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Built On Emptiness: Śūnyatā As A Basis For Mahāyāna Ethics, With References To Śāntideva’S Bodhicaryāvatāra, Greg Mileski Jul 2019

Built On Emptiness: Śūnyatā As A Basis For Mahāyāna Ethics, With References To Śāntideva’S Bodhicaryāvatāra, Greg Mileski

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In a 1968 conference, Luis O. Gomez acknowledged that the Buddhist conception of emptiness (śūnyatā) presents a challenge to the Western tradition of philosophical ethics and has given rise to charges of nihilism, even in Buddhism’s ancient setting. However, Gomez argues, that, far from leading adherents to an ethical nihilism, these doctrines provide a unique lens through which to see the motivations of Buddhist ethics. Beginning with the essay that followed from his presentation and continuing with the works of other Buddhist ethicists (Stephen A. Evans, Barbara A. Clayton, Jay Garfield, Stephen E. Harris, for instance), this paper analyzes ...


Narrating Preterition: Postsecularism, Analysis, And Gravity's Rainbow, Damian Borovsky Jan 2018

Narrating Preterition: Postsecularism, Analysis, And Gravity's Rainbow, Damian Borovsky

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Recent trends in literary discourse have identified the “postsecular” in fiction, reimaginations of spiritual traditions in particularly postmodern ways. Much analysis of the postsecular posits the postsecular in fiction as an affirmation of postsecular spirituality, and celebrates its ability to describe a world “reenchanted” in postmodernity. I argue that an analysis of the postsecular which has reenchantment as its conclusion terminates too quickly, and fails to account for the ideological locus of the postsecular utopic gesture. Postsecularism, on this account, points to alternative narratives that run counter to the dominant and oppressive historical narratives of modernity. Rather than posit a ...


“Once Gone Through, We Trace Round Again”: The Cyclical Journey Of Belief And Unbelief In Herman Melville's Later Works, Emily Pamela Butler-Probst Jan 2018

“Once Gone Through, We Trace Round Again”: The Cyclical Journey Of Belief And Unbelief In Herman Melville's Later Works, Emily Pamela Butler-Probst

English Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This thesis explores Herman Melville's struggling relationship between belief and unbelief in Moby-Dick, “Benito Cereno” and Clarel. Melville’s travel to the Marquesas gave him a sense of cultural relativity which prompted questions about his faith that continually remerged even as he found answers. In spite of overwhelming skepticism, Melville was unwilling to fully relinquish his faith because belief also offered comfort. Being trapped in a space where he could not fully believe but was equally unable to detach himself from faith, Melville discovered Ralph Waldo Emerson’s concept of double consciousness which served as a theoretical framework for ...


Beyond Secularism: Radical Orthodoxy In Conversation With Radical Democracy, Matthew Raymond Bradney Jan 2017

Beyond Secularism: Radical Orthodoxy In Conversation With Radical Democracy, Matthew Raymond Bradney

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

In my dissertation, I set for myself three basic tasks. First, I try to show that much radical democratic theory results in nihilism. Second, I draw out the consequences of nihilism. Put briefly, the major consequence of nihilism is the unreasonable character of almost all of our deeply held moral and political beliefs, such as the dignity of human beings, the value of democracy, the importance of rights, and so forth. The nihilistic conclusion, then, is that the West cannot justify its own values. Third, and most importantly, I examine how the conclusion of nihilism might be avoided. Is there ...


The Ecocritical Carnivalesque Of Mason & Dixon: Thomas Pynchon's Environmental Vision, Theodor Jack Hamstra Jan 2017

The Ecocritical Carnivalesque Of Mason & Dixon: Thomas Pynchon's Environmental Vision, Theodor Jack Hamstra

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Among American novelists since 1945, Thomas Pynchon ranks as one of the most accomplished, with arguably the most fully realized and profound visions of Postmodernity. Therefore, his absence from the field of Ecocriticism is alarming. The aim of my thesis is to demonstrate that Pynchon’s 1997 novel Mason & Dixon ought to be considered as an essential text of American environmental writing. My thesis triangulates the environmental vision of Mason & Dixon by highlighting its affinity with environmental literature on three overlapping levels: the specter of the ancient, the spectacle of the new during the Enlightenment setting of the novel, and ...


The Saint, The Sinner, And The Scot: Wycliffite Philosophy & Scottish Literature, 14th Century To The Present, Michael Cohen Jan 2017

The Saint, The Sinner, And The Scot: Wycliffite Philosophy & Scottish Literature, 14th Century To The Present, Michael Cohen

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In a time of increasingly secularized criticism of literary works as a whole, this project attempts to reevaluate the place of theology in Scottish literature by means of religious history. Theological threads in Scottish text are traced back to 14th century theologian and Christian reformer John Wyclif. His radical philosophy is traced through the work of Chaucer and his other contemporaries, and the traditional understanding of his work and following as an isolated movement is rejected. Instead, Wyclif and his followers, the Lollards, are presented as a strong force for religious reform that remained prominent both in Scotland and on ...


Jane, Oakley Chad Merideth Jan 2016

Jane, Oakley Chad Merideth

English Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Jane is a collection of poetry that investigates the connections between the (seemingly disconnected) material and immaterial domains, ultimately by mediating both realms through a direct experience of the divine. The thesis consists of three individual sections which progress into a final long piece that illustrates how such an experience affects the individual on an ontological level wherein distinctions between the objective and subjective are dissolved. Prior to this, Jane explores how objects and subjects interact with each other and themselves, treating both as uncanny articulations of Being. It also utilizes biblical texts (and the events, characters, and items within ...


The Religious Imperative Of Confucianism, Samuel Davies Jan 2015

The Religious Imperative Of Confucianism, Samuel Davies

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Confucianism prescribes for society an immensely rich, sophisticated, and utilitarian modality of social relationship. Not only has this served as China's social and political bedrock, but it has actually evolved from, and thus suggests, the deep religious dimensionality of Confucian thought. I aim to, through the medium of Confucianism, unveil the social entity of this religious dimension as an intuitive depth and unifying reciprocity which has since the dawn of civilization been preserved and expressed as the most quintessential aspect of human life.

With an exploratory dive into the farthest metaphysics that underlie the foundational Confucian society, the true ...


Sex Is The Warmest Color: Intimate Relations Of Power And Truth In England And Thailand, Maria Valershteyn Jan 2015

Sex Is The Warmest Color: Intimate Relations Of Power And Truth In England And Thailand, Maria Valershteyn

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Substitutive sexuality….the infinite cannot be made into matter, but it is possible to create an illusion of the infinite: the image…and skin, a mass of scars, a skeleton’s robe…but they certainly are truth.

Andrei Tarkovsky, ‘The Sacrifice’

This honors thesis outlines the importance of sexuality and its connotations in the political as well as social sphere of society. The purpose of this work is to illustrate the underlining reasoning within people and states using a sexual discourse. By applying Michel Foucault’s theory of sexuality and relations of power, a description of a society’s system ...


An Ecology Of Transformation: The Experience Of Nature And The Nature Of Experience In The Songs Of Shabkar, Jacob Whitney Dirnberger Jan 2013

An Ecology Of Transformation: The Experience Of Nature And The Nature Of Experience In The Songs Of Shabkar, Jacob Whitney Dirnberger

Religious Studies Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The songs of the 18-19th century Tibetan yogin Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol provide us an excellent window with which to view the relationship, the ecology, between the ideal of a Buddhist retreatant and his solitary mountainous surroundings. At the heart of this paper is a close analysis of this relationship between yogin and retreat, but also between the inner and outer subject and object worlds of Shabkar himself. I argue that we would be mistaken to view this relationship in an overly Cartesian way, i.e. as an immutable, static subject gaining an objectifying transcendence over society and nature. Upon adopting ...


Unto The Least Of These: Animal Suffering And The Problem Of Evil, Beth Anne Seacord Jan 2013

Unto The Least Of These: Animal Suffering And The Problem Of Evil, Beth Anne Seacord

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

In this dissertation I argue that animal pain and suffering pose a greater problem for God's goodness than has been generally acknowledged in the history of the discussion of the problem of evil. I take David Hume's abductive approach to the problem of evil as my model and compare two explanations for the evidence of animal suffering--the hypothesis of indifference and classical theism. I argue that theism is a poor fit with the total evidence--evidence that includes animal suffering. I argue that there are certain features of the world that are surprising on the hypothesis that a perfectly ...


Faith And Evidence: Why Faith Should Seek Understanding, Ashley Christine Taylor Jan 2013

Faith And Evidence: Why Faith Should Seek Understanding, Ashley Christine Taylor

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This project considers two views concerning the relation between faith and evidence. First, Lara Buchak proposes that faith requires one to cease looking for evidence in order to go ahead and act on one’'s faith. Second, Thomas Aquinas states that faith involves seeking evidence to better understand of one’'s faith. In first turning to analyze Buchak’'s account, I argue that Buchak’'s view is mistaken because it rules out that the faithful person seeks evidence to better understand his or her faith. In addition, I find that Buchak’'s view raises an important question regarding the relationship ...


'Pious Inventories': Competency, Vocation, And The Construction Of The Virtuous Self In Seventeenth-Century New England, Alexis Susan Glenn Jan 2012

'Pious Inventories': Competency, Vocation, And The Construction Of The Virtuous Self In Seventeenth-Century New England, Alexis Susan Glenn

Religious Studies Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The religious and political conditions characterizing the daily lives of individuals comprising the English "Great Migration generation," traveling to the New World from 1620 until the outbreak of the English Civil War over twenty years later have long received a heavy concentration of scholarly interest from a wide variety of academic fields, most notably those historians concerned with early American religious practice and belief. Theological developments in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Puritan East Anglia, as well as the literal "reshuffling" of populations within the late medieval and early modern English countryside as a result of long-standing social and economic tensions, have ...


Dialectical Critique And Secularism: Hegel And The Dialectic Of Enlightenment, Jerilyn Kristel Sambrooke Jan 2011

Dialectical Critique And Secularism: Hegel And The Dialectic Of Enlightenment, Jerilyn Kristel Sambrooke

Comparative Literature Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The secularization thesis, which posits that religion's influence declines as a society modernizes, has fallen upon hard times. Its critics argue that the religious does not simply oppose the secular. Critical theory has a particularly vexed relationship with religion, and theorists are rethinking religion within this tradition. This thesis argues that critiques of the secular have played a significant role in the development of critical theory. A reading of Hegel's dialectic of faith and enlightenment in the Phenomenology of Spirit demonstrates its deep influence on Horkheimer and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment, a central text of the critical ...


Jon Stewart And The Daily Show: Humor, Ethics And Conversation In The Public Square, Angela Hope Nilles Jan 2011

Jon Stewart And The Daily Show: Humor, Ethics And Conversation In The Public Square, Angela Hope Nilles

Religious Studies Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Jon Stewart, host of the Comedy Central television show The Daily Show, uses several techniques that are notable with regards to religious studies. Most notably, Stewart uses humor as a way to diffuse tension and reveal hidden or obfuscated truths about current events. He also uses jokes and observations about religion to comment on the news, while using the techniques of conversation (as described by Jeffrey Stout) and sympathy (as explained by Richard Rorty) to be an effective public journalist and activist. In this paper, I examine these aspects of Stewart’s show and demonstrate that, because of these techniques ...


Citation Analysis For Collection Development: A Comparative Study Of Eight Humanities Fields, Jennifer Knievel, Charlene Kellsey Apr 2005

Citation Analysis For Collection Development: A Comparative Study Of Eight Humanities Fields, Jennifer Knievel, Charlene Kellsey

University Libraries Faculty & Staff Contributions

This study analyzes 9,131 citations from the 2002 volumes of journals in eight humanities fields: art, classics, history, linguistics, literature, music, philosophy, and religion. This study found that citation patterns varied widely among humanities disciplines. Due to these differences, it is important for librarians with humanities collection development responsibilities to consider each field separately when making collection development decisions. The authors investigated the language of sources cited in each field. Foreign language citations continue to be dominated by French and German. This study also confirms that, in most humanities disciplines, monographs remain the dominant format of cited sources, although ...