January 23 2018

by Pankaj Jain, University of North Texas

An eminent scholar recently came to our university campus and spoke about the role of the diverse religious communities of the world and their attitudes toward the environment. He showed examples from several indigenous communities from North America, South America, Africa, and Asia. Yet when he referred to the traditions of India, he used these words: “India has the most bizarre culture in the world, where even a cobra is worshipped. This is a bit of an overshoot.” It amazes me that even in this supposedly globalized world, India continues to mystify scholars.

by Sandra B. Lubarsky, Appalachian State University

In the modern Western world, the link between beauty and sustainability remains underappreciated. If the dominant preoccupation of our culture has been science, our most marginal concern may be aesthetics — so much so that we often think of the two as antithetical. Science has embraced the idea that reality is value-neutral. It has cultivated an epistemological method of detached knowing. Aesthetics, by contrast, is a minefield of value. It demands engagement, subjectivity, and personality.

Ilya Merlin, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

*The title of this article is taken from a clause in Patrick French’s article on Bataille, Blanchot, and friendship. As Bataille stands as an important theorist of religion, I offer this article as an alternative insight into my scholastic and political interests.

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