Ekpyrosis Press Catalogue:
The Glorious Departure of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams: Eulogies and Remembrances from America’s Great Orators, edited by Anthony Squiers. Few events in American history have captured the public imagination as much as the unlikely deaths of two of its most venerated patriarchs, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on the same day, July 4th, 1826, the fiftieth jubilation of American independence. In the contemporary eulogies of the pair, a religious-political narrative started to emerge which took the form of a kind of filial piety to the founding fathers. As the two hundredth anniversary of this unique event approaches, this book compiles these historical texts, annotates, arranges, and contextualizes them within the broader context of the American Civil Religion. The generations contained in this volume were composed by some of the most influential American statesmen, orators, and public voices of the 19th century: Senators, Representatives, Justices, even a soon-to-be President and other individuals at the highest levels of social and political power. These commemorations provide a treasure trove of insights into how American civil religiosity served as a frame of reference for understanding the history of the American Revolution and early Republic.
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Between Cultural Memory and Post-Colonialism: A Study of African and South Asian Novels, by Sachin Namdeo Gadekar (Associate Professor of English in Tuljaram Chaturchand College, India). The book attempts to define and explain the concept of cultural memory vis-a-vis culture and literary studies. It offers an integrated survey of the field of culture memory studies and investigates the textual interweaving of the cultural memory discourse carried out by postcolonial writers. To meet this goal, its critical analysis presents a close reading of four novels: Things Fall Apart (1958) by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe; A Grain of Wheat (1967) by Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o; Ice-Candy-Man (1988) by Pakistani writer Bapsi Sidhwa, and Such a Long Journey (1991) by Indian-Canadian writer Rohinton Mistry. This book analyzes narrative methods regarding the nature of memory and how it is used as a performative cultural practice in the postcolonial context. It studies literary works as postcolonial counter-discourses by bringing together authors from three geographical areas within Anglophone literature, examining cultural ruptures born from colonialism, as well as the revival of those practices in literary narratives.
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Islam and Postmodernism: Iqbal as a Turning Point, by Amjad Hussain (National University of Modern Languages, Peshawar, Pakistan) is a critique of contemporary Muslim responses, especially Ziauddin Sardar, Akbar S. Ahmed, and Tariq Ramadan, to the relative proximity between Islam and Postmodernism. The book highlights how they have missed the deeper philosophical camaraderie between Islam and Postmodernism. Amjad Hussain deconstructs their respective responses, while at the same time makes a case for reading Allama Muhammad Iqbal as the turning point in Muslim scholarship’s response to Postmodernism.
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The Political Theory of Sayyid Qutb: A Genealogy of Discourse, by Mohamed Soffar (University of Cairo, Egypt). No studies rightfully earned what the prominent scholar Alexander Knysh called “Police Report Scholarship” more than those studies on Sayyid Qutb, in the West and the Arab world alike. In dialogue with philosophers such as Martin Heidegger and Michel Foucault, this current study, in contrast, seeks to uncover how disciplinary and coercive mechanism of the post-colonial Arab state were played out for centuries, and as such created Qutb’s state-bound political subjectivity. However imprisoned, hospitalized, or tortured he was, Qutb took refuge in the only leeway for action open to him, i.e., the discursive sphere. He literally broke its codes, shifted its focus, reordered its formation, and finally reached out for the Qur’anic text at the sub-archeological level, in order to create a counter-subjectivity.
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Hegel and the Critical Theory of Religion. For over fifty years, Rudolf J. Siebert (b. 1927) (Western Michigan University, USA) has developed his Critical Theory of Religion and society out of the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory. Siebert’s Hegelian thought has developed in conversation with Christian theology, German Idealism, comparative religion, political-economics, sociology, psychology, and history. In this volume, Siebert demonstrates the centrality of Hegel in the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory, and develops it even further in his emancipatory “Dialectical Religiology.” As philosophers once again turn to Hegel in our troubled times, this book will prove to be a foundational study of the German philosopher.
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Meeting the Others in their Differences: Toward a Christian Approach to the Scientific Study of Religion, by Francis Brassard (Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubrovnik, Croatia). Is it possible to meet and embrace the different others without giving up one’s identity? For those who live in a pluralist environment, this is certainly a challenge. We can avoid it by taking refuge in a safe space, be it real or virtual, but sooner or later, it is going to catch up with us. We may instead take the initiative and face that challenge head-on before it becomes a crisis. The study of religions is assuredly one of the many arenas where we can take up such a challenge. This is the purpose of this book. Francis Brassard formulates a model highlighting the specificity of the major religions, a model where the Christian aspiration for reconciliation subsumes, without negating them, all aspirations, whether religious or secular.
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Ali Shariati: Expanding the Sociological Canon. Ali Shariati is known as the “ideologue of the Iranian Revolution of 1979,” but this definition does not do justice to Ali Shariati as a classical social theorist on the global stage. This is to argue that what is needed is to focus on the sociological dimensions of his thought, thus regarding him as one of the most significant classics of alternative social theory. ~ Seyed Javad Miri (Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies – Tehran, Iran)
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The Frankfurt School and the Dialectics of Religion: Translating Critical Faith into Critical Theory. Many scholars assume that the Frankfurt School’s critical theory is a wholly secular affair, that is stands opposed to all forms of religion. However, as Dustin J. Byrd as shown, there is a theological core at the heart of critical theory. “Faith,” as Max Horkheimer understood it, was the “longing that unites all men so that the horrible events, the injustice of history so far would not be permitted to be the final, ultimate fate of the victims…” How such theological elements are preserved within the non-conformist political theory of the Frankfurt School is the subject of this book. Dustin J. Byrd (Olivet College, USA)
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Critical Theory of Religion: From the Frankfurt School to Emancipatory Islamic Thought. In this volume, Dustin J. Byrd (Olivet College, USA) explores the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory of Religion and Society and extends its analysis of religion into the realm of Islamic thought, theology, and alternative forms of sociology. “The Frankfurt School must extend itself beyond the Western world, for its analysis must not only view the Islamic world as a subject of analysis, but rather as an interlocutor within the interrogation of the contemporary world.” ~ Dustin J. Byrd
Order Here ($28 USD Paperback/$39 USD Hardcover – pp. 182)