Description : Christian Smith is a force to conjure with in sociology, both in its empirical forays (studies of youth and religious life) and in its higher reaches of theory, where his work sets out to move culture, morality, and identity to the center of social thought. We published his 2011 book, "What Is a Person?," to critical plaudits and healthy sales. Striking a middle path between extremes of positivist science and relativism, Smith s theory of personhood teased out how we can know what is good in personal and social life, and what sociology can tell us about human rights and dignity. "To Flourish or Destruct "is a sequel. It builds on the earlier book to explore the question of human motivations for action. In arguing for a sociological turn in a more humanist direction, he sets up a scaffolding for a philosophy of moral realism that makes human flourishing (the realization of basic human goods) a centerpiece of social science. Smith s Aristotelian account of flourishing argues that genuinely investing in the flourishing of "other" people is a necessary condition for personal flourishingin short, learning to love others. The guiding assumption is that flourishing is the natural aim of all human life. He then turns to the question of evil (the absence or privation of what is good), with extended consideration of Stalin and Hitler and totalitarianism in general, in contrast to his inventory of basic human goods, motivations, and interests. The title poses the question: will I flourish or will I destruct? On which path is my life moving?"
Description : A groundbreaking new theory of religion Religion remains an important influence in the world today, yet the social sciences are still not adequately equipped to understand and explain it. This book advances an innovative theory of religion that goes beyond the problematic theoretical paradigms of the past. Drawing on the philosophy of critical realism and personalist social theory, Christian Smith explores why humans are religious in the first place—uniquely so as a species—and offers an account of secularization and religious innovation and persistence that breaks the logjam in which religious scholarship has been stuck for so long. Certain to stimulate debate and inspire promising new avenues of scholarship, Religion features a wealth of illustrations and examples that help to make its concepts accessible to readers. This superbly written book brings sound theoretical thinking to a perennially thorny subject, and a new vitality and focus to its study.
Description : What does it mean, as a person of faith, to maintain and even strengthen one's physical body? What does it mean to "glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:20) in a time when bodily perfection is popularly defined by advertising firms, while food degradation has led to the worldwide obesity epidemic? This work addresses those questions and many others through theological engagement with fitness and sport, offering a critical examination of the two and their theological intersections. Where is God in sport and fitness? What value might sport and fitness have for the Christian Church? Is there a good to be found?
Description : The main theme of volume 5 of Eco-ethica is "Ethics and Environment", offering a serious take on the social-environmental crisis that our world suffers from today. In the first part the authors look at ethical responsibility in relation to the natural environment, whereas in the second part the authors examine ethical responsibility in the cultural and social environment. The third part is papers devoted to the philosophy of Paul Ric (1913 - 2005), written by Ric scholars who have published books on him in the last years. They all focus, in one way or another, on ethics and the natural, social or cultural enviroment in Ricoeur's thought. Peter Kemp is Professor emeritus of Philosophy, Department of Education, University of Aarhus, Campus Copenhagen, President of the Tomonobu Imamichi Institute for Eco-ethica. Noriko Hashimoto, is Professor emeritus of Philosophy, University of Aoyamagakuin, Tokyo, Secretary General of the Tomonobu Imamichi Institute for Eco-ethica.
Description : Counter to popular perceptions, contemporary American sociology is and promotes a profoundly sacred project at heart. Sociology today is in fact animated by sacred impulses, driven by sacred commitments, and serves a sacred project. Sociology appears on the surface to be a secular, scientific enterprise--its founding fathers were mostly atheists. Its basic operating premises are secular and naturalistic. Sociologists today are disproportionately not religious, compared to all Americans, and often irreligious. The Sacred Project of American Sociology shows, counter-intuitively, that the secular enterprise that everyday sociology appears to be pursuing is actually not what is really going on at sociology's deepest level. Christian Smith conducts a self-reflexive, tables-turning, cultural and institutional sociology of the profession of American sociology itself, showing that this allegedly secular discipline ironically expresses Emile Durkheim's inescapable sacred, exemplifies its own versions of Marxist false consciousness, and generates a spirited reaction against Max Weber's melancholically observed disenchantment of the world. American sociology does not escape the analytical net that it casts over the rest of the ordinary world. Sociology itself is a part of that very human, very social, often very sacred and spiritual world. And sociology's ironic mis-recognition of its own sacred project leads to a variety of arguably self-destructive and distorting tendencies. This book re-asserts a vision for what sociology is most important for, in contrast with its current commitments, and calls sociologists back to a more honest, fair, and healthy vision of its purpose.
Description : Outlines the plot and characters of this groundbreaking play; explains the production, historical context, and themes; and includes critiques and reactions of scholars.
Description : The latest edition of Politics offers a comprehensive and comparative approach to the essential components of democratic politics in today's states. The book begins by addressing ways of thinking about politics, community, and society, offering broad outlines of political theory in a historical context. Johnston then provides a comparative framework for understanding basic democratic systems which is drawn upon in subsequent sections on institutions, the political process, and governing. The result is an accessible introduction to contemporary democratic politics that is also deeply theoretical and comparative in scope. The fourth edition has been revised throughout and rewritten with a more focused narrative. The student-friendly design incorporates more visuals and sidebars, as well as chapter objectives and a glossary, in order to make the material easily digestible. In addition, a new companion website provides self-study support for students along with a wealth of materials for instructors to draw from when developing lectures, tutorials, assignments, and exams. See www.johnstonpolitics.com for more information.