Zsolt Czigányik (ed.), Utopian Horizons: Ideology, Politics, Literature. Budapest, New York: Central European University Press, 2017.
Gastronomic consumption practices are one of the main ways of forming the corporeal human identity, a marker of his/her cultural and social status. Specificity of food as a material medium of symbols and signs, which are assimilate d at the level of the most direct corporeal experience, determines its consumption as a complex system of communication links. Today, the practice of food consumption in the form of fast food is especially relevant and registers new forms and ways of communication, not only gastronomic, but also reflecting power and new gender relations. It can be argued that it is in the form of fast food (Mac-food) the symbolic content of food overcame and absorbed its physical and technical aspects.
Christianity is a missionary religion by definition. Yet, as Christianity became imperial ideology, the attitude towards "barbarians" began to change: the classical Greco-Roman perception of "other" as non-human finds its way into the concept of Christianization. The author tries to outline methods of Byzantine mission, which Byzantines themselves never theoretize upon. Orthodox Christianity lost to its spiritual rivals the Nilr valley, the Middle East, Moravia, Croatia, Abkhazia, Hungary, Lithuania, Khazaria. This book explains why.
Ernst Bloch and His Contemporaries is a much needed concise yet comprehensive overview of Ernst Bloch's early and later thought. It fills an important gap in research on the history of German thought in the 20th century by reconstructing the contexts of Bloch's philosophy, while focusing on his contemporaries - Georg Lukács, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor Adorno. Ernst Bloch's influential ideas include his theory of utopian consciousness, his resolute inclination to merge aesthetics and politics, rehabilitation of hope, and atheistic conception of Christianity. Although Bloch's major early texts, Spirit of Utopia and Traces, have recently been translated into English, and there has been renewed interest in Bloch over the last 15 years, he is still relatively unknown compared to other left German-Jewish intellectuals. Ivan Boldyrev places Bloch's often enigmatic prose within contexts more familiar to English-speaking readers, and outlines the most important messages in Bloch's legacy still relevant today to European intellectual discourse, in particular aesthetics and philosophy of history.
The study of Old Rus' princes' marital ties suggest that in XI-XIII centuries there were social groups in Rus' that did not do translations but were able to get acquainted with the foreign-language literature of the time. It allows to add new notes in understanding the logic of the cultural history of pre-Mongol Rus'.
The interrelations between culture and economic development cause noticeable interest in the academic community in recent years, however a set of questions still remain open. In particular, there isn’t a lot of works about the interdependence of visual culture and economic practices. The paper shows the interdependence of accounting practices that ensure transparency in society, with the evolution of visual culture for the last one thousand years. Accounting history for this period is presented as a consequence of the stages which provide the increasing of transparency in economic units (or availability of information) to the actorsinterested in their activity – from owners to society in general. Visual culture is considered as set of objects suggesting their visual perception, and the technologies supporting them. Synchronism is shown between accounting revolutions and significant changes in visual culture and technologies: these are cultural innovations of the beginning of the 2nd millennium, period of the Renaissance, second half of XIX and end of the XX centuries. Joint periodization is offered for the accounting practices and visual culture, on the basis of changes in the mechanisms of transparency in society, i.e. technologies and instruments of information perception and cultural practices’ reproduction. It is shown that visual aspects and innovative technologies supporting them had the greatest impact on development of accounting from all aspects of culture, and this impact can be traced only in the context of the European culture.
In response to the grim realities of the present world Jewish thought has tended to retreat into eschatological fantasy, but rather to project utopian visions precisely on to the present moment, envisioning redemptions that are concretere, immanent, and necessarily political in nature. In difficult times and through shifting historical contexts, the messianic hope in the Jewish tradition has functioned as a political vision: the dream of a peaceful kingdom, of a country to return to, or of a leader who will administer justice among the nations. Against this background, it is unsurprising that Jewish messianism in modern times has been transposed, and lives on in secular political movements and ideologies. The purpose of this book in to contribute to the deeper understanding of the relationship between Jewish thought, utopia, and revolution, by taking a fresh look at its historical and religious roots. We approach the issue from several perspectives, with differences of opinion presented both in regard to wath Jewish tradition is, and how to regard utopia and revolution. These notions are multi faceted, comprising aspects such as political messianism, religious renewal, Zionism, and different forms of Marxist and Anarchistic movements.
In the article the author looks into the theoretical prospects of socialist utopia rebirth as the so called horizon line that is impossible to cross, but easy to see as if it were reachable. The author shows that post-Fordism capitalizing and alienating nonmaterial labor has become a real problem for the radical negation in the framework of neo-Marxist utopia since under such conditions any social alternative is in danger of becoming a part of the capitalist reality. Such disciplinary power of the modern capitalist logic generates rejection of the political action as it is rather than a protest. In this situation radical Marxist utopia comes down to the affective negation that cannot become a subject to reflection. Its creators and proponents do not want to find themselves in the capitalist present, aspiring in their expectations into the future that will not grow out of the modern capitalism and will never be capitalism in principle.