Judith Butler is regarded as one of the most popular philosophers of the present. Famous for her theory of gender her wide-ranging work explored such themes as language, power, recognition, vulnerability, mourning, and grievability, revolutions, democratic movements, and resistance. This book provides an overview of Butler’s rich scholarship and utilizes selected examples to present opportunities for a theological approach to her work. Of particular interest in this regard are the clear parallels between Butler’s thought and progressive theologies, such as Liberation Theology or the New Political Theology founded by Johann Baptist Metz. With attention to Butlers Jewish background, this unique interdisciplinary investigation bridges Butler’s thought, political philosophy, and Christian theology. Judith Butler and Theology considers how the reflections and insights of this critical intellectual can help set a constructive theology for the challenges of our century.
Wurden Papst Pius XII. und die katholische Kirche nach 1945 wegen ihres Verhaltens während der Herrschaft der Nationalsozialisten unverhältnismäßig in den Fokus gerückt?
Mark Edward Ruff untersucht die heftigen Kontroversen über das Verhältnis zwischen der katholischen Kirche und dem NS-Regime, die in der Bundesrepublik zwischen 1945 und 1980 ausbrachen – etwa über Rolf Hochhuths Schauspiel „Der Stellvertreter“ von 1963. Er beleuchtet dabei, warum diese kulturellen Gefechte so viel Kraft kosteten, die Schlagzeilen beherrschten, Klagen vor Gericht auslösten und zum Einschreiten von Außenministerien führten. Nach Ruff waren diese Kontroversen über die Beziehung zwischen Kirche und Nationalsozialismus oftmals Stellvertreterkriege um die Positionierung der Kirche in der „modernen“ Welt – in der Politik, internationalen Beziehungen und den Medien. Im Mittelpunkt dieser Auseinandersetzungen standen in den meisten Fällen Konflikte, die durch die gestiegene politische Bedeutung des Katholizismus und die Integration katholischer Bürgerinnen und Bürger in die Mitte der Gesellschaft ausgelöst wurden.
Baku, the center of the Russian and then Soviet oil industry, represented the raw economic potential of early Soviet industry. At the head of the industry was Alexandr Serebrovskiĭ, head of Azneft, the largest Soviet oil trust, and a pivotal figure in reviving Soviet oil production across the 1920s. His trip to the United States in 1924 and his subsequent plan to restore Baku’s productive capacity via American technology and methodology would not only improve the industry’s output but allow Azneft to directly compete with American oil companies on the international stage, thus demonstrating the latent potential of the Soviet Union for exportation. However, while this project seemed initially successful, it created a difficult fiscal legacy as Azneft became increasingly financially insolvent across the 1920s.
This article examines the meaning and the development of the terms used to introduce baraitot transmitted by amoraim in the Bavli: “Tannei Rav X.” Why are these baraitot not introduced with the more usual terms used for citing a baraita, “tanya” and “tannu rabbanan?” I will argue that the term “tannei Rav X” was created in the generations that followed the named amora, as an alternative to the usual citation formula employed by the sage himself when he first quoted the baraita. A sage later to Rav X (or the “stam”) who wished to refer to a baraita quoted earlier by Rav X, used the term “tannei Rav X” to do so. These baraitot (around 80%) have parallels in tannaitic compositions or in the Yerushalmi. This finding bears additional weight on the question of the origins of the terminology used to quote baraitot in the Bavli.
The historiography of sixteenth-century Church parties may have arisen from historians’ misinterpreting the use of the terms “band of Josephian monks” (cheti Osiflianskikh mnikhov) and the “non-possessor way of life” (nestiazhatel’noe zhitel’stvo) by the author of The History of the Grand Prince of Moscow. But he does not juxtapose these terms against each other. Those monks who live the non-possessor way of life are, instead, directly contrasted with those who love possession (liubostiazhatel’nye), but neither they nor the Josephians are described as a Church party, let alone one that had an “ideology”. The monks in The History who loved possessions are not identified with the Josephians, nor are the monks who follow the non-possessor way of life identified with the Trans-Volga elders. Another attempt to find the antecedent of the Church parties model were historians who cite the use by Zinovii Otenskii of the term nestiazhatel’ in relation to Vassian Patrikeev, but he too was not using the term in the sense of a Church party. These attempts are examples of “thick interpretation”; that is, imposing on the source testimony an outside construct that is not contained within it.
Among many arguments for constitutional changes presented in the wake of the 2020 campaign for the popular vote in Russia, there was the idea that “cementing” Russia’s political landscape for the sake of the regime’s durability would serve as a tool for improvement of quality of governance. This argument, in a way, followed the essential point of Mancur Olson describing many autocrats across the globe as “roving bandits” with their short-term time horizons and incentives for predatory behavior. To what extent may the constitutional extension of the time horizon of Russia’s authoritarian regime contribute to conversion of Russia’s state officials and top managers from the “roving” to the “stationary” model, in Olson’s terms? On the basis of previous research, I argue that the nature of Russia’s political regime—electoral authoritarianism under personalist rule—prevents such a trajectory of further evolution. Indeed, the set of constitutional changes adopted in Russia in July 2020 is likely to preserve bad governance as a mechanism of maintenance of politico-economic order, as intentionally built and developed during the post-Soviet period. While certain technocratic solutions for Russia’s governance, aimed at “fool-proofing”, may avert the risks of major disasters, under conditions of durable authoritarianism the use of these devices will not result in major advancements in the quality of governance. Rather, they may contribute to further decay and aggravation of the numerous vices of bad governance.
Viewed through the lens of social policy, Russia’s 2020 constitutional reform codifies existing priorities without addressing the issues that have fragmented the meaning of social citizenship. Placing these changes in theoretical and historical context, we identify the core causes of inequity in the social welfare system, the sustained gap between state promises, and Russians’ lived experience. Our case studies highlight the sources of shared social grievances and the obstacles to national collective action that maintain stability in the facing of increased localized protest actions. We conclude by emphasizing the importance of observing the opposing forces of continuity and change in Russian politics as they define and redefine the meaning of social citizenship.