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Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

looking on that the catastrophe has been contained . It is a kind of quarantine effect, whereby what frightens observers is the idea of uncontrolled, ongoing, unpredictable suffering. Humanitarians arrive to create a moment of ‘new normal’ where the flow has been stemmed, the hole plugged. The Ebola response is an example of this – the vast cost in life and suffering and the everyday life experiences of West Africans in the communities affected are all but invisible now because the breach was contained. What normal does is obscure and disguise

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Identity, environment, and deity

Controversial poet Ronald Stuart Thomas was considered to be one of the leading writers of the twentieth century. This book, in three parts, interprets the development of a major theme over Thomas's twenty-seven volumes, probing particular themes and poems with a meticulous insight. The themes of identity, environment, and deity treated reflect the major preoccupations of his life and work. The book presents a comprehensive examination of these major themes as they occur across Thomas's substantial oeuvre, while providing an expanded frame within which the considerable complexity of Thomas's work can be explored. It suggests that such poetic explorations and revelations of identity provide the prima materia of the poetry and form an underlying foundation to Thomas's poetry viewed as a single body of work. Thomas's treatment of the natural world, in particular the theology of nature mysticism vital to much of his work, is then discussed. The book also looks closely at Thomas's increasing preoccupation with science. It explores his philosophical concern with a scientific register for poetry, his own experimentation with that register, his subtle ambivalence towards applied technology, his ongoing critique of 'the machine', and his view of modern physics. Finally, examining Thomas's 'religious poetry', the book re-focuses on the exact nature of his poetic approach to a 'theology of experience' as reflected in his 'mythic' and 'via negativa' modes. It highlights Thomas's 'reconfiguring' of theology, that is, his insistence on the central validity and importance of individual spiritual experience, both as absence and as presence.

in the coalfields, however, we should be cautious about assuming homogeneity of experience. While the chapels of Methodists and other nonconformist sects provided ‘people the Disability, family and community 149 opportunity to gain confidence in themselves’, not everyone chose to avail themselves of these opportunities.107 The chapel vied with other forms of leisure activity in pit villages.108 The converted frequently saw themselves as engaged in a spiritual battle with non-believers who mocked or scoffed at their piety and while larger settlements might

in Disability in the Industrial Revolution
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TMM2 8/30/03 5:38 PM Page 10 2 Origins and arguments The Malleus is an idiosyncratic text, reflective of its authors’ particular experiences and preoccupations. It is, in the first place, an expression of a distinctively clerical worldview, the product of two lifetimes of academic, spiritual, and pastoral experience within the Church. But more than this, it is also the result of a peculiarly Dominican encounter between learned and folk traditions, an encounter determined in part by the demands of inquisitorial office, and in part by the requirements of

in The Malleus Maleficarum and the construction of witchcraft
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Religion and spirituality in environmental direct action

subjective’ nature of direct activists’ understandings of spirituality means that it is Enchantment and its uses 203 often used to describe their experience and way of life without any explicit reference to what may be considered as the usual indicators of religiosity, such as the divine, the supernatural or the afterlife. This is echoed by Bloch, who argues that, ‘simple, daily life actions to preserve the Earth could be viewed as “spiritual” activities’ (Bloch, 1998: 59). Whereas activists identified ‘religion’ with the discrete, established, traditional religious

in Changing anarchism
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lines of the poem that such withdrawals, in keeping with the via negativa as a technique of approach, are embraced solely in pursuit of spiritual ‘riches’, a kind of mystical union with the divine. It needs to be emphasised, however, that the actual experience of the divine is not always one of such presence but frequently, rather, of absence. This experience of divinity as absence is rooted in a philosophical logic which asserts that since divinity, by its very nature, must necessarily overflow the created world of the senses, its presence therefore, at least in the

in R. S. Thomas
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pervasive. This examination of individual collections allows one a view into the most concentrated treatment and development of such themes by Thomas, as well as a deeper grasp of the character of the individual volumes, each of them significant milestones in the oeuvre as a whole. My chief purpose in these final chapters is to highlight and explore what might be called Thomas’s ‘reconfiguring’ of theology, that is, his insistence on the central validity and importance of individual spiritual experience, both as absence and as presence. That insistence radically expands

in R. S. Thomas
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emergence of applied science is an extension of the first. He suggests that humankind’s apprehension of its spiritual identity and source is most possible, most probable, within the context of the natural world as ongoing revelation. According to this position, humanity comes close to requiring nature for a true experience of self, as well as for a true experience of deity. The breaking of intimacy between humanity and nature which technology represents for the poet thus becomes both self-alienating and God-alienating, precluding a sense of integration and purpose whose

in R. S. Thomas

1 Thomas Docherty Aesthetic education and the demise of experience The philistine is intolerant.1 love naturally hates old age and keeps his distance from it 2 In 1913, Walter Benjamin was a central figure alongside his teacher, Gustav Wyneken, in the ‘German Youth Movement’, agitating for substantial reforms in the German educational system and, beyond that, in German society. He placed one of his first serious publications, an essay entitled ‘Experience’, in Der Anfang, the magazine of the movement, as a contribution to the debates. In this essay, he points

in The new aestheticism
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back to the centre. Though these paradigms are useful, I have long felt uneasy at their failure to account for disjunctures and contradictions that play themselves out, I would suggest, in a context of local differences that have little to do with the metropolitan centre. An example I examine in this book is the history of the Shakers, or Spiritual Baptists, a religious practice with its roots in the

in Frontiers of the Caribbean