Christianity did not reach the modern age by straight paths, but by crooked ones: For two centuries after the Reformation, Catholics and Protestants fought over the truth of their religion. They waged merciless wars and concluded fragile peace treaties. They invested in education and culture. They professionalized clerics and civil servants and tried harder than ever to shape the everyday lives of ordinary people in the villages and towns. They persecuted witches and learned to control the fear of magic.
The Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars created completely new conditions for making Christianity plausible for the modern age.
The book describes the enormous efforts under which Catholic and Protestant men and women faced the upheavals between the Reformation and the Revolution. Many of these efforts were similar. And yet ‘religious knowledge’ developed significantly apart.
Did Orthodoxy come to a halt before modernity? Does Orthodox Christian theology function only in traditional contexts borrowing schemes and forms of rural society, to which the liturgical and theological symbolisms, the rhetoric models of preaching, the structures of church administration and its views on the relation between religion, politics, and secular society are closely linked?
Has Orthodoxy accepted the consequences of modernity or the Orthodox still feel a nostalgia for pre-modern forms of organization and structures of a glorified past, following in this way fundamentalism? Did even the movement called Return to the Fathers, as it was understood, and in spite of its initially renewal character, functioned unwittingly as a barrier, against modernity and its challenges?
Modernity and post-modernity constitute, however, the broader historical, social and cultural context within which the Church is called to accomplish its mission and to ceaselessly incarnate the Christian truth.
This book explores the invention, significance and actual history of self-creative freedom from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance.
Gregory of Nyssa, the great Cappadocian Father of the IV century, is not as yet deemed one of the outstanding figures in our Histories of Philosophy. However, this monograph argues that his remarkable theories of freedom transcend his own time and, traversing centuries of Medieval and Byzantine history, they become one of the core theoretical inspirations for the anthropological revolution of the Quattrocento, as evinced in eminent philosophers such as Nicholas of Cusa and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. Our research methodology integrates a thorough study of the Greek and Latin sources ‒ resorting to Philology, Palaeography and Codicology ‒ with a systematic historical and philosophical analysis of different theories and argumentative strategies.
What literary and social functions do self-annotations (i.e. footnotes and endnotes that authors appended to their own works) serve?
Focussing on Alexander Pope's “Dunciad”s and a wide selection of Lord Byron’s poems, Lahrsow shows that literary self-annotations rarely just explain a text. Rather, they multiply meanings and pit different voices against each other. Self-annotations serve to ambiguate the author’s self-presentation as well as the genre, tone, and overall interpretation of a text.
The study also examines how notes were employed for ‘social networking’ and how authors used self-annotations to address, and differentiate between, various groups of readerships.
Additionally, the volume sheds light on the wider literary and cultural context of self-annotations: How common were they during the long eighteenth century? What conventions governed them? And were they even read? The study hence combines literary analysis with insights into book history and the history of reading.
Leading historians examine the meaning of being Jewish from early-modern times to the present day.
Classification is an inherent feature of all societies. The distinction between Jews and non-Jews has been a major theme of Western society for over two millennia. In the middle of the twentieth century, dire consequences were associated with being Jewish. Even after the Shoah, the labelling of Jews as “other” continued. In this book, leading historians including Michael Brenner, Elisheva Carlebach and Michael Miller illuminate the meaning of Jewishness from pre-modern and early-modern times to the present day. Their studies offer new perspectives on constructing and experiencing Jewish identity.
The articles in the book show, that today’s Orthodox theology is constructively relating to modernity in politics, society and culture.
In 20 articles very prominent Orthodox theologians and experts on Orthodox theology and Orthodox Christianity from academic fields like sociology of religion or political studies are discussing, in what sense politics, society and culture are considered in Orthodox Theology in a global horizon. Contributors are Alfons Brüning, Ina Merdjanova, Nathaniel Wood, Cyril Hovorun, Dimitrios Moschos, Lucien Turcescu, K. M. George (Kondortha), Pantelis Kalaitzidis, Branko Sekulić, Georgios Vlantis, Nikolaos Asproulis, Atanas Slavov, Sveto Riboloff, Haralambos Ventis, Ioannis Kaminis, Irena Pavlović, Athanasios N. Papathanasiou, Chris Durante, Kateřina Kočandrle Bauer, Vasilios N. Makrides.
This volume takes us back to the roots of Christianity and exemplifies the significance of Syriac Theology for our time.
Bringing together articles by scholars from diverse disciplines, this volume aims at a deeper understanding of the legacy, importance, and challenges of Syriac Theology. The articles in the first part of the volume focus on the biblical, exegetical, and christological tradition of the Syriac Orthodox Church. The articles in the second part of the volume explore the dialogical intertextuality between Syriac Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism, and the Quran.
Elites should be regarded and approached as gregarious social entities (groups, networks) rather than as oustanding individuals.
The volume aims to explore the elites in East-Central and South-Eastern Europe during the long nineteenth century from the perspective of their gregarious tendencies (i.e., groupness), to assess the role of the latter in the elite’s decisions and agenda, and to observe the transformations brought in this regard by the changing social and political landscape.
While the gregarious tendencies of the members of the elite were rooted in their shared perspectives, in their mutual interests or in the communion of cultural patterns, it is clear that during the process of group formation, kinship ties played an unassailable part, although they were likely never a causal factor.
The volume covers the research on elites from the early 18th century to the interwar period, focussing on the Banat, Bessarabia, Bohemia, Bulgaria, Dalmatia, Hungary, Rumania, Serbia, Slovenia, as well as looking into Austria in total.
This study brings together all ancient evidence to tell the story of the divine name, YHWH, as it travels in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek through the Second Temple period, the most formative era of Judaism.
During the Second Temple period (516 BCE–70 CE), Jews became reticent to speak and write the divine name, YHWH, also known by its four letters in Greek as the tetragrammaton. Priestly, pious, and scribal circles limitted the use of God’s name, and then it disappeared. The variables are poorly understood and the evidence is scattered. This study brings together all ancient Jewish literary and epigraphic evidence in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek to describe how, when, and in what sources Jews either used or avoided the divine name. Instead of a diachronic contrast from use to avoidance, as is often the scholarly assumption, the evidence suggests diverse and overlapping naming practices that draw specific meaning from linguistic, geographic, and social contexts.
“The Post-Secular City” is the first attempt to systematically map and assess the recent debate about secularization.
“The Post-Secular City” examines the alleged shift from a “secular” to a “post-secular” dispensation from the perspective of the ongoing de-construction of the secularization “theorem” (as Hans Blumenberg called it). Accordingly, the new secularization debate is described as being polarized between the “de-constructors” and the “maintainers” of the standard thesis of secularization. This is the assumption underlying an ambitious effort to map the field, which consists of a long introduction where “secularization” is analyzed as a deeply problematic concept-of-process and of eight chapters in which several protagonists of the recent debate are discussed as crucial junctions of a multidisciplinary conversation.