Cosmic Diaspora

The Truth of Myth
Language: en
Authors: Tok Thompson, Gregory Allen Schrempp
Categories: Manners and customs
Type: BOOK - Published: 2020 - Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

"To the student of myth: This book attempts to provide a concise overview of the theoretical approaches to studying mythology, both in theory and in everyday life. Whether one is interested in a particular myth or mythic tradition, or understanding comparative mythology more broadly, or even the subject and overview of mythology as a whole, this text attempts to present a clear and understandable introduction to some of the best tried and true approaches, as well as to address some of the perennial problems and points of confusion. To embark on the study of myth is to join a noisy chorus of scholars, both present and past, in attempting to divine the meaning of some of the most important, intriguing, and at times puzzling narratives that humankind has ever crafted. We hope this text will help provide you with the theoretical background and tools to allow for a rich, full study of mythology in all its myriad forms. To the teacher of myth: Myth has been the source of a great deal of theoretical disagreement and confusion as well. We have tried to address some of the controversies by appealing to a close and careful consideration of the data, which at times helps keep lofty theorizing firmly anchored in the real world. Additionally, we have tried to present a historical background to the study of myth, which should also help illuminate the close relationships between a society, and that society's views of myth. Mythology does not occur without people: it is only with a strong grounding in the study of humankind that we can hope to make progress in our understanding. Where doubt within the scholarly community has arisen, we have tried to pay attention to both sides of the debates. The resulting text is intended to be a detailed, yet engaging, introduction to the study of world mythology, and a scholarly counterweight to popular, unscientific views. Our experience in teaching myth is that the most vexing issues stem from the several strained if not contradictory connotations that the term myth carries. Is myth archaic, or is it part of all societies and thus modern as well? Is it part of religion and/or science, or does it contrast with these? Most vexingly, does myth designate falsehood, or the highest forms of truth-those that form the core, guiding principles of particular societies' engagements of the cosmos and life within it? There is also the double signification of the term mythology, which points to both an academic tradition and the object studied by that tradition. Our view is that while such antinomies are unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future, much can be gained by locating and identifying them and by attempting to understand how and why they have emerged. We hope that this approach not only lends clarity to the topic of myth, but also serves to energize the study to which we now turn"--
The Dispersion
Language: en
Pages: 604
Authors: Stéphane Dufoix
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-12-08 - Publisher: BRILL

The Dispersion offers a unique account of how the word “diaspora”, coined in the third century BCE, has recently become both one of the more emblematic terms of the global era and a fashionable academic concept.
A Priori
Language: en
Pages: 320
Authors: Gregory Schrempp
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2012-03-09 - Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP

Humans have long been captivated by mythology and theorized about the lessons embedded in their tales. In The Ancient Mythology of Modern Science, Gregory Schrempp brings a mythologist's critical eye to popular science writing, a flourishing genre that forms a key link between science and popular consciousness. Schrempp argues that the defining and appealing characteristic of this genre is not simplification or "dumbing-down," but the attempt to parlay scientific findings into aesthetically and morally compelling visions that offer guidance for humanity. Schrempp argues that in striving for inspirational visions, popular science invariably reproduces - with ingenious invention - the structures, strategies, and cosmic imagery that infuse traditional mythological views of the cosmos. His claim challenges the widespread tendency to separate myth and science. Schrempp considers both the intellectual history of mythography and concrete examples from world mythologies including ancient Greek, Oceanic, and Native American. Schrempp's explorations span a range of fields, including astronomy, evolutionary biology, and cognitive science. In a world informed, transformed, and sometimes mesmerized by science, this book offers the first in-depth study of popular science writing from a mythologist's perspective.
Seven Complex Lessons in Education for the Future
Language: en
Pages: 95
Authors: Edgar Morin
Categories: Education
Type: BOOK - Published: 2001 - Publisher: UNESCO

Examines fundamental problems often overlooked or neglected in education. These problems are presented as "seven complex lessons" that should be covered in an education of the future in all societies in every culture, according to means and rules appropriate to those societies and cultures.
Russia Between East and West
Language: en
Pages: 198
Authors: Dmitry Shlapentokh
Categories: Social Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2007-01 - Publisher: BRILL

Throughout most of Russian history, two views of who the Russians are have dominated the minds of Russian intellectuals. Westerners assumed that Russia was part of the West, whilst Slavophiles saw Russia as part of a Slavic civilization. At present, it is Eurasianism that has emerged as the paradigm that has made attempts to place Russia in a broad civilizational context and it has recently become the only viable doctrine that is able to provide the very ideological justification for Russia's existence as a multiethnic state. Eurasians assert that Russia is a civilization in its own right, a unique blend of Slavic and non-Slavic, mostly Turkic, people. While it is one of the important ideological trends in present-day Russia, Eurasianism, with its origins among Russian emigrants in the 1920s, has a long history. Placing Eurasianism in a broad context, this book covers the origins of Eurasianism, dwells on Eurasianism's major philosophical paradigms, and places Eurasianism in the context of the development of Polish and Turkish thought. The final part deals with the modern modification of Eurasianism. The book is of great relevance to those who are interested in Russian/European and Asian history area studies.
The Hunt for Planet X
Language: en
Pages: 303
Authors: Govert Schilling
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2010-01-24 - Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

Ever since the serendipitous discovery of planet Uranus in 1871, astronomers have been hunting for new worlds in the outer regions of our solar system. This exciting and ongoing quest culminated recently in the discovery of hundreds of ice dwarfs in the Kuiper belt, robbed Pluto from its ‘planet’ status, and led to a better understanding of the origin of the solar system. This timely book reads like a scientific ‘who done it’, going from the heights of discovery to the depths of disappointment in the hunt for ‘Planet X’. Based on many personal interviews with astronomers, the well-known science writer Govert Schilling introduces the heroes in the race to be the first in finding another world, bigger than Pluto.
Russian Intellectual Antisemitism in the Post-Communist Era
Language: en
Pages: 309
Authors: Vadim Joseph Rossman
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2002-01-01 - Publisher: U of Nebraska Press

Antisemitism has had a long and complex history in Russian intellectual life and has revived in the post-Communist era. In their concept of the identity of the Jewish people, many academics and other thinkers in Russia continue to cast Jews in a negative or ambivalent role. An inherent rivalry exists between "Russia" and "the Jews" because Russians have often viewed themselves-whether through the lens of atheistic communism or that of the most conservative elements of the Orthodox Church-as a chosen people whose destiny is to lead the way to world salvation. In this book, Vadim Rossman presents the foundations and present influence of intellectual antisemitism in Russia. He examines the antisemitic roots of some major trends in Russian intellectual thought that emerged in earlier decades of the twentieth century and are still significant in the post-Communist era: neo-Eurasianism, Eurasian historiography, National Bolshevism, neo-Slavophilism, National Orthodoxy, and various forms of racism. Such extreme right-wing ideology continues to appeal to a certain segment of the Russian population and seems unlikely to disappear soon. Rossman confronts and challenges a range of disturbing, sometimes contradictory, but often quite sophisticated antisemitic ideas posed by Russian sociologists, historians, philosophers, theologians, political analysts, anthropologists, and literary critics.
Teaching Mysteries
Language: en
Pages: 106
Authors: Clifford Mayes
Categories: Education
Type: BOOK - Published: 2005 - Publisher: University Press of America

By carefully examining a handful of great exemplars of teaching from various spiritual traditions and cultural contexts, this book breaks new ground in helping both prospective and practicing teachers discover and deepen their sense of spiritual calling. The masters examined in this book are found in many venues. Some appear in biographies, such as Yogananda, the great Hindu saint of the 20th century, in his Autobiography of a Yogi, or Eugene Herrigel and his Zen archery master in Zen in the Art of Archery. Some are enshrined in literature, such as St. Thomas More in Robert Bolt's dramatization of More's life, A Man for All Seasons. Others, like the Yaqui medicine man Don Juan in Carlos Castaneda's Journey to Ixtlan, occupy an intriguing region that moves on the misty boundaries between biography and fiction. A few even reside in academia-among them the Jewish theologian Martin Buber, author of the 20th century theological classic I and Thou. In encountering these exemplars of spiritual teaching, each teacher may discover and uniquely appropriate ways to further his or her own spiritual growth as a teacher, as well as the growth of his or her students in the most traditional to the most experimental school settings. Special emphasis is placed on the perspectives and needs of public school teachers and administrators. At the end of each chapter are "Topics for Discussion" and "Topics for Research" to stimulate further thought and research.
Thomas Pynchon
Language: en
Pages: 322
Authors: Harold Bloom
Categories: Juvenile Nonfiction
Type: BOOK - Published: 2003-01 - Publisher: Infobase Publishing

More than any other living American novelist, Thomas Pynchon demands comparison with the likes of Joyce, Kafka, and Conrad. Pynchon draws on the entire history of Western culture as he questions its ideas of order. This text has been revised and expanded to include essays on Vineland and Mason & Dixon.
Dark Skies
Language: en
Pages: 450
Authors: Daniel Deudney
Categories: Political Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2020-03-02 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

Space is again in the headlines. E-billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are planning to colonize Mars. President Trump wants a "Space Force" to achieve "space dominance" with expensive high-tech weapons. The space and nuclear arms control regimes are threadbare and disintegrating. Would-be asteroid collision diverters, space solar energy collectors, asteroid miners, and space geo-engineers insistently promote their Earth-changing mega-projects. Given our many looming planetary catastrophes (from extreme climate change to runaway artificial superintelligence), looking beyond the earth for solutions might seem like a sound strategy for humanity. And indeed, bolstered by a global network of fervent space advocates-and seemingly rendered plausible, even inevitable, by oceans of science fiction and the wizardly of modern cinema-space beckons as a fully hopeful path for human survival and flourishing, a positive future in increasingly dark times. But despite even basic questions of feasibility, will these many space ventures really have desirable effects, as their advocates insist? In the first book to critically assess the major consequences of space activities from their origins in the 1940s to the present and beyond, Daniel Deudney argues in Dark Skies that the major result of the "Space Age" has been to increase the likelihood of global nuclear war, a fact conveniently obscured by the failure of recognize that nuclear-armed ballistic missiles are inherently space weapons. The most important practical finding of Space Age science, also rarely emphasized, is the discovery that we live on Oasis Earth, tiny and fragile, and teeming with astounding life, but surrounded by an utterly desolate and inhospitable wilderness stretching at least many trillions of miles in all directions. As he stresses, our focus must be on Earth and nowhere else. Looking to the future, Deudney provides compelling reasons why space colonization will produce new threats to human survival and not alleviate the existing ones. That is why, he argues, we should fully relinquish the quest. Mind-bending and profound, Dark Skies challenges virtually all received wisdom about the final frontier.
The Tragedy and Comedy of Resistance
Language: en
Pages: 288
Authors: Carole Anne Taylor
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-01-30 - Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

"A major contribution to literary and cultural studies—bold, illuminating, and persuasively argued."—Karla Holloway, Duke University
Between Science and Literature
Language: en
Pages: 208
Authors: Ira Livingston
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2010-10-01 - Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Between Literature and Science follows through to its emerging 21st-century future the central insight of 20th-century literary and cultural theory: that language and culture, along with their subsystems and artifacts, are self-referential systems. The book explores the workings of self-reference (and the related performativity) in linguistic utterances and assorted texts, through examples of the more open social-discursive systems of post-structuralism and cultural studies, and into the sciences, where complex systems organized by recursive self-reference are now being embraced as an emergent paradigm. This paradigmatic convergence between the humanities and sciences is autopoetics (adapting biologist Hubert Maturana’s term for “self-making” systems), and it signals a long-term epistemological shift across the nature/culture divide so definitive for modernity. If cultural theory has taught us that language, because of its self-referential nature, cannot bear simple witness to the world, the new paradigmatic status of self-referential systems in the natural sciences points toward a revived kinship of language and culture with the world: language bears “witness” to the world. The main movement of the book is through a series of model explications and analyses, operational definitions of concepts and terms, more extended case studies, vignettes and thought experiments designed to give the reader a feel for the concepts and how to use them, while working to expand the autopoetic internee by putting cultural self-reference in dialogue with the self-organizing systems of the sciences. Along the way the reader is introduced to self-reference in epistemology (Foucault), sociology (Luhmann), biology (Maturana/Varela/Kauffman), and physics and cosmology (Smolin). Livingston works through the fundamentals of cultural, literary, and science studies and makes them comprehensible to a non-specialist audience.