Showing posts from June, 2009

Sikh Students Conference ||

The Sikh Students Conference will bring focus on the determining factors in the current Sikh situation as well as the trends among the Sikhs. The Sikhs, whose entity has been reduced to subjects after 1849, have been victims of the processes that defined the nature of the secular Indian nation-state. Such definitions represent the imperialist agenda to universalize meaning, construct a uniform identity, and deny any difference. The conference aims to contest the accepted definitions and break away with the conventions in Sikh activism. The conference is a result of the realization of having a fresh engagement with the area of Sikh studies in particular and the related areas such as theory and method in the study of religion and different branches of Western philosophical traditions that provide basis for theoretical approaches. Although the conference is mainly focusing on the 1984 attack on Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, the primary focus is on the philosophical trends that shaped historica…

Living up to Death

Paul Ricoeur, David Pellauer (Trans.), Living up to Death, University of Chicago Press, 2009, 108pp., $22.50 (hbk), ISBN 9780226713496.
Reviewed by Charles Reagan, Kansas State University
This is a strange book requiring a strange review. It is the publication of some of Paul Ricoeur's previously unpublished writing, which he himself did not intend to publish. The first part of the book comes from notes he made in 1995-96 on the topic of death. After they were written, they were left in a folder and he never returned to them again. In the second part of the book are some of the "fragments" he wrote during his last days, mostly brief reflections on topics which preoccupied him such as life and death, Christianity, his faith and his philosophy, the Bible, his friend Jacques Derrida and resurrection. There is a Preface by Olivier Abel, a long-time friend of Ricoeur's and a Postface by Catherine Goldenstein, also a very close friend for his last ten years.I would recommen…

The Library of Babel

by Jorge Luis Borges
By this art you may contemplate the variations of the 23 letters...
The Anatomy of Melancholy, part 2, sect. II, mem. IV

The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very low railings. From any of the hexagons one can see, interminably, the upper and lower floors. The distribution of the galleries is invariable. Twenty shelves, five long shelves per side, cover all the sides except two; their height, which is the distance from floor to ceiling, scarcely exceeds that of a normal bookcase. One of the free sides leads to a narrow hallway which opens onto another gallery, identical to the first and to all the rest. To the left and right of the hallway there are two very small closets. In the first, one may sleep standing up; in the other, satisfy one's fecal necessities. Also through here passes a spiral stairway, which sinks abysmally and soar…