar of religion Robert Orsi imagines an alternative to the future of religion that early moderns proclaimed was inevitable.
“This book is classic Orsi: careful, layered, humane, and subtle… If reformed theology has led to the gods’ ostensible absence in modern religion, History and Presence is a sort of counter-reformation literature that revels in the excesses of divine materiality: the contradictions, the redundancies, the scrambling of borders between the sacred and profane, the dead and the living, the past and the present, the original and the imitator…History and Presence is a thought-provoking, expertly arranged tour of precisely those abundant, excessive phenomena which scholars have historically found so difficult to think.”
—Sonja Anderson, Reading Religion
“With reference to Marian apparitions, the cult of the saints and other divine–human encounters, Orsi constructs a theory of presence for the study of contemporary religion and history. Many interviews with individuals devoted to particular saints and relics are included in this fascinating study of how people process what they believe.”
In the Presence of Angels
Andrea R. Garrison Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 2013 Library of Congress BL73.G37A3 2013 | Dewey Decimal 204.092
In October 2004, Andrea Garrison’s mother, Mattie Pearl, passed into the spiritual world. The weeks leading up to her crossing were a powerful time for Andrea and the rest of her family as Mattie Pearl shared her love, her insights, and her visions of heaven with those around her.
Andrea knew from the time she was a little girl that there was a spiritual reality beyond what we could see, and her mother encouraged her to explore different understandings of the Divine. As an adult, Andrea encountered the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and was struck by the similarities between his theology and her experiences. Her quest to find others who knew about the Swedish mystic led her to new friends and, ultimately, a deeper exploration of her family history.
Originally published as The Crossing Over of Mattie Pearl, this expanded edition tells more about Andrea’s family history, including the role her father played in her life, as well as her reflections on Emanuel Swedenborg. Anyone who has mourned the loss of a loved one or been curious about the other side will be inspired and uplifted by this true story of a remarkable woman.
Peter Kreeft St. Augustine's Press, 2008 Library of Congress BT590.P75K74 2008 | Dewey Decimal 232
Jesus Shock is the second in a series of short works on seminal concerns of the impact that Jesus Christ made in the world. The first work, The Philosophy of Jesus (St. Augustine’s Press, 2007), explored philosophy in light of Jesus, rather than the other way around. The present work investigates the reception Jesus received both in His lifetime and continuously to the present time, not only from His enemies, but from His friends, a reception of shock, astonishment, even disgust.
Perhaps a few remarks from the book best explains it:
The point of the book:
The point of the title: Imagine a storm has downed a telephone wire so that everyone who touches it is shocked in every cell of his body. Well, the storm of God’s crazy love has “downed” (incarnated) Jesus, and everyone who touches this “live wire” is shocked in every cell of his soul.
The question of the book: Why is “Jesus” the most non-neutral, the most controversial, the most embarrassing name in the world? Why is talking about Jesus like talking about sex?
This whole book is really about a single movie line, the greatest line in the greatest movie in history. Bet you know what it is.
Jesus-Shock is about the Real Presence of Christ in the Gospels and in the Eucharist. It
is not about the theology of the Real Presence, but about the experience of Him there, and about the experience of everyone in the Gospels who met Him.
What was the bitterest controversy of the Protestant Reformation, both between Protestants and Catholics and between different Protestant denominations, the one that had both sides calling the other not just heretics but devils?
Answer: It was not Justification by Faith, the hallmark of the Reformation, even though that question is about nothing less momentous than how to be saved, how to get to Heaven. It was not the relation between religion and politics, even though that was a matter of life or death (literally, on battlefields and at guillotines and hangings) and not just a matter of truth or falsity, or of good or evil. It was not about the sufficiency of the Bible, or the corruption in the Church, or the relation between the Bible and the Church. It was not about the Pope, and the governance of the Church. It was not about Mary or saints or angels or Purgatory. It was not about the Incarnation or the Trinity or the Atonement.
It was about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Jesus-Shock, in addressing this controversy forcefully and faithfully, shows the reasons why to this day the name of “Jesus” stirs up controversy, even revulsion, in polite society. In the true spirit of ecumenism, it also points the way toward a true rapprochement among His modern-day disciples.
Before the Renaissance and Reformation, holy images were treated not as
"art" but as objects of veneration which possessed the tangible presence
of the Holy. In this magisterial book, Hans Belting traces the long
history of the sacral image and its changing role in European culture. Likeness and Presence looks at the beliefs, superstitions, hopes,
and fears that come into play as people handle and respond to sacred
images, and presents a compelling interpretation of the place of the
image in Western history.
"A rarity within its genre—an art-historical analysis of iconography
which is itself iconoclastic. . . . One of the most intellectually
exciting and historically grounded interpretations of Christian
iconography." —Graham Howes, Times Literary Supplement
"Likeness and Presence offers the best source to survey the facts of
what European Christians put in their churches. . . . An impressively
detailed contextual analysis of medieval objects." —Robin Cormack, New York Times Book Review
"I cannot begin to describe the richness or the imaginative grandeur of
Hans Belting's book. . . . It is a work that anyone interested in art,
or in the history of thought about art, should regard as urgent reading.
It is a tremendous achievement."—Arthur C. Danto, New Republic
Most people in the United States today no longer live their lives under the guidance of local institutionalized religious leadership, such as rabbis, ministers, and priests; rather, liberals and conservatives alike have taken charge of their own religious or spiritual practices. This shift, along with other social and cultural changes, has opened up a perhaps surprising space for chaplains—spiritual professionals who usually work with the endorsement of a religious community but do that work away from its immediate hierarchy, ministering in a secular institution, such as a prison, the military, or an airport, to an ever-changing group of clients of widely varying faiths and beliefs.
In A Ministry of Presence, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan explores how chaplaincy works in the United States—and in particular how it sits uneasily at the intersection of law and religion, spiritual care, and government regulation. Responsible for ministering to the wandering souls of the globalized economy, the chaplain works with a clientele often unmarked by a specific religious identity, and does so on behalf of a secular institution, like a hospital. Sullivan's examination of the sometimes heroic but often deeply ambiguous work yields fascinating insights into contemporary spiritual life, the politics of religious freedom, and the never-ending negotiation of religion's place in American institutional life.
Mystics: Presence and Aporia
Edited by Michael Kessler and Christian Sheppard University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress BV5075.M88 2003 | Dewey Decimal 248.22
When we speak of mystics, we normally think of people who have confessed extraordinary experiences of divine presence. But mysticism can also refer to the ways that people have described and explained such phenomena—ways that challenge our normal modes of thinking and believing. And the study of mystics can show problems inherent to experience and language—how to speak and think about what affects people but lies beyond language or thought.
Mystics presents a collection of previously unpublished essays by prominent scholars that consider both the idea of mystics and mysticism. The contributors offer detailed discussions of a variety of mystics from history, including Dionysius the Areopagite, Thomas Aquinas, Joan of Arc, Nicholas of Cusa, Saint Teresa of Avila, Martin Luther, and George Herbert. Essays on mysticism in George Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, and contemporary technology bring the volume into the twenty-first century.
For anyone interested in the state of current thinking about mysticism, this collection will be an essential touchstone.
Thomas A. Carlson, Alexander Golitzin, Kevin Hart, Amy Hollywood, Michael Kessler, Jean-Luc Marion, Bernard McGinn, Françoise Meltzer, Susan Schreiner, Regina M. Schwartz, Christian Sheppard, David Tracy
In this volume, eminent scholar Berel Lang brings the perspective of philosophical analysis to bear on issues related to the Holocaust. Setting out from a conception of philosophical “witnessing” that expands and illuminates the standard view of the witness, he confronts the question of what philosophy can add to the views of the Holocaust provided in other disciplines. Drawing on the philosophical areas of political theory, ethics, aesthetics, and the philosophy of history, he draws attention especially to the post-Holocaust emphasis on the concepts of genocide and “group rights.” Lang’s study, which emphasizes the moral choices that now face post-Holocaust thought, inspires the reader to think of the Holocaust in new ways, showing how its continued presence in contemporary consciousness affects areas of thought and practice not directly associated with that event.
Ennead VI.4-5, originally written as a single treatise, contains Plotinus’ most general and sustained exposition of the relationship between the intelligible and the sensible realms, addressing and coalescing two central issues in Platonism: the nature of the soul-body relationship and the nature of participation. Its main question is, How can soul animate bodies without sharing their extension? The treatise seems to have had considerable impact: it is much reflected in Porphyry’s important work, Sententiae, and the doctrine of reception according to the capacity of the recipient, for which this treatise is the main source, resonated in medieval thinkers.
“Presence and Absence is a book of importance for all who are actively engaged in the philosophical enterprise, whatever their differing persuasions. It shows philosophy to be flourishing in the midst of its own self-proclaimed signs of morbidity.” – The Review of Metaphysics
“A splendid, provocative and profound work, this book explores the manifold ways in which the contrast of presence and absence operate to establish the possibility of human discourse and truthfulness…belongs in every philosophy collection.” – Choice
“Quite simply a superb book, which deserves more than one careful reading. A fresh, unified treatment of a grand philosophical theme, the theme of the connections between thought, truth, and being.” – Man and World
“A thoughtful book about thoughtfulness and truthfulness and their ontological conditions. Simply put, this is a book that will reward its careful reader a hundredfold, for Sokolowski is a speaker who says things in ways that are provocative, exciting, and invariably insightful.” – Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology
“Has few peers in phenomenological literature.” – International Philosophical Quarterly
“[Sokolowski is] an original thinker of the first rank, who has significantly furthered the path of phenomenological philosophy. As well as being an exciting synthesis, a thinking of the previously unthought in predecessors, and a ground-breaking movement, this work is written with a sensitivity to language and its graceful use that one would hope for from one exploring its richness and power.” – Human Studies
There is perhaps no greater constant in religious intuition and experience than the presence of light. In spiritual traditions East and West, light is not only ubiquitous but something that assumes strikingly similar forms in altogether different historical and cultural settings. This study examines light as an aspect of religiously valued experiences and its entailments for mystical theology, philosophy, politics, and religious art.
The essays in this volume make an important contribution to religious studies by proposing that it is misleading to conceive of religious experience in terms of an irreconcilable dichotomy between universality and cultural construction. An esteemed group of contributors, representing the study of Asian and Western religious traditions from a range of disciplinary perspectives, suggests that attention to various forms of divine radiance shows that there is indeed a range of principles that, if not universal, are nevertheless very widely occurring and amenable to fruitful comparative inquiry. What results is a work of enormous scope, demonstrating compelling cross-connections that will be of value to scholars of comparative religions, mysticism, and the relationship between art and the sacred.
* Catherine B. Asher
* Raoul Birnbaum
* Sarah Iles Johnston
* Matthew T. Kapstein
* Andrew Louth
* Paul E. Muller-Ortega
* Elliot R. Wolfson
* Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan
* Hossein Ziai
"[An] important essay by a philosopher who more convincingly than any other I can think of demonstrates the continuing significance of his vocation in the life of our culture."—Karsten Harries, The New York Times Book Review
With The Presence of Myth, Kolakowski demonstrates that no matter how hard man strives for purely rational thought, there has always been-and always will be-a reservoir of mythical images that lend "being" and "consciousness" a specifically human meaning.
"Kolakowski undertakes a philosophy of culture which extends to all realms of human intercourse—intellectual, artistic, scientific, and emotional. . . . [His] book has real significance for today, and may well become a classic in the philosophy of culture."—Anglican Theological Review
This richly illustrated book examines the changing significance of ruins as vehicles for cultural memory in Chinese art and visual culture from ancient times to the present. The story of ruins in China is different from but connected to “ruin culture” in the West. This book explores indigenous Chinese concepts of ruins and their visual manifestations, as well as the complex historical interactions between China and the West since the eighteenth century.
Wu Hung leads us through an array of traditional and contemporary visual materials, including painting, architecture, photography, prints, and cinema. A Story of Ruins shows how ruins are integral to traditional Chinese culture in both architecture and pictorial forms. It traces the changes in their representation over time, from indigenous methods of recording damage and decay in ancient China, to realistic images of architectural ruins in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to the strong interest in urban ruins in contemporary China, as shown in the many artworks that depict demolished houses and decaying industrial sites. The result is an original interpretation of the development of Chinese art, as well as a unique contribution to global art history.
Varieties of Presence
Alva Noë Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress B105.E9N64 2012 | Dewey Decimal 128.4
The world shows up for us, but, as Alva Noë contends in his latest exploration of the problem of consciousness, it doesn’t show up for free. We must show up, too, and bring along what knowledge and skills we’ve cultivated. As with a painting in a gallery, the world has no meaning—no presence to be experienced—apart from our able engagement with it.