The Dark Side of the Enlightenment: Wizards, Alchemists, and Spiritual Seekers in the Age of Reason

The Dark Side of the Enlightenment: Wizards, Alchemists, and Spiritual Seekers in the Age of Reason PDF Author: John V. Fleming
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393079465
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 433

Book Description
Describes the darker pursuits that took place during the Age of Reason, including explorations of magic, alchemy, and the occult as well as the dual-role of secret societies including the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians.

Dark Side of the Light

Dark Side of the Light PDF Author: Louis Sala-Molins
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 081664389X
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 204

Book Description
Enlightenment thinkers such as Rousseau and Montesquieu are best known for their humanist theories and liberating influence on Western civilization. But as renowned French intellectual Louis Sala-Molins shows, Enlightenment discourses and scholars were also complicit in the Atlantic slave trade, becoming instruments of oppression and inequality. Translated into English for the first time, Dark Side of the Light scrutinizes Condorcet’s Reflections on Negro Slavery and the works of Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Diderot side by side with the Code Noir (the royal document that codified the rules of French Caribbean slavery) in order to uncover attempts to uphold the humanist project of the Enlightenment while simultaneously justifying slavery. Wielding the pen of both the ironist and the moralist, Sala-Molins demonstrates the flawed nature of these attempts and the reasons given for this denial of rights, from the imperatives of public order to the incomplete humanity of the slave (and thus the need for his progressive humanization through slavery), to the economic prosperity that depended on his labor. At the same time, Sala-Molins uses the techniques of literature to give equal weight to the perspective of the “barefooted, the starving, and the slaves” through expository prose and scenes between slave and philosopher, giving moral agency and flesh-and-blood dimensions to issues most often treated as abstractions. Both an urgent critique and a measured analysis, Dark Side of the Light reveals the moral paradoxes of Enlightenment philosophies and their world-changing consequences. Louis Sala-Molins is a moral and political philosopher and emeritus professor at the University of Toulouse. He is the author of many books, including Le Code Noir, ou Le calvaire de Canaan and L’Afrique aux Amériques. John Conteh-Morgan is associate professor of French and Francophone, African-American, and African studies at Ohio State University. He is the author of Theatre and Drama in Francophone Africa: A Critical Introduction.

The Dark Side of Modernity

The Dark Side of Modernity PDF Author: Jeffrey C. Alexander
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745665063
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 184

Book Description
In this book, one of the world’s leading social theorists presents a critical, alarmed, but also nuanced understanding of the post-traditional world we inhabit today. Jeffrey Alexander writes about modernity as historical time and social condition, but also as ideology and utopia. The idea of modernity embodies the Enlightenment’s noble hopes for progress and rationality, but its reality brings great suffering and exposes the destructive impulses that continue to motivate humankind. Alexander examines how twentieth-century theorists struggled to comprehend the Janus-faced character of modernity, which looks backward and forward at the same time. Weber linked the triumph of worldly asceticism to liberating autonomy but also ruthless domination, describing flights from rationalization as systemic and dangerous. Simmel pointed to the otherness haunting modernity, even as he normalized the stranger. Eisenstadt celebrated Axial Age transcendence, but acknowledged its increasing capacity for barbarity. Parsons heralded American community, but ignored modernity’s fragmentations. Rather than seeking to resolve modernity’s contradictions, Alexander argues that social theory should accept its Janus-faced character. It is a dangerous delusion to think that modernity can eliminate evil. Civil inclusion and anti-civil exclusion are intertwined. Alexander enumerates dangerous frictions endemic to modernity, but he also suggests new lines of social amelioration and emotional repair.

The Curiosity of School

The Curiosity of School PDF Author: Zander Sherman
Publisher: Penguin Canada
ISBN: 0143186493
Category : Education
Languages : en
Pages : 304

Book Description
It's one thing we all have in common. We've all been to school. But as Zander Sherman shows in this fascinating, often shocking account of institutionalized education, sending your kids off to school was not always normal. In fact, school is a very recent invention. Taking the reader back to 19th-century Prussia, where generals, worried about soldiers' troubling individuality, sought a way to standardize every young man of military age, through to the most controversial debates that swirl around the world about the topic of education today, Sherman tells the often astonishing stories of the men and women-and corporations-that have defined what we have come to think of as both the privilege and the responsibility of being educated. Along the way, we discover that the SAT was invented as an intelligence test designed to allow the state to sterilize "imbeciles," that suicide in the wake of disappointing results in the state university placement exams is the fifth leading cause of death in China, and that commercialized higher education seduces students into debt as cynically as credit card companies do. Provocative, entertaining-and even educational-The Curiosity of School lays bare the forces that shape the institution that shapes all of us.

The Dark Side of Church/State Separation

The Dark Side of Church/State Separation PDF Author: Stephen Strehle
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351484141
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 403

Book Description
The Dark Side of Church/State Separation analyzes the Enlightenment's attack upon the Judeo-Christian tradition and its impact upon the development of secular regimes in France, Germany, and Russia. Such regimes followed the anti-Semitic/anti-Christian agenda of the French Enlightenment in blaming the Judeo-Christian tradition for all the ills of European society and believing that human beings can develop their own set of values and purposes through rational means, apart from any revelation from God or Scripture. Stephen Strehle's analysis extends our understanding of church/state relations and its history. He confirms the spiritual roots of modern anti-Semitism within the ideology of the Enlightenment and recognizes the intimate relationship between anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity. Strehle questions the absolute doctrine of church/state separation, given its background in the bigotries of the philosophes. He notes the nefarious motives of subsequent regimes, which used the French doctrine to replace the religious community with the state and its secular ideology. This detailed historical analysis of original sources and secondary literature is woven together with special appreciation for the philosophical and theological ideas that contributed to the emergence of political institutions. Readers will gain an understanding of the most influential ideas shaping the modern world and present-day culture.

Irrationality

Irrationality PDF Author: Justin E. H. Smith
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691210519
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 352

Book Description
"What every leader needs to know about dignity and how to create a culture in which everyone thrives. This landmark book from an expert in dignity studies explores the essential but under-recognized role of dignity as part of good leadership. Extending the reach of her award-winning book Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict, Donna Hicks now contributes a specific, practical guide to achieving a culture of dignity. Most people know very little about dignity, the author has found, and when leaders fail to respect the dignity of others, conflict and distrust ensue. She highlights three components of leading with dignity: what one must know in order to honor dignity and avoid violating it; what one must do to lead with dignity; and how one can create a culture of dignity in any organization, whether corporate, religious, governmental, healthcare, or beyond. Brimming with key research findings, real-life case studies, and workable recommendations, this book fills an important gap in our understanding of how best to be together in a conflict-ridden world."--

A Death on Diamond Mountain

A Death on Diamond Mountain PDF Author: Scott Carney
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 069818629X
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 250

Book Description
An investigative reporter explores an infamous case where an obsessive and unorthodox search for enlightenment went terribly wrong. When thirty-eight-year-old Ian Thorson died from dehydration and dysentery on a remote Arizona mountaintop in 2012, The New York Times reported the story under the headline: "Mysterious Buddhist Retreat in the Desert Ends in a Grisly Death." Scott Carney, a journalist and anthropologist who lived in India for six years, was struck by how Thorson’s death echoed other incidents that reflected the little-talked-about connection between intensive meditation and mental instability. Using these tragedies as a springboard, Carney explores how those who go to extremes to achieve divine revelations—and undertake it in illusory ways—can tangle with madness. He also delves into the unorthodox interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism that attracted Thorson and the bizarre teachings of its chief evangelists: Thorson’s wife, Lama Christie McNally, and her previous husband, Geshe Michael Roach, the supreme spiritual leader of Diamond Mountain University, where Thorson died. Carney unravels how the cultlike practices of McNally and Roach and the questionable circumstances surrounding Thorson’s death illuminate a uniquely American tendency to mix and match eastern religious traditions like LEGO pieces in a quest to reach an enlightened, perfected state, no matter the cost. Aided by Thorson’s private papers, along with cutting-edge neurological research that reveals the profound impact of intensive meditation on the brain and stories of miracles and black magic, sexualized rituals, and tantric rites from former Diamond Mountain acolytes, A Death on Diamond Mountain is a gripping work of investigative journalism that reveals how the path to enlightenment can be riddled with danger.

Enlightenment Now

Enlightenment Now PDF Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0525427570
Category : Psychology
Languages : en
Pages : 578

Book Description
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018 ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR "My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. By the author of the new book, Rationality. Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

Slavery and the Enlightenment in the British Atlantic, 1750-1807

Slavery and the Enlightenment in the British Atlantic, 1750-1807 PDF Author: Justin Roberts
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107025850
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 367

Book Description
This book focuses on how Enlightenment ideas shaped plantation management and slave work routines. It shows how work dictated slaves' experiences and influenced their families and communities on large plantations in Barbados, Jamaica, and Virginia. It examines plantation management schemes, agricultural routines, and work regimes in more detail than other scholars have done. This book argues that slave workloads were increasing in the eighteenth century and that slave owners were employing more rigorous labor discipline and supervision in ways that scholars now associate with the Industrial Revolution.

The Dark Side of the Mirror

The Dark Side of the Mirror PDF Author: David Brazier
Publisher: Windhorse Publications
ISBN: 1911407260
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 259

Book Description
This new commentary by Buddhist teacher and author David Brazier draws back the curtain revealing the deeper meaning of the text in language that will be as transparent to the general reader as it is informative to the specialist.