Saturday, 16 December 2017

Jana Ilnicka gives a working paper on 'Responsiones Prosperi'

In this paper, I consider two short texts by Prosper de Regio Emilia, who compiled the manuscript Vat. Lat. 1086. These texts are unusual and difficult to fully understand unless considered alongside those from university disputations of the 13th and 14th centuries, because the style and structure of the various types of questions, and their background, along with the nature of the disputation, can all supply information that will enrich and indeed clarify the texts. The texts show how strongly Prosper was influenced by Meister Eckhart, especially on the subject of ‘relationship’.

Olivera Koprivica presents a working paper on 'Female Bodies and Angelic Likeness: The Place and Role of the Body in Everyday Life of Orthodox Women Monasticism – A Qualitative Study'

This study focuses on the subject of contemporary orthodox female monasticism and its anthropological, theological and spiritual particularities by researching how corporeality is experienced in monastic everyday life – how the body is felt, perceived, understood and interpreted.
The relationship between corporeality and religiosity will be taken into account by investigating how nuns see and feel their spirituality; how they understand and interpret themselves, their connection to transcendence, their orthodox faith and their monastic identity; how they experience sacred, other people and nature; how they perceive the material dimensions of their life.
Although religious life of Orthodox monasticism is predominantly contemplative, devotional and deeply personal, it is experienced within a strict religious organization where all social interactions, daily activities and organisational structures are governed according to the universal Typicon (a collection of monastic rules of conduct), through which the Orthodox Church has institutionalized its supervision over ascetic spirituality: monasteries are subordinated to the competency of the local bishop and his authority. Reflecting on this aspect of monastic life, this study will determine how a social structure of monasticism is internalized and incorporated into subjects: how nuns understand mandatory monastic rules which govern their everyday life, how they understand the institution of monasticism and its hierarchical relations, and which role the aspects of church canonicity, normativity and authority play in defining the identity and self-understanding of nuns and their interpretation of the world around them.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Qian Zhao gives a working paper on 'The Chinese Business Ethics and Its “Moral Background”'

In my previous two chapters of my thesis, I have made some research on Chinese cultural entrepreneurs’ moral value changes by identifying controversies and critical issues of individualism/collectivism and discuss the historical development of Chinese cultural entrepreneurs. By proposing conceptual and research strategies in substantiating issue of individualism/collectivism and historical analysis in cultural entrepreneur study, I try to explore the changes of entrepreneurs’ moral values and behaviors under socio-technological innovations nowadays.
In this chapter, by setting the argument in the discussion of food safety scandals in China, I would like to build my research on Gabiel Abend’s “moral background” research, which a more sophisticated way of morality study. When looking for the social and institutional agencies in the process of influencing and shaping Chinese entrepreneurs’ moral values, I find business associations, universities and internet/social media are the most powerful agencies. All these three aspects are included in my empirical research. My main aim is to “shed new light on the tension between markets and morals” (Abend). By checking the work of business ethicists, organizations and internet, I find two kinds of “moral background”---“reason” and “emotion” are interplaying in the process of business ethics value changes. Even though very hard, “reason” becomes more influential nowadays.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Hannah Peacman presents a working paper on 'Jewish Radicalism as Radical Diversity? Radical thought in Jewish Perspectives on the Jewish Question in Early 19th Century Germany'

This paper is work in progress for a chapter in a volume on Jewish Radicalism. At the same time, it is my first attempt to bring together my theoretical approach and the sources that I am using in my PhD project. It works like a microstudy.
In the paper I discuss the question, what the connection was between the so called Jewish Question and Jewish Radicalism in the 19th century? I shortly indicate the expected answers by looking at Socialist and Zionist approaches. Rather, I show that there was a third strand of radical thinking in Jewish answers to the Jewish Question that is not usually taken as such. I argue that this radicalism was implicit in the Jewish debate on emancipation of Jews into bourgeois society. It was grounded in the mode of engagement of these thinkers with Enlightenment. These Jews did not define themselves as radicals nor are they usually understood as such. In fact, their claim of full emancipation does not seem radical, but moderate – the realization of the core principle of bourgeois society. I claim, however, that their critique of the anti-emancipatory anti-Jewish moments of Enlightenment is radical because it already tends to transcend this society. By showing how ideals of freedom and equality did not apply universally to Jews, these critics hinted at the immanent contradictions of bourgeois’ society.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Cornel Zwierlein presents a working paper on 'Oriens contra Asiam: a spatio-temporal distinction emerging around 1700 (a study on Eusèbe Renaudot)'

Around 1700, several major political and religious controversies were troubling the courts of Europe as well as the Republic of Letters. A new vision of the Orient was emerging with the help of empiricist study of the religion of the Eastern Churches. This was linked to the West’s own disputes between Huguenots, royal Catholics and the less royal and less Catholic Jansenists in France, between episcopalists, Presbyterians, jurors and non-jurors in England before and after the Glorious Revolution. At the same time, starting in the mid-1680s, for the first time, the Far East became a major political affair across Europe during the so-called debate about the Chinese ceremonies and the choices to be taken regarding the Jesuit Mission to China. Also at the same time, on the level of historico-philosophical debates, the Querelle des Anciens et des modernes took off, and in historical chronology and geological sciences, debates about the synchronization of the different civilizations of the world as well as disputes about the shape and age of the earth took place. This all seems to belong to very different histories, but many intellectuals, like Eusèbe Renaudot, were actors in all those fields. He can thus serve like a prismatic reflector to make understand the links between those epistemic fields and intersections. We can understand, how the mental maps of the early enlightenment were reconfigured, how even something like a ´Middle East´ emerged as an actor eventually opposed to ´(Chinese) Asia´, how the discovery of the medieval Nestorian mission of China could serve ideological purposes around 1700 and how the Querelle des Anciens et des modernes was transformed into a comparison between civilizations across time and global space.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Diana Pavel gives a working paper on 'Historiographic interpretations and new perspectives regarding the phenomenon of Etruscan altars'

The following paper constitutes an introduction into the subject of my research thesis that I will be developing for the next three years within the International Graduate School “Resonant Self-World Relations in Ancient and Modern Socio-Religious Practices”. My research project desires to introduce new perspectives and research questions into the study of altars that have, unfortunately, rarely been the primary focus in the studies of Etruscan religion.
My current paper will have the dual role of presenting, in the first part, the current state of research regarding the topic so as to emphasize the main lines of analysis that have been conveyed concerning this subject and to further propose the need for new perspectives in regards to it. It can be easily noticed throughout the historiography that the altars were mainly seen through the perspective of architectural elements, with emphasis on their morphological typology, while only a few articles present a more general approach regarding the altar as the focus within the ritual ceremony. Therefore, I am suggesting the need to provide a new approach towards a reading of this phenomenon. The second part of the paper will be dedicated towards introducing the main focus points of the research project that I will be taking into consideration for its development. I propose that the altar should be seen as more than a simple architectural element or even more than an element of ritual behaviour, but as an object and place that connects the individual with the world, hence the approach of self-world relations.