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.
The Mexican city of Catemaco is famous for its diversity of African-American religious traditions. Although Santería was originally shaped in Cuba, the local Mexican versions show not only a variety of references regarding their origins and influences, ranging from West Africa and Cuba to local indigenous traditions, but also (re)interpretations of historically and geographically diverse contents. Based on interview data gathered during field research in 2017, this article outlines the different hybrid (re)configurations of African-Mexican Santería in Catemaco by tracing the changes made by the practitioners in order to adapt existing traditions. The corresponding adaptation processes include beliefs, practices, lore and material assets. Under a critical perspective, concepts of transnationalism, syncretism and glocalization are discussed, focussing on the dynamics between local and global aspects of Santería in Catemaco and shedding light on the processes of inclusion, exclusion and the shift of boundaries.
The introduction of the editor explains research context and research objectives of the topic, highlights the most important insights and demonstrates relations among the contributions collected in the volume. The papers, written by young and senior researchers, on the one hand, discuss aspects of truth and various modes of deception like insincerity, whitewashing, or bullshit, all of which set forth destructing forces and eroding democratic processes. On the other hand, the papers address phenomena of dissolving and eroding the reliability of collective efforts to maintain truth and sanctions on deception, especially when they are linked to dangerous reductionist movements and hermetic subgroups which systematically prevent the efforts of peacebuilding measures and make anti-democratic movements settle to an extent that endangers cohesion and collective identity within Europe.
The aim of this essay is to elaborate structural epistemological and ethical equivalences between mysticism and psychoanalysis. This allows us to make the central concerns of mysticism accessible to contemporary secular thought. The article is driven by two intentions: on the one hand, not to misunderstand mysticism as a moral enterprise of self-perfection, and on the other hand, to oppose the contemporary “guiding culture” of enjoyment with an ethics of desire.
In this philosophical essay, I intend to understand hermeneutics as a philosophical tradition that favors the idea of exchange and impropriety over the ideas of ownership and identity. To this end, I will explore the mythological figure of Hermes, the Greek god that was the patron of merchants, travelers, translators, and also of thieves. Attending to the idea of robbery, and opposing the notion of use against the one of ownership, I argue that a philosophy that focus on interpretation and on texts leads to acknowledge that there is nothing proper to anything nor anyone, but that propriety is but the outcome of a negotiation, of an exchange, of mutual dis-appropriations.
The notion of ‘Post-truth Politics’ and of the ‘Post-Factual’ are notoriously blurry. In this article, I distinguish the concepts of lies, bullshit, and propaganda. I argue that the post-factual displays elements of all three concepts, so that it can be either understood to be in continuity with using lies and bullshit as means of political discourse; or to discontinue the basic commitments of democracy by attacking the epistemic foundations. In a second step, I argue that the common orientation towards the ideal of public reason cannot be abandoned at will, so that any Post-truth Politics is bound to fail in the end. I defend a concept of deliberative democracy which has a robust understanding of the rationality of democratic deliberation. At the same time, I argue against the assumption that the solution to ‘post-factualism’ is a return to a fictitious ‘Age of Facts’ since there are not facts without interpretation.
Fake news and conspiracy theories are current problems that are increasingly influencing political and social processes. In particular, whether and how legal action should be taken against them, for example, on internet platforms and social networks, is a matter of current debate. Philosophers already discussed the legal relevance of truthfulness at the Enlightenment, where the basis of modern legal systems was drafted. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant, for example, argued for an unconditional duty of truthfulness, which is why he has been accused of a rigorous view even today. I will present a less rigorous interpretation, in which lies are always ethically reprehensible but can only be prosecuted if they violate an external legal good. That means, based on Kant’s Philosophy, fake news cannot be forbidden in general. However, fake news that inevitably leads to legal damage must be prosecuted, such as inciting violence or giving bad medical advice.
The essay addresses contemporary trends in modern democracy, especially focusing on the transformation of the public sphere. It seeks to answer the following question: how can we strengthen ideologically diverse spaces of public discourse today in light of the social trends toward homophily and echo chambers? Specifically, it addresses the way in which modern political discourse has been transformed by social media and broader social and economic trends. Furthermore, it raises questions about the future challenges of discourse ethics and ideal conceptions of overlapping consensus in our contemporary context of pluralism. The role of the media in this broad public sphere is also addressed. An ideal-type conception of the wisdom tradition, one which can strengthen the channels of communication, is offered as a response to these trends. It is a pattern of thought capable of embracing the ambiguity.
The non-scientific questioning of scientific research during the COVID-19 pandemic, the unwillingness of a president of the United States of America to accept the result of a democratically held election: just in recent times, there have been quite a few striking examples of long-held certainties appearing as nothing more than just illusions. This essay reflects on the severe consequences of the loss of such certainties in the spheres of democratic politics on the one hand and of science, especially for highly differentiated societies, on the other hand as well as on their interdependencies. Furthermore, the author tries to make the case that this disillusionment could prove to be a salutary shock – reminding us that we need to take a stand for the things we hold as certainties, oftentimes even as calming ones, if we want them to stay how we always thought they were.