The epoch of representation is as old as the West. Indeed, representation is the West, understood as what at once designates and expands its own limits. But what comes after the West? What comes after representation's disclosure of its own limit? The central problem posed in these essays, collected from over a decade of work, is how in the wake of Western ontologies to conceive the coming, the birth that characterizes being. We are now at the limit of representation, where objects as we experience them have been show to be merely objects of representation--or rather, of presentation, since there is nothing to (re)present. The first part of this book, "Existence," asks how, today, one can give sense of meaning to existence as such, arguing that existence itself, as it comes nude into the world, must now be our "sense." In examining what this birth to presence might be, we should not ask what presence "is"; rather we should conceive presence as presence to someone, including to presence itself. This birth is not the constitution of an identity, but the endless departure of an identity from, and from within, its other, or others. Its coming is not desire but jouissance, the joy of averring oneself to be continually in the state of being born--a rejoicing of birth, a birth of rejoicing. The second section, "Poetry," asks: What art exposes this? In writing, in the voice, in painting? And what if art is exposed to it? How does it inscribe (or rather, "exscribe," in a term the book develops) the coming existence as such? The author's trajectory in this book crosses those of Hegel, Schlegel, Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger, in their comments on art and politics, existence and corporeality, everyday life and its modes of existence and ecstasy. An analysis that dares this crossing involves all the varied accounts of existence, political as well as philosophical, and all the realms of poverty.
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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. the faithful believed that these images served as relics and were able to work miracles, deliver oracles, and bring victory to the battlefield. In this magisterial book, Hans Belting traces the long history of the sacral image and its changing role--from surrogate for the represented image to an original work of art--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. -- Back cover.
Some people make photo albums, collect antiques, or visit historic battlefields. Others keep diaries, plan annual family gatherings, or stitch together patchwork quilts in a tradition learned from grandparents. Each of us has ways of communing with the past, and our reasons for doing so are as varied as our memories. In a sweeping survey, Roy Rosenzweig and David Thelen asked 1,500 Americans about their connection to the past and how it influences their daily lives and hopes for the future. The result is a surprisingly candid series of conversations and reflections on how the past infuses the present with meaning. Rosenzweig and Thelen found that people assemble their experiences into narratives that allow them to make sense of their personal histories, set priorities, project what might happen next, and try to shape the future. By using these narratives to mark change and create continuity, people chart the courses of their lives. A young woman from Ohio speaks of giving birth to her first child, which caused her to reflect upon her parents and the ways that their example would help her to become a good mother. An African American man from Georgia tells how he and his wife were drawn to each other by their shared experiences and lessons learned from growing up in the South in the 1950s. Others reveal how they personalize historical events, as in the case of a Massachusetts woman who traces much of her guarded attitude toward life to witnessing the assassination of John F. Kennedy on television when she was a child. While the past is omnipresent to Americans, "history" as it is usually defined in textbooks leaves many people cold. Rosenzweig and Thelen found that history as taught in school does not inspire a strong connection to the past. And they reveal how race and ethnicity affects how Americans perceive the past: while most white Americans tend to think of it as something personal, African Americans and American Indians are more likely to think in terms of broadly shared experiences--like slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and the violation of Indian treaties." Rosenzweig and Thelen's conclusions about the ways people use their personal, family, and national stories have profound implications for anyone involved in researching or presenting history, as well as for all those who struggle to engage with the past in a meaningful way.
One of the three great gods of Hinduism, Siva is a living god. The most sacred and most ancient book of India, The Rg Veda, evokes his presence in its hymns; Vedic myths, rituals, and even astronomy testify to his existence from the dawn of time. In a lively meditation on Siva--based on original Sanskrit texts, many translated here for the first time--Stella Kramrisch ponders the metaphysics, ontology, and myths of Siva from the Vedas and the Puranas. Who is Siva? Who is this god whose being comprises and transcends everything? From the dawn of creation, the Wild God, the Great Yogi, the sum of all opposites, has been guardian of the absolute. By retelling and interweaving the many myths that keep Siva alive in India today, Kramrisch reveals the paradoxes in Siva's nature and thus in the nature of consciousness itself.
George Eldon Ladd's comprehensive treatment of New Testament eschatology has become the definitive discussion of the theological interpretation known as "inaugurated eschatology." Reflecting profound biblical insight and a balanced treatment of conflicting views, this volume convincingly develops Ladd's thesis that the kingdom of God involves two great movements -- its present fulfillment in Jesus and its future consummation in the last days. Ladd begins this revised edition (formerly titled Jesus and the Kingdom) by taking readers step by step through the findings of his predecessors and contemporaries on the great debate as to whether the kingdom of God promised by Jesus is now, in the immediate future, or in some unknown time to come. He then traces the prophetic expectation of the kingdom in the Old Testament, pursues the development of this expectation through the intertestamental literature, and, against this background, reconstructs the teaching and mission of Jesus. Ultimately, Ladd finds the key to understanding the kingdom in the concept of "the rule of God." His interpretation of the divine reign brings together the Old Testament promise of the kingdom, its fulfillment in history, and its consummation at the end of history. - Back cover.
Presence in Play: A Critique of Theories of Presence in the Theatre is the first comprehensive survey and analysis of theatrical presence to be published. Theatre as an art form has often been associated with notions of presence. The 'live' immediacy of the actor, the unmediated unfolding of dramatic action and the 'energy' generated through an actor-audience relationship are among the ideas frequently used to explain theatrical experience – and all are underpinned by some understanding of 'presence.' Precisely what is meant by presence in the theatre is part of what Presence in Play sets out to explain. While this work is rooted in twentieth century theatre and performance since modernism, the author draws on a range of historical and theoretical material. Encompassing ideas from semiotics and phenomenology, Presence in Play puts forward a framework for thinking about presence in theatre, enriched by poststructuralist theory, forcefully arguing in favour of 'presence' as a key concept for theatre studies today.
In about 25 BC tribesmen of the kingdom of Meroe placed a bronze head of Augustus, cut from a full-length statue, beneath the steps of a temple of victory: the decapitated head of the Emperor was thus regularly trampled underfoot. Two millennia later, during the second Gulf War, Iraqis 'insulted' a toppled bronze statue of Saddam Hussein by beating it with their shoes. Do these chronologically distant but apparently related examples of the defamation of images imply that the persons represented were regarded by their detractors as in some way 'present' in the images? Presence: The Inherence of the Prototype within Images and Other Objects reconsiders the notion of 'presence' in objects. The first book to address the issue directly, it contains a series of case studies covering a broad geographical and chronological range from ancient Greece and the Incas to industrial America and contemporary India, as well as examples from the canon of western European art. The studies reveal the widespread evidence for this striking form of response and allow readers to see how 'presence' is evoked and either embraced or repressed in differing historical and cultural contexts. Featuring a variety of disciplines and approaches, the book will be of interest to students of art history, art theory, visual culture, anthropology, psychology and philosophy.
Contrary to the apocalyptic pronouncements of paper media's imminent demise in the digital age, there has been a veritable surge of creative reimaginings of books as bearers of the literary. From typographic experiments (Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, Steven Hall's The Raw Shark Texts) to accordion books (Anne Carson's Nox), from cut ups (Jonathan Safran Foer's Tree of Codes) to collages (Graham Rawle's Woman's World), from erasures (Mary Ruefle's A Little White Shadow) to mixups (Simon Morris's The Interpretations of Dreams), print literature has gone through anything but a slow, inevitable death. In fact, it has re-invented itself materially. Starting from this idea of media plurality, Book Presence in a Digital Age explores the resilience of print literatures, book art, and zines in the late age of print from a contemporary perspective, while incorporating longer-term views on media archeology and media change. Even as it focuses on the materiality of books and literary writing in the present, Book Presence also takes into consideration earlier 20th-century "moments" of media transition, developing the concepts of presence and materiality as analytical tools to perform literary criticism in a digital age. Bringing together leading scholars, artists, and publishers, Book Presence in a Digital Age offers a variety of perspectives on the past, present, and future of the book as medium, the complex relationship of materiality to virtuality, and of the analog to the digital.
"[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